More Self-Referentially Absurd Claims Of Fox News Bias

The accusations of Fox News’ bias continue to prove that the real bias is coming from all the other media outlets.

Barack Obama’s Communications Director Anita Dunn came out and demagogued Fox News for not rendering the proper Nazi salute for Obama and the Democrat agenda.  During the course of her spiel, she said:

“They take their talking points, put them on the air; take their opposition research, put them on the air. And that’s fine. But let’s not pretend they’re a news network the way CNN is.”

It should be pointed out that CNN had actually just FACT CHECKED a Saturday Night Live sketch critical of Barack Obama.  Somehow, the weekly SNL lampooning of Sarah Palin which went on for four months never bothered CNN.

If that demonstration of leftwing bias wasn’t pathetic enough, CNN – the very next day following Anita Dunn’s holding them up as the paradigm of journalistic virtue – attacked conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh with fraudulent quotes as part of a massive liberal slander campaign.  Which somehow they didn’t feel the need to bother to fact check.

In a different forum, Anita Dunn said the following about how the Obama campaign team handled the media [Youtube]:

“But we, um, increasingly by the general election, very rarely, did we communicate through the press anything that we didn’t absolutely control.”

You can frankly only imagine what a snit such people could get in trying to deal with a media outlet that refused to allow itself to be controlled.

A discussion between George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week” and Obama senior adviser David Axelrod from yesterday, October 18, continues the trend of the Obama White House demonizing Fox News on other media outlets — no matter how hypocritical it looks:

RUPERT MURDOCH, NEWSCORP: There were some strong remarks coming out of the White House about one or two of the commentators on Fox News.  And all I can tell you is it has tremendously increased their ratings.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: That does seem to be true. Are you worried that your strategy is fortifying your enemy?

AXELROD: Well, I don’t — you know, I’m not concerned. Mr. Murdoch has a — has a talent for making money, and I understand that their programming is geared toward making money. All — the only argument Anita was making is that they’re not really a news station, if you watch — even — it’s not just their commentators, but a lot of their news programming, it’s really not news. It’s pushing a point of view.

And the bigger thing is that other news organizations, like yours, ought not to treat them that way, and we’re not going to treat them that way. We’re going to appear on their shows. We’re going to participate, but understanding that they represent a point of view.

Am I the only one who remembers that George Stephanopoulos was Bill Clinton’s press secretary and spin doctor before suddenly transforming into someone who was incapable of “pushing one point of view.”

By contrast, Chris Wallace, the host of “Fox News Sunday” – Fox News’ counterpart to ABC’s “This Week” – is a career journalist who came to Fox News after a long stint at ABC.

Moral of the story: the only way for a broadcast media station to NOT “push a point of view” is to hire career Democrat political operatives.

Let us please face a basic fact: the media is absolutely ridden with liberals.  Career MSNBC and CBS journalist Mika Brzezinski had some amazing declarations about the extent to which liberals dominated the networks she worked for.

As yet another illustration of the double-speak dishonesty of the Obama administration, the White House was saying that they were going to start playing nice with Fox News on the very same day that David Axelrod was out further demonizing them.

Even the left is now realizing that Barack Obama is a spoiled brat and a “whiner-in-chief” who has become downright Nixonian in his endless inability to handle any kind of media criticism.

Fox News is actually quite accurate, indeed, according to numerous major independent media studies.

Here’s a recent Newsmax article regarding a recent survey from Sacred Heart University that begins, “Fox News has supplanted CNN as the ‘most trusted’ news source for Americans, a new nationwide poll finds.” Which is another way of saying most Americans completely disagree with you.

That survey reveals how insane the Obama White House is; they are directly attacking and demonizing the news network that Americans trust more than any other.

A study done jointly by the University of Chicago and Stanford University found Fox News to be more accurate than most other news outlets, in addition to finding a dramatic leftist bias in the news media overall.

In addition to that finding, a UCLA study concludes, “almost all major media outlets tilt to the left,” noting that “Of the 20 major media outlets studied, 18 scored left of center.”   But apparently many liberals believe that a university located in liberal California in ultra-liberal Los Angeles is somehow a conservative bastion loaded with rightwing bias.

