Let me first second Kirsten Powers’ loathing for Media Matters’ campaign to shame and target individuals for appearing on Fox News. But the memo she cites is from a year ago. And I have to say that even if it means agreeing with David Brock, I’m afraid I have to confess that I do not regard Fox News as a legitimate news organization. It