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A thoughtful compilation and analysis of some important, but underreported and under-researched news stories, with particular focus on keeping the People informed about all Enemies, Foreign and Domestic.




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    Wednesday, March 30, 2005

    A Quick Note on the 'Fox Blocker'

    Story dated 28 March 2005

    In recent news, you may have heard about a little piece of metal called the 'Fox Blocker', that you can screw into the back of your television that will block the Fox News Channel. Guess what, I've got a 'Fox Blocker' too. It's called a remote control. The little bit of metal is $9.00 after sales tax. Mine comes with the television, so is basically free. I shouldn't have to say more . . . but I just can't resist the fun.

    This thing is supposed to be a protest against the alleged 'obvious right wing bias' of Fox News. Okay. Sure, but if Fox News has an obvious right wing bias, that makes them no better than cnn, cbs, abc, nbc, npr, and the bbc who have a left wing bias they are not afraid to show (again, may I direct you to the weeks or even months of coverage the Abu Ghraib situation got as opposed to the one, maybe two days of coverage the U.N. sex abuse scandal has gotten. COME ON!! UN forces are alleged to engage in pedophilia! For crying out loud, people, you can't possibly tell me that there isn't some sort of bias going on when the major media outlets devote so much time to the humiliation of actual criminals and virtually ignore pedophilia engaged in by UN so-called 'peacekeepers'. They are operating from a basic point of left-wing dogma: US = bad, UN = good. Their refusal to deviate very far from this leads to ridiculous patterns of news coverage. Actually, on this particular issue, I can only speak to the coverage I seen in newspapers. Fox might actually be reporting on the sexual depravity of the UN for all I know).

    The truth is that people have been fed biased coverage for so many years that any attempt to give a more balances, analytical report might seem like a wild deviation from the norm, or bias. Libertarian talkshow host, Neal Boortz reminds us in his Nuze of his nearly year old 'Fox News Challenge'. Neal said, "This story [about the 'Fox Blocker'] reminded me of my challenge. It's been about eight months now, and not one response. My challenge was simple. Watch Fox News and come up with one example of right wing bias in the actual reporting of the news; not in the opinion portions of the various news shows .. but in the actual reporting of the news." He claims that no one has answered his challenge. This is almost, but not quite true. I e-mailed him a letter outlining clear pro-Republican bias on the part of Fox News Washington Managing Editor, Brit Hume, also the host of Special Report. Given, one has to alter one's perspective just a bit to see the bias, but once 'pro-Democrat/Socialist' has been substituted for 'moderate, unbiased, centrist,' then the bias of Brit Hume becomes clear. In January of 2004 Brit Hume said "Halliburton" several times without mentioning that it was Vice-President Cheney’s former company. This does not follow the pattern of mainstream journalism. Nearly every other major news outlet (including ABC, NBC, CNN, and even the BBC) always reminds the public of Halliburton’s connection with the Vice-President whenever the company is mentioned.

    Assuming that journalists, particularly at CNN and the BBC, pride themselves on journalistic objectivity, one can only assume one thing about Brit Hume’s omission. Fox News’ Washington managing editor may have a pro-Republican bias.

    I am, of course, joking.

    Perhaps the best way I can portray how I feel about all this lunacy is to point you to the Dilbert comic that ran on 26 March 2005. When I read this one, I immediately thought of the criticism that people always heap on the Fox News Channel (some of it deserved, most of it, in my opinion, not). The Pointy-Haired Boss accuses Dilbert of hating a new project. Dilbert counters by pointing out that he doesn't hate it, he just mentioned the pros and cons -- people have been so conditioned to take sides that a balanced analysis looks like hatred. Unfazed, the Pointy-Haired Boss persists in asking why Dilbert can hate the project so much. I really think this sums up a lot of the insular thinking about Fox News. People are so wrapped up in their own biases that any deviation from them looks like bias. Sort of like how, when you've been out in 30 below weather, the 32 degree freezer is now (from your perspective) quite balmy.


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    "If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

    --Samuel Adams

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