The media was actually so blatantly biased throughout its 2008 election coverage that it is completely accurate to say that we are now in a propaganda state. There is no possible way that Republicans can win in this media climate: whether you look at the Media Research Center, or at the Project for Excellence in Journalism (or again at their more recent study), or at the University of Wisconsin’s Wisconsin Advertising Project, there is widespread agreement with one longtime ABC journalist that the media is dangerously biased.  Pew Research discovered that Americans believe by a 70% to 9% margin that the media is biased in favor of Obama and against McCain. The media now represents a fifth column of government – a propaganda wing – that routinely attacks conservatives and celebrates and defends Democrats and their leftwing ideology.  Democracy itself is going extinct in the country that founded democracy, because no free society can survive such a climate of propaganda.

Just how blatantly biased are journalists?

From Media Research:

89 percent of Washington-based reporters said they voted for Bill Clinton in 1992.  Only seven percent voted for George Bush, with two percent choosing Ross Perot. […]

Based on the 139 Washington bureau chiefs and congressional correspondents who returned the Freedom Forum questionnaire, the Washington-based reporters — by an incredible margin of nine-to-one — overwhelmingly cast their presidential ballots in 1992 for Democrat Bill Clinton over Republican incumbent George Bush.

There is overwhelming historic evidence of hardcore leftwing bias throughout our mainstream media, but we’re somehow supposed to ignore the giant logs of bias located in both the mainstream media’s eyes and instead concentrate on the speck of bias at Fox News.

Major studies and surveys of media accuracy have for several years routinely discovered that the media is overwhelmingly tilted to the left. Fox News looks so “Republican” to many only because so much of the media is so utterly and completely “Democrat.”

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6 Responses to “More Self-Referentially Absurd Claims Of Fox News Bias”

  1. Pragmatist Says:

    “A study done jointly by the University of Chicago and Stanford University found Fox News to be more accurate than most other news outlets, in addition to finding a dramatic leftist bias in the news media overall.”

    I thought this was interesting so I had a look. A few points on your interpretation:

    1. Page 15 specifically states that the definition of bias used by the study does not correspond to accuracy (a point the author is very emphatic about). So, no, it does NOT find Fox as more accurate.

    2. As the abstract shows, the entirety of Fox News was not assessed, but merely “Fox News’ Special Report with Brit Hume”.

    3. The past two points aside, Fox ranks about 4th in centrality (behind “CNN’s Newsnight with Aaron Brown” at number 2, funny enough) in what amounts to a 5-way tie (i.e. 1-5 are very very close statistically). So Fox is not even less bias than all the liberal outlets.

    4. Page 33 says that the Fox program studied IS biased to the right, if only slightly.

    5. No Beck, O’Reilly, or Hannity studied? Where is the fun in that?

    Personally, I think the main programs of Fox are about as “Fair and Balanced” as the rest of the media. I’ve seen pro-left and pro-right guests on Fox and CNN, and that’s usually all that I care to watch, so I can’t say for certain.

    My “notions” of Fox bias come from Beck, O’Reilly, and Hannity (mostly Beck). Why? Beck is the quintessential yellow journalist. Proof :

    1. He clearly sensationalizes the news (Proof: true by definition)

    2. He uses his blackboard as a way of implying ridiculous conclusions (Proof: He has Mao and Che pictures that he routinely puts on the the board, even if he doesn’t address their connection to a subject).

    3. He constantly makes use of “underdog” appeals with his audience (his support of the 9/12 protests, tea party protests, and his anti-government views all lend support to this).

    4. His wide support of muckraking, mostly towards the Obama “czars”. If I recall correctly (I’ll concede on this point if it isn’t true, as I can’t find the quote), Glenn called out to his viewers to supply him with any information he could use on the Obama administration.

    While the White house is probably wrong in discrediting the entire news station, Fox seems to hire people who are more entertainers than journalists.

    On a completely different note: Can the right-wing (and everyone else, for that matter) please stop calling for the use of “Common Sense” in every situation? While I can appreciate the use of common sense in everyday situations, it has little place in economics (I highly doubt a PhD would be available for economists if “Common Sense” was all that was required in the field). The call for it from political factions merely panders to those who neither seek to challenge their own assumptions nor expand their base of knowledge.

