Fox News, for all its faults, is still a news channel that millions of Americans choose to watch.
While I find its unrelenting right-wing slant objectionable, I also find MSNBC’s primetime weeknight left-wing bias just as unforgivable for an organization that bills itself as a news operation.
Keith Olbermann is the Bill O’Reilly of the left. He, like O’Reilly and his other favorite target — Rush Limbaugh — is an entertainer, not a journalist.
Olbermann’s show ranked 15th among cable news shows in the latest ratings. O’Reilly came in first and Glenn Beck — another favorite target — is second. Even aging Larry King beat Olbermann, finishing 14th. Among all cable channels, Fox came in third — behing sports channel ESPN and USA Network.
But that’s my opinion — nothing more, nothing less. Some consider what Olbermann and Rachel Maddow dish out nightly as news, just as others consider Fox’s right-wing pap as real information.
During an off-camera exchange with ABC’s Jake Tapper Tuesday, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs defended the coordinated Obama administration campaign against Fox News by staying “that’s our opinion.”
Fine. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. But the President of the United States should not let his opinion determine what is or it not news for the rest of America. He should not shut out one news organization simply because he doesn’t like its perspective.
In the real world, that’s called censorship and government control of the media and when the government starts deciding who is or is not media, we’re all headed down a slippery slope.
It’s hard to find truly objective media coverage nowadays. Fox represents the right, MSNBC the left. Republicans complain the New York Times is a “liberal rag” and liberals point to anything owned by Rupert Murdoch as a “right wing propaganda tool.”
But this is America where expression of opinion — right, left or independent — is supposed to be guaranteed by the Constitution.
Unfortunately, in partisan political America, only one point of view is permitted and the party in power does all that it can to discredit and destroy anyone who dares disagree with their limited perception of the world.
When the Obama White House decided to freeze out Fox News, it engaged in just the kind of “enemies list” mentality that Richard Nixon used in a Presidency that ended in disgrace. The administration’s action against Fox News is just one part of an aggressive, coordinated campaign to destroy the credibility and effectiveness of the opposition party.
In the 1970s, the federal government tried to shut down pornographer Larry Flynt’s Hustler magazine. The case became a national debate over censorship.
Conservative columnist James J. Kilpatrick wrote:
There’s an old saying that “when you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas.” Well, I’m about to defend Larry Flynt and I’m itching like hell.
Barack Obama needs to buy a good, old-fashioned wooden back scratcher.
Lying down with dogs is part of being President of the United States. Fleas come with the job.