Unfair and Unbalanced

Common Cause and MoveOn.org, among other organizations have launched a campaign to take on Fox for pretending partisan news is “fair and balanced.” They have a cool video posted on their site for the new movie Outfoxed:

http://www.moveon.org/fox/

While you’re there please take the time to sign the petition to ask the FTC to stop them from using false advertising to promote their partisan spin.

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4 responses to “Unfair and Unbalanced

  1. You know, I am always skeptical of pots calling kettles black. MoveOn.org does plenty of their own spinning and misrepresenting in their political ads. Which they’re entitled to do, since they’re not claiming to be politically neutral, but you could make a good case that it’s false advertising as well. I agree with their point of view generally, but I really hate it when people twist the truth even in the service of an important cause.

    • I think I know what you mean… MoveOn definitely has a point of view. But they are not journalists. The main difference that I can see is they are not representing themselves as anything but a liberal organization.They don’t need to claim to be “fair and balanced”.
      Fox News presents itself as being balanced journalism, and with something like 6 Republicans for every 1 Democrat, it certainly seems to me that they are presenting themselves falsely. I actually think it’s a pretty dangerous thing to have our news organizations offering what is essentially partisan propaganda. I expect it from groups that present themselves as being opinionated…. but ideally news sources need to be as unbiased as possible. Democracy only works with an educated public. With more and more news sources being owned by fewer and fewer corporations, the news we receive is becoming little more than what those corporations want us to know.
      I’m not sure exactly what you mean when you said that MoveOn has been misrepresenting. Perhaps they have, but I haven’t seen anything specific that I can think of. I think they’ve represented themselves fairly accurately: They are a liberal anti-Bush organization. Seems pretty cut and dry to me.

      • I meant that in their political ads they “cut and paste” things their opponents say, and present them out of context in a way that misrepresents the intent of the speaker. That’s all. Both sides do this, and I hate it.
        It’s an interesting point about news. Frankly, I am disillusioned with the notion of a neutral press. It doesn’t exist anywhere. There are mainstream news outlets who spin everything toward the left, too. Of course it would be my preference if the spinning didn’t happen, but it absolutely does in EVERY news outlet. I consider it my job to research what’s happening via multiple outlets so as to get the real story. It’s why I seek out news sources from all points on the political spectrum, because I don’t trust spin from anybody, even if it’s spin that’s aligned with my values.

      • I’m sure you’re probably right…I haven’t seen that myself, but I also have not looked at all that many ads from them… the few I saw certainly had a point of view, but were not misleading. Have you seen that from them first-hand?
        I’m thinking about Spin… when is it good, when is it bad? Is it the same as promoting an opinion? I think it’s OK to have an opinion. In fact I think it’s important. One source of self-identified liberal media that I have been listening to is the Al Franken Show on Air America Radio. What I like about him is that he cites his sources, and exposes blatant lies of the Right. Is it spin? Sure.. if you mean that it has a definite point of view. I think it’s good because in order for the process of democracy to actually work then you need varying points of view… you need the dialog and the opinions… they’re all part of the mix.
        I agree with you about needing various news sources… everyone has a bias and that shows more under certain conditions, but I don’t for a moment think that it’s equal. The extreme Right has a lot more media power than the left does. The “liberal media” is just another word for “not extreme conservative”, I guess. I just want there to be more dialog about it. It’s a critical part of democracy, a free press.

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