  2. Michael Eden Says:

    While you are correct that the study does not specifically pursue “accuracy,” what it DOES pursue is degrees of separation from a norm; the farther you are away from that norm, the farther away from being “centrist” you are. One can be far to the LEFT of the norm, or far to the RIGHT. While the study does not call that “bias” for the specific purposes being evaluated, most people would. For example, is it your assertion that a news outlet can regularly be the furthest from being “centrist” and also the most accurate? Maybe you do, but few would join you. Which is why I phrased myself the way I did. While I should have used the word “centrist” for sake of rigid accuracy, I don’t think I was misleading.

    Fox News – in direct contradiction to the claim that it is far to the right, was actually among the more centrist of the broadcast media. So the study very much undermines the claim that it is way to the right. As it turns out, most of the media is much farther to the left than Fox is to the right.

    2. Your statement that “the entirety of Fox News was not assessed, but merely “Fox News’ Special Report with Brit Hume” is likewise true of ALL THE OTHER BROADCAST STATIONS AS WELL. They were trying to compare apples to apples – does that bother you? Special Report is THE major news program of Fox News; and the rest of the news division of Fox follows in line with FNSR.

    3. Now you begin to show your own bias. Fox News Special Report is very clearly in 4th place of all broadcast media in being “centrist.” It is NOT in a “tie” when one looks at the scores on page 58. It is not fair of you to lump Fox in like that; give them their due. Further, we find that Fox News Special Report is actually SECOND, given that Good Morning America is really not a “news program,” and CNN’s “Newsnight” no longer exists (hasn’t since 2005).

    Fox News does extremely well in its “centrism,” but you WILL NOT allow them to have the credit they deserve. Why is that?

    4. I don’t think anyone has EVER tried to claim that Fox News is 100% objective, with absolutely no bias of any kind. And I notice that no other station got an “ADA perfect 50” score. Fox News is to the right – “if only slightly” as even you acknowledge. The other broadcast media are to the left – and some quite a bit further away. Given that, how on earth is the White House anything other than Nixonian for its unrelenting attacks on Fox News, which is no more biased than anyone else? This actually shows how rabidly anti-free press the left truly is, when even their own president can’t handle anything other than allegiance.

    5. Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, and Greta Sustern are all opinion programs. Fox News CLEARLY DELINEATES BETWEEN ITS NEWS AND ITS OP-ED SHOWS. And the hosts of these shows – and watching them, I know – routinely say that they are NOT journalists and are not trying to fill the role of journalists. O’Reilly USED to be a journalist, but does not attempt to be one on the Factor. You literally have to be stupid not to understand that distinction. And you’re not stupid, are you, Pragmatist?

    I’ve watched enough of Keith Olbermann to know that the left has their own “Glenn Becks.” And “Glenn Beck” – unlike Chris Matthews (lifetime Democrat, btw) – never claimed to get a “shiver” down his leg when George Bush gave a speech.

    Okay, it looks like I can abandon numbers and just say it: Glenn Beck offers his opinions.

    The difference between Beck and Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews is that he’s an outspoken conservative who has the honesty to label himself as he is. And the difference between Fox News and MSNBC is that they have the honesty not to call a hard core opinion guy a “journalist,” like MSNBC does with Olbermann and Matthews. Heck, Olbermann even gets to wear the label “news anchor.”

    So I really don’t care if you perceive Fox News as “biased” because it has Glenn Beck – who attacked Bush regularly during the Bush years and who regularly continues to attack Republicans today, fwiw. I chalk it up to your inability to be fair and objective, and look at other 24 hour news stations.

    The first time I heard the insulting and trivializing phrase “tea baggers” was from CNN’s Anderson Cooper, who said, “It’s hard to talk when you’re tea bagging.” Can I assure you that neither Britt Hume, nor Brett Bair ever used such a disgusting sexual metaphor to insult and demonize leftwingers? And I demand you show me the footage if you claim they did.

    And then of course there’s CNN’s Susan Roesgen’s warped and biased coverage. She didn’t have a problem demonizing the right as being a bunch of Eichmanns, but she pleasantly interviewed leftwing protesters who were doing the same exact thing re: Bush.

