We continue to find that Democrats trust most TV news sources other than Fox, while Republicans don’t trust anything except Fox. News preferences are very polarizing along party lines.
Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling, in a press release on a new poll released on American trust in its broadcast news stations. Fox News’ Credibility Declines (PDF).
The News: Americans don’t trust broadcast news sources. Matter of fact, more people distrust NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News and Comedy Central than trust them.
However, Fox News is the news org that Americans are most skeptical about. According to the PPP poll, 46% of voters distrust it while 41% trust it.
The only news org that a majority does trust? PBS, with 52% of voters saying they trust it and 29% saying they don’t.
This network is not going there.
David Clark, Fox News Executive Producer, in a note to weekend producers.
Via New York Magazine:
According to sources, David Clark, the executive producer in charge of Fox’s weekend coverage, gave producers instructions not to talk about gun-control policy on air… The directive created a rift inside the network. According to a source, one political panelist e-mailed Clark that [New York Mayor Michael] Bloomberg was booked on Meet the Press to talk about gun control. Clark responded, “We haven’t buried the children yet, we’re not discussing it.” During the weekend, one frustrated producer went around Clark to lobby Michael Clemente, Fox’s executive vice-president for news editorial, but Clemente upheld the mandate. “We were expressly forbidden from discussing gun control,” the source said. Clark’s edict wasn’t universal: On Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace talked with Democratic Senators Joe Lieberman and Dick Durbin about gun control, and later in the program, panelists Bill Kristol and Fortune editor Nina Easton weighed in on the issue.
Certainly Fox’s decision to avoid widespread policy talk could be seen as an editorial impulse to keep the focus trained on the tragedy’s human dimension. But Fox’s coverage also highlights the growing chasm between Rupert Murdoch and Ailes. Gun culture is alive and well at Fox News. Roger Ailes and Sean Hannity are reportedly licensed to carry concealed handguns in New York City. Fox personality Eric Bolling is a vocal Second Amendment proponent on air. “Not only do they carry guns, they don’t allow an honest debate on TV,” a Fox News insider said. In the past, when Ailes has clashed with Murdoch on politics, Fox News’s outsize profits have helped Ailes prevail. Earlier this fall, Ailes signed a new four-year contract, and he retains complete editorial control over the network.
By any normal standards, Obama should be extremely vulnerable. Not only is the economy in bad shape, he has proved to be a much more hesitant, less commanding White House presence than his supporters longed for. And yet, most surveys put him comfortably ahead of his would-be rivals. That’s not a positive judgment on the president – whose approval rating stands at a meagre 44% – but an indictment of the dire quality of a Republican field almost comically packed with the scandal-plagued, gaffe-prone and downright flaky. And the finger of blame for this state of affairs points squarely at the studios of Fox News.
Jonathan Freedland, The Guardian. How Fox News is helping Barack Obama’s re-election bid.
I honestly didn’t know the laws of the universe allowed letters to be physically arranged in the order of this headline. — Michael
Far from being an outlier, Roger Ailes fits snugly in an American tradition of partisan and skeezy journalism. As the owner and captain of his own media empire, William Randolph Hearst bent the news to suit his political ambitions for five decades. His vilification of President Franklin D. Roosevelt makes Fox News’ harassment of President Obama look like patty-cake. Robert R. McCormick, owner and publisher of the Chicago Tribune, ran headlines like “Moscow Orders Reds in U.S. to Back Roosevelt.”
The tradition of an American media owner or boss pushing a candidate or a cause is so firmly ensconced in journalistic history that the true outlier is the mogul who plays it completely straight. Walter Annenberg used his Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News to smear opponents and reward his political friends, facts be damned. The Manchester Union Leader’s William Loeb (subscription required) hammered liberal Democrats as “left-wing kooks” and called President John Kennedy “the No. 1 liar in the United States.” Nelson Rockefeller, in Loeb’s eyes, was a “wife-swapper,” and President Dwight Eisenhower was a “stinking hypocrite.
The Rolling Stone article is a long read (about 10,000 words).
The New York magazine one is less long (about 6,400 words).
Both are interesting explorations of Ailes and the Fox News operation. File under: Weekend Reading. And if you only have time for one, head Schafer’s advice, “If you enjoy a scary nighttime story, read Dickinson’s [Rolling Stone] piece. But if your tastes run toward political comedy, click on Sherman’s.”
We share a belief that the Holocaust, of course, can and should be discussed appropriately in the media. But that is not what we have seen at Fox News. It is not appropriate to accuse a 14-year-old Jew hiding with a Christian family in Nazi-occupied Hungary of sending his people to death camps. It is not appropriate to call executives of another news agency “Nazis.” And it is not appropriate to make literally hundreds of on-air references to the Holocaust and Nazis when characterizing people with whom you disagree.
It is because this issue has a profound impact on each of us, our families and our communities that we are calling on Fox News to meet the standard it has set for itself: “to exercise the ultimate sensitivity when referencing the Holocaust.”
We respectfully request that Glenn Beck be sanctioned by Fox News for his completely unacceptable attacks on a survivor of the Holocaust and that Roger Ailes apologize for his dismissive remarks about rabbis’ sensitivity tohow the Holocaust is used on the air.
The Jewish Funds for Justice, a non-profit group, took out a full page ad today in News Corp’s Wall Street Journal to criticize the use of Holocaust and Nazi terminology by News Corp’s Fox News commentators to label those with whom they disagree. The letter is addressed to Rupert Murdoch and signed by 400 leaders of the Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist movements as well as Orthodox rabbis.
UpdateFox news responds:
In a statement provided to The Cutline, Joel Cheatwood, senior vice president of development for Fox News, said: “We haven’t seen the ad, but this group is a George Soros backed left-wing political organization that has been trying to engage Glenn Beck primarily for publicity purposes.
From: Sammon, Bill
To: 169 -SPECIAL REPORT; 036 -FOX.WHU; 054 -FNSunday; 030 -Root (FoxNews.Com); 050 -Senior Producers; 051 -Producers; 069 -Politics; 005 -Washington
Cc: Clemente, Michael; Stack, John; Wallace, Jay; Smith, Sean
Sent: Tue Dec 08 12:49:51 2009
Subject: Given the controversy over the veracity of climate change data…
…we should refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question. It is not our place as journalists to assert such notions as facts, especially as this debate intensifies.