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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Obama should take on Fox Noise Channel

News Hounds reports that Keith Olbermann has hit upon the perfect moniker for Fox: "Fox Noise Channel."
On "Countdown" on Tuesday (January 23, 2007), Olbermann referred to FNC as the "Fox Noise Channel" while bestowing his "Worst Person in the World" award on Fox News' John Gibson, host of the "Big Story."

Gibson won the award for sticking with the fake story promoted by right-wing media outlets, including the Fox News, or Nothing, or Noise Channel, about Barack Obama having attended a radical Islam school while a child living with his mother and step-father in Indonesia.
Atrios has been banging this drum for a while.
This is a point I've returned to repeatedly, but the mainstream media - the "serious" media - really needs to figure out how to handle outlets like Fox. Aside from their complete lack of ethics or standards, they also imagine (or claim to imagine) they're correcting an imbalance which doesn't exist.
At Daily Kos, Devilstower chimes in with this:
As usual, no one on the right seems to be interested in facts when they've got a good character assassination underway, especially if they can sling mud at Obama and Hillary at the same time. Stopping now would be slander interruptus.
Doubtless the Fox types will start howling about their First Amendment rights, so it's worth noting that while Fox has considerable leeway under the doctrine of free speech to criticize public figures, there are some limits. Whether Fox and Insight Magazine crossed that line is a question for lawyers.

If the answer to speech one disagrees with is more speech, it is incumbent upon media outlets who consider themselves respectable to condemn outlets who disregard even the most basic notions of fairness and accuracy. People who work at Fox Noise Channel are no more the colleagues of serious journalists than those at supermarket tabloids. There are superficial similarities, as tabloids are printed on paper, but it's hard to imagine that Pulitzer Prize winning reporters consider people making up stories about UFO's to be in the same line of work. Making up vicious stories about Democrats out of whole cloth is just as disreputable.

The real problem, of course, is that there are people in this world who either won't or can't distinguish between the blatant lies of Fox Noise Channel and reality. When the Swift Boating starts, a certain segment of the population believes it, making rational discussions about issues and candidates that much more difficult. Most readers probably know someone who watches Fox Noise Channel a lot, and it's like talking to someone who lives in a different country sometimes. As the GOP continues its downward slide, these bitter-enders are likely to become increasingly more desperate and outlandish.

Just as entertainment celebrities eventually became fed up with the supermarket tabloids, the smear against Obama should be the final straw. Obama is sometimes criticized in progressive circles for not having much record of accomplishment, but this might be a golden chance for him to do something profoundly helpful for the cause. Who would be a more articulate person, whether in the court of public opinion or a court of law, to once and for all expose Fox for what it is? Think of it as a Scopes Monkey Trial for the media.

Obama should call them all out: Gibson, O'Reilly and Hannity, and see if they are men enough to debate him. Just sayin'.

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