    The damage that’s being done to journalism isn’t coming from the Glenn Becks; it’s coming from all the “journalists” who present themselves as objective and then are anything but.

    And I documented that the news media, the reporters, the journalists, are nearly ALL on the left. And so for the White House to demonize Fox News on the very media that are so blatantly biased to the left is an isnult to anyone who bothers to care about truth, or accuracy, or fairness, or objectivity.

    Your “common sense” remark is clearly another prod at Glenn Beck. As someone who has spent some time in academia myself, I would argue that common sense is a quintessentially good thing. And the only reason it is lacking in the “academics” and “economists” is because they are presenting such utterly stupid and bogus theories that have virtually nothing to do with reality. Believe it or not, Pragmatists, the “experts” are quite capable of having common sense. Unfortunately, few choose to do so.

  3. Pragmatist Says:

    Tsk tsk tsk, Michael. It is always personal attacks and unwarranted assumptions with you. I think I like your older entries better.

    First, for your retort.
    1. If you chose to define bias like that, then that is fine, but you are making that assumption independent of the study. You can only take an academic paper at exactly what it says, as the ENTIRE study is based on the definition of bias. Did you actually read the page I pointed out (pg 15)? I see no real reason why I even need to clarify why your use of the word “accuracy” was not correct. By your definition James Leach and Howell Heflin are the some of the most accurate people in existence, as are near the baseline for the centrist measure. Surely you would not agree to this.

    2. Agreed. I have no problem with their finding, and, like I said, I have no problem with the majority of Fox Programs (I even watch Beck on occasion). Your assumption of my bias is completely misplaced. My point here was to point out that you overgeneralized the scope of the study, and so I’d hate for your readers to not get the full scoop if they did not want to fact check you like I felt like doing.

    3. Oh, I’m such a meanie, aren’t I? Please read the page. It says that the first 5 places in the study (i.e. places 1-5 as i state in my comment) are very close. That would be considered by most to mean that Fox is essentially in first place, but you just WILL NOT let them get the credit they deserve. Why is that, Michael? ( I assume you misread what I originally posted. Fox came in 4th, but is essentially tied for first). To quote

    “Nevertheless, the top five outlets in Table IV are in a statistical dead heat for most centrist”.

    4. Agreed, for the most part. The bias of the 2nd and 3rd places was “statistically insignificant” which is as close to perfect as one can be under a statistical test, but yeah, the tested Fox program was pretty darn close (Std. Dev. makes it hard to say exactly). As for the point about the White House, I do not claim to represent them or even hold their views. If I had to hazard a guess, I would suppose their criticism lies with the commentators (yes, not journalists, as you kindly point out).

    5. “And you’re not stupid…” Why Michael, flattery will get you nowhere, though it is appreciated. My last point in that section was pretty clearly a joke (I think it was more apparent than even Ms. Dunn and her “sense of humor”). I did not expect the study to seriously study the opinion programs of any station (hence my “Where is the fun in that?” comment).

    You have a habit of assuming that my point lies on something that I am not arguing. My argument is a criticism of your defense of Fox (more specifically, I was focusing primarily on your treatment of a study). While I appreciate your attempts to inform me of the bias of various OTHER news stations, you will find that I was not attempting to defend them. Two wrongs (or, in this case, several wrongs) do not make a right. Your negative points about CNN do not detract from my statement that they are no more bias than FOX. Simply because you find them more rude than FOX, you merely point out the bias that I already allowed for. If I must provide examples of bias in Fox News to prove that they are akin to CNN, I will, but I think you can probably do that yourself (hint: searching “Faux News” is a good way to find it).

    “I chalk it up to your inability to be fair and objective…”
    That made me laugh. I believe we had a previous argument on the importance of objectivity on a blog. You did a good job of convincing me that it was not necessary, don’t make me change my mind now.

