Thursday, July 22


Although I am a very liberal person and get annoyed with the fact that I have friends and sometimes family members who are Republican, I do try to occasionally look at things from both sides. Last night during a discussion with a Republican friend I remarked how I do in fact read which is considered in most circles to be a very right leaning news program.

Of course those who get their news from Fox News usually happen to be Republicans and often tell me the same thing. That Fox News is in fact a fair news source and that most of the other networks including ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and the New York Times are very far left leaning.

I do realize some of these networks can lean towards the left but I think overall they are more fair and accurate than I have found Fox News to be in my experience.

So I did an experiment today but before I get into it I should preface the reason for doing the experiment. To begin with, a large number of my arguments/discussions with right wing people have to do with business in general and it's ethics or lack thereof, and topics such as globalization. In my opinion a lot of problems in this world stem from economics, business, and greed overall.

Also In my opinion, Republicans I know don't think there is nothing wrong with greed. They believe it is what our country is founded on. I've gathered through conversations that they believe there should be limited control over corporations (despite the fact no one has much control over them to begin with). Unions are bad because it allows people to stand up for their rights which may in turn hurt profits and the overall bottom line which comes back to the same thing, making money.

Issues such as the Enron and Tyco scandals are blown out of proportion. I never hear Republicans mentioning these cases or wondering what is being done to punish the wrongdoers or what can be done to stop it from happening again. I would think when millions of people's financials are effected it would upset everyone. But I have actually heard Republican friends say, "It's too bad but that's what happens in business sometimes." And it ends at that. When I raise these points in a discussion it just doesn't seem to interest them. They complain a lot just like democrats or left wing people, but it's always about other issues, never these.

It amazes me because I feel we should all be concerned, no matter what your political leaning is. Why, I wonder is the reason for that? I think I may have answered a bit of this puzzle today when doing some independent research. I used again because as a friend told me yesterday, it now has a larger audience than CNN. Without going out on much of a limb I think I can safely say again that most of the recipients of news from Fox are Republicans. For the record I read it online and rarely watch it because I don't have cable. Even if I did I just can't watch them deliver their newscasts..some of them are just really scary and evil looking :)

So what I did was visit today on July 22, 2004. I went to the business section and read each headline. There were 24 headlines in all.

Out of the 24 headlines, 12 of them contained the word, "Profit" in them. The other headlines used words like "Jump" and "Rise" and "Boost." I found 1 negative article about the economy and that was towards the bottom which I had to scroll all the way down to see.

This got me thinking that there may not be anything bad going on in the news today concerning the economy. Maybe there are no big legal cases happening. Possibly everything is going well and that the market is going up and all these companies are indeed showing, "Profits" like the article says.

Is this "Fair and Balanced?" or is it trying to show a specific idealism as one Republican friend said to me in an argument, "Is the world really so bad right now? I have some extra money in my pocket and I can walk down the street with a smile" Of course that friend has money in their pockets being a wealthy white republican. Is it trying to showcase how strong the economy and the state of our nation is or is it to help keep Bush in the White House with the election coming up?

I realized that if I only got my news from Fox, I would never really know anything bad that could be happening with our economy. I would probably be happy and loving this country and thinking nothing much was wrong. I mean I know every media outlet has their spin but I had to go look at other news websites to find out what else could be happening today.

So I decided to check out a few other news sources online. To begin with, every sight had two specific headlines (including Fox News) which were the "Coors/Molson merger" as a headline and that "Jobless Claims Dropped by 11,000."

Otherwise to show another side, we have:

New York Times- Out of 30 articles the word "Profit" was used 4-5 times. A few phrases also found in their headlines were: "Job Creation" "Helping the economy" "Higher sales" So there were many positives. BUT there were also headlines about job cuts, legal battles, and profit losses.
Washington Post- I found more headlines about profits than the New York Times per average but also more headlines than Foxnews (which would have only had to be more than one) about legal issues and layoffs. So far it feels like The Washington Post is somewhere more in the middle.
ABC news online- was difficult site to navigate and gave me a headache..I gave up before counting them on either side.
MSNBC- less headlines overall but more equal in news. 13 headlines. 4-5 positives using the "Profit," word or similar phrases, but then 4-5 articles containing words like "concern" and layoffs/cutbacks and the stocks being "sluggish."

I realize this was a quick and limited observation and might even out more over time. Also in defense of Fox News, I have been able to find (usually with much digging) articles about almost every topic even if it doesn't paint Bush or conservatives in a positive light. The problem is the times when every major paper runs a story on the front pages and Fox has a small little article somewhere out of reach. And YES I realize that the reverse is true that sometimes Fox News runs something as being very important while most other outlets consider it a minor story. I think both sides could benefit from more objectivity. That being said I still don't think Fox deserves the title, "Fair and Balanced."

any comments? (Besides telling me to go back to talking about toothpaste, chopsticks, Jesus, rubber bands and bathroom humor....cause trust me I WILL!)


At 12:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check to see how many homeless articles the NY Times did during Bush 41's last year in office and Clinton's first. Or better yet check during 41's four years vs. Clinton's 8.

At 3:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know what is scary? Scary is turning your head and sneezing while at work and being sure that something flew out of either A) your nose B) your mouth or C) a little out of each. And then not being able to find anything after frantically searching your clothes and desk. NOW That is scary!

- Patrick T from Richmond


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