    I don’t really care who Beck attacks. You point out his attack on Bush as if that says anything about my argument. Yes, the left has Beck-like “journalists” on their news stations. Does that make it more acceptable? I think you know the answer to this one. One thing that you don’t realize is that, while us “non-idiots” can accept that Beck et al are not journalists, there are a surprising number of idiots who watch his show and take it as news. Why? It’s simple psychology: he is on a news network talking about news. Comedy Central has Stephan Colbert and Jon Stewart, of course, but they are on COMEDY central. So, the White House might be legitimate in calling out MOST news stations, though it would be understandable to only call out your detractors. (There are other possible reasons beyond my reason and your “blahblah_communism_blah_marxism_blah_demagougue” argument you have increasingly turned too). By the way, Beck came out criticizing Obama/Hollywood/Disney for their recent volunteerism push, saying volunteer = worker w/o pay = MARXISM!!! So I think I’m pretty justified in thinking Fox should try to separate itself from the Beckster (Is Tennessee the Marxist state?)

    I’m not sure if you think that Fox’s shortcomings can be seen as a balance to the rest of the liberal media, but that’s B.S. and I hope that you see that.

    My “common sense” remark was a result of my own annoyance, though I’ll admit Beck was probably my muse on this one. While I have never studied Philosophy or Theology, I had thought that they would involve a bit of thinking outside of own’s norm. Undoubtedly, common sense is required, but your inability to understand a subject without studying it (i.e. through common sense alone) is no reason to discredit it. As someone who has studied the physical science, I can tell you that, while common sense has a part in the sciences, it takes a backseat to observation and math (wrap your head around the Copenhagen interpretation of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle to see how unimportant your common sense really is.).

    What annoys me the most about the practice of calling for “common sense” is that it implies that one can fairly assess something in the same way (and the correct way) without bothering to learn about the subject. Your areas of expertise are “Marketing, Advertising Management, Divinity, and Philosophical Theology” or so I read in your “about” section, none of which really seem to imply an experience in testing your concept of “common sense” against reality. – and yes, I checked your required curriculum for all four. Maybe instead of constantly criticizing the economists (and other experts) for their lack of common sense, you should spend some of your time (and judging by the frequency with which you tend to your blog, you have a bit) trying to learn about the about the subject so you when you criticize it you can do it in an intellectual way, as opposed to spouting off the party lines (deny this as you will, your posts are almost completely in line with the view of many republicans, whether you realize it or not). Americans all have the capacity to try to understand the complex issues around them (even if they can’t manage the intense amount of math my economist friends tell me is involved in higher-level economic theory), but they choose not to, and instead rely to heavily upon their preconceptions and call it “Common Sense”.

  4. Michael Eden Says:

    Pragmatist, I re-read my previous post. I failed to see my “personal attack.” The closest I came to one was in stating that it is stupid to fail to see a difference between Fox News’ NEWS and its commentary programs. And I think I specifically said, “YOU’RE not stupid like that, are you?” And the fact of the matter is that the White House – whether they’re being stupid, or just demagogues – are actually acting as if there is no distinction or difference. Just yesterday, when ABC’s Jake Tapper confronted Robert Gibbs about Fox News allegedly not being a news network, what did Gibbs do? He responded by pointing to 5 pm and 9 pm – in other words, to Glenn Beck and (I believe) Sean Hannity. He essentially said, “Beck is a conservative, ergo biased, and therefore Brett Bair and the Fox News team are likewise biased.” Which is stupid.

    So I don’t think I “personally attacked” you, Pragmatist. I’ve called other people a bunch of names, but you haven’t done anything that merits such treatment. (Yet, anyway). I merely pointed out it would be beyond ignorant to fail to understand something so obvious. Dividing content into “NEWS” and “OPINION” is about as old as the oldest newspaper. Grab any newspaper and see that it has a “news” section and an “opinion” section. Fox News has made that fundamental distinction a major part of its programming structure. As have several other 24 hour news broadcasters such as MSNBC and CNN. So let me say it again: it’s STUPID to not make that distinction.

    I hope you are not trying to apply the liberal judo art of turning yourself into the victim, because that is one of my major peeves. And all I can say beyond that is, if a shoe fits…

    MSNBC has a whole slew of left wing opinion people who are every bit as rabidly to the left as Glenn Beck is to the right, such as Olbermann and Maddow. And that is a fact. And yet the White House doesn’t see them as biased? Something is very wrong.

    I did read the page 15 you pointed out to me (previously, I had read only the first and last couple pages of the study, and had not read page 15). As a matter of strict/rigorous measure, I acknowledge that my using the word “accuracy” was not itself completely accurate. I had not previously read page 15, and stand corrected under the stipulation that while “centrist” is not synonymous with “accurate,” it is nevertheless a fundamental component of objectivity which clearly leads to accuracy as regards the news.

    The study associated degree of political party affiliation with “centrism.” The more politically to the right, or to the left, the less “centrist.” And Fox News scored high in terms of being “centrist.” That means something significant that goes to the heart of the issue of bias and objectivity.

    And with that said, I also think you are failing to understand me in light of my project.

    The Obama administration has now repeatedly claimed that Fox News is not a real/legitimate news network. They have also claimed that Fox News has a hard bias to the right, and in effect are the Republican research wing. I am reacting against that factually bogus boatload of crap.

    Does this study IN ANY WAY support the Obama propaganda? No. Does it not in fact basically refute it? Yes, it does. Do other studies demonstrate that the “bias” comes from the mainstream media FAR more than from Fox News? Yes, they do. The fact that Fox News is actually centrist means that the Republican party platform would have to be “centrist” in order for the Obama assertion to be correct (If Fox News is centrist, and Fox News is part of the Republican Party, then by extension the Republican Party is centrist). It further means that abandoning “centrism” and embracing a political perspective would be the means to journalistic accuracy, rather than abandoning it. And, finally, it would mean that the Democrat Party itself would not be “centrist,” having (see above) abandoned that to the Republican Party.

    A UCLA study concludes, “almost all major media outlets tilt to the left,” noting that “Of the 20 major media outlets studied, 18 scored left of center.” You haven’t mentioned that study, or any of the others I cite below. When you put them together with the one we’re arguing over, I think my statement holds up. In terms of bias, Fox News isn’t the one with the problem. The one with the problem is the White House for engaging in “enemies list”-style politics.

    That’s my point, and the only point I really care about.

    You’ve questioned MY objectivity, but strenuously react when I question yours.

    You either think Obama is right, or you think he’s wrong. Period. To make your argument about how precisely I used the word “accurate” is not something I want to bother with.

    You’re right to fact check me. And you have a point. I would also say that I don’t profess myself to be a “reporter.” I am a conservative who tries to be honest, but I most definitely have a worldview that I don’t try to hide. One of the reasons I provide so many links is because I invite people to go to the sources, rather than just asserting stuff without offering any evidence. That said, I’m looking at the forest. And the “forest” here is the most demagogic White House I have seen in my lifetime. Somehow, George Bush went 8 years without declaring war on a media that was far more against him than it will probably EVER be against Obama.

    As for your point 3), the fact of the matter is that Fox News actually does a VERY GOOD JOB of presenting the news from a centrist perspective – better than most others. It came in fourth to ALL media. Which is pretty impressive. Drudge is not a television network, or a broadcast news program. They came behind only Good Morning America as being “centrist” (with the CNN program long since off the air). And if a few others were close behind them, they still finished BEHIND Fox. So I say again, give them their due.

    4) I again say that it is obvious that the White House is trying to fallaciously and deceitfully and demagogically make the Fox News Network then “Glenn Beck News Network.” The White House’s project is transparently demagogic.

    It should scare every single American that a White House is capable of such naked deceit and demagoguery. We’re seeing this White House demonizing private citizens and private businesses on a regular basis. They demonized the car manufacturers, they demonized Wall Street firms, they demonized banks, they demonized insurance companies, they demonized doctors (as people who cut off peoples’ feet and yank out their tonsils to make a buck), they have demonized military generals (such as Stan McChrystal), they have demonized Fox News, and now they’re demonizing the US Chamber of Commerce. That in addition to demonizing private citizens like Rush Limbaugh. When did George Bush go after a talking head like that?

    It is far more frightening that we have dishonest thugs and propagandists in our White House than that Fox News is slightly to the right of the political spectrum (with everyone else being to the left).

    You go on to say some interesting things. But I don’t have the time to deal with everything. Let me grab two points:

    1) “I’m not sure if you think that Fox’s shortcomings can be seen as a balance to the rest of the liberal media, but that’s B.S. and I hope that you see that.”

    Pragmatist, a couple of years ago I would have completely agreed with you. But frankly, not any more. We are in a culture war, and it is getting more and more ugly as the left has ratcheted up the demonizing and demagoguery. As the rest of the broadcast media keeps getting more and more leftwardly biased – to the point where NBC was literally selling Obama merchandise while they “covered” him – something has to happen. Conservatives will either lose, or they will fight back. When 18 of the networks are leftist according to the UCLA study among others I also linked to, I DON’T have any problem with Fox moving further right. And, as it happens, I like the way they went: Fox News is centrist, with its opinion commentators bringing in the right perspective that WON’T BE PROVIDED ANYWHERE ELSE.

    I learned some things this campaign. I learned that Barack Obama can go to a Marxist, anti-American, racist church that lauded the “black values system” and the media won’t go after him; whereas if a Republican senator says “maccaca” (whatever the hell that even means) his career is finished.

    I learned that CNN will fact check a sketch that makes fun of Obama, but refused to do the same for months of weekly SNL skewerings.

    I learned that a million people at the 9/12 rally qualify as “tens of thousands” in the mainstream media.

    I learned that even the most vile and despicable conduct imaginable by a Democrat/liberal outfit won’t get covered unless something like Fox News and Glenn Beck FORCE the coverage. Days after the ACORN story broke, Charles Gibson said he didn’t even know about it and then trivialized it as “something for the cables.” And most of the media, including the New York Times, since admitted maybe they should have covered that story. Ya’ think?

    I learned – related to the ACORN conduct – that “a logical presentation of the facts” doesn’t matter today. The GOP had a 75 page expose detailing years of ACORN crimes and fraud, and the media ignored it. It wasn’t until the were forced to deal with scandalous video that people wanted to see that the media made any effort to cover the story at all.

    I learned that life is definitely not fair for conservatives. And I learned that we need to change that by whatever means we need to pursue to change it.

    The left spent 8 years unrelentingly attacking George Bush, and that strategy worked. And we need to borrow from the liberal playbook. Or we’re going to lose. And our children will literally be taken away from us as the public schools indoctrinate them. We’re in a war. And if the enemy uses poison gas, YOU’D better use poison gas. If the enemy fire bombs your cities, YOU’D BETTER FIRE BOMB THEIR CITIES.

    The second thing I’ll comment on is this statement:
    “What annoys me the most about the practice of calling for “common sense” is that it implies that one can fairly assess something in the same way (and the correct way) without bothering to learn about the subject.”

    First of all, that wasn’t how our founding fathers viewed things. For example, they didn’t want an elite political class ruling over us. They didn’t want an “expert class” running our affairs. Rather, they wanted each common man to use his wisdom, his virtue, and his common sense to make decisions for themselves. And they believed that elected leaders should come from the people.

    This idea of a “class of experts” comes right out of progressivism, in addition to coming from fascism and Marxism. Let us rule; let US decide; we know what is best.

    By contrast, our founding fathers believed that virtue was more important than any other quality.

    Jonah Goldberg point this “rule by experts” in his book Liberal Fascism:

    This trope has hardly been purged from contemporary liberalism. Every day we hear about the “war on cancer,” the “war on drugs,” the “War on poverty,” and exhortations to make this or that social challenge the “moral equivalent of war.” From health care to gun control to global warming, liberals insist that we need to “get beyond politics” and “put ideological differences behind us” in order to “do the people’s business.” The experts and scientists know what to do, we are told; therefore the time for debate is over. This, albeit in a nicer and more benign form, is the logic of fascism – and it was on ample display in the administrations of Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, and yes, even John F. Kennedy.

    And:

    Again, it is my argument that American liberalism is a totalitarian political religion, but not necessarily an Orwellian one. It is nice, not brutal. Nannying, not bullying. But it is definitely totalitarian – or “holistic,” if you prefer – in that liberalism today sees no realm of human life that is beyond political significance, from what you eat to what you smoke to what you say. Sex is political. Food is political. Sports, entertainment, your inner motives and outer appearance, all have political salience for liberal fascists. Liberals place their faith in priestly experts who know better, who plan, exhort, badger, and scold. They try to use science to discredit traditional notions of religion and faith, but they speak the language of pluralism and spirituality to defend “nontraditional” beliefs. Just as with classical fascism, liberal fascists speak of a “Third Way” between right and left where all good things go together and all hard choices are “false choices.”

    The idea that there are no hard choices – that is, choices between competing goods – is religious and totalitarian because it assumes that all things are fundamentally compatible. The conservative or classical liberal visions understands that life is unfair, that man is flawed, and that the only perfect society, the only real utopia, waits for us in the next life.

    Liberal fascism differs from classical fascism in many ways. I don’t deny this. Indeed, it is central to my point. Fascisms differ from each other because they grow out of different soil. What unites them are their emotional or instinctual impulses, such as the quest for community, the urge to “get beyond” politics, a faith in the perfectibility of man and the authority of experts, and an obsession with the aesthetics of youth , the cult of action, and the need for an all-powerful state to coordinate society at the national or global level. Most of all, they share the belief – what I would call the totalitarian temptation – that with the right amount of tinkering we can realize the Utopian dream of “creating a better world.”

    So I simply reject the idea of a learned class of experts.

    Particularly when I see that liberals are doing everything they can to literally purge conservatives from academia and from universities. When you’ve got universities having an 800-strong faculty that include just 32 Republicans, you’ve got a problem.

    I’ll trust someone with virtue, wisdom, and common sense over a guy with a dozen PhDs any day of the week in most areas of human life.

    Are there areas such as medicine and the flying of aircraft where I want my person of virtue, wisdom, and common sense to also have professional expertise? You betcha. And the physical sciences, which at least USED to pursue research on the basis of the scientific method (which came from religion, and specifically Judeo-Christianity, for what it’s worth), are largely based on empirical evidence subject to experimentation. But that aint economics. And it aint political science, sociology, or most other academic fields. And when I see what a mess academics have made in numerous other areas such as economics – and even their own academic fields – I’m not so impressed.

    Let’s say you are a geologist. What do you know about economics? What do you know about health care? You’re a PhD, you’re a scientist; but how does your expertise advance your understanding in these areas and many others?

    Do you blindly follow the “experts” in the other fields – who may utterly reject your worldview, and who may not have your interests or your families’ in mind – or do you use your COMMON SENSE to decide BETWEEN competing points of view as to who is right, and who you trust?

  5. Anonymous Says:

    after reading this entire blog post, and the subsequent comments, I’d have to side with the ‘pragmatist’. It is very altruistic of him/her to give this much consideration to your post; I would appreciate his criticism as something to learn from, rather than a set of points that must be refuted.
    Also, your personal attacks (hint, emotional appeals, playing on insecurities) are glaringly obvious to me–probably to other readers as well.

  6. Michael Eden Says:

    Anonymous,

    Fwiw, whining about my “personal attacks” is actually a personal attack itself. Why are you saying these spiteful things about me, and then saying it’s “glaringly obvious” the way a mean popular high school girl would to describe another girl’s beauty deficiencies? It seems pretty darned mean of you to attack me that way.

    “Pragmatist’s” remark to me, “Tsk tsk tsk, Michael. It is always personal attacks and unwarranted assumptions with you,” was in response to this post from me, as anyone reading through the comments can clearly see. To characterize that response from me as “a personal attack” is frankly idiotic, and all you are doing, “Anonymous,” is demonstrating that you are a liberal who doesn’t like Fox News and loves to use – like “Pragmatist” – rhetorical ju jitsu in order to make yourselves the victim.

    From that point on, it’s all about me being mean rather than the facts or the arguments. And I get pissed off very quickly when anyone does that.

    I really frankly could care less what is “glaringly obvious” to a bunch of liberals. Which you clearly are.

    You remind me of a little baby crying, “Teacher, Teacher! So-and-so called me a name!” I mean, why can’t you grow up and get real?

    On my view, I see myself as having bent over backward to be reasonable and respond to points. And the fact that you think that response – and here it is again – amounted to a “personal attack” really just tells me there isn’t much point in bothering to try to reason with you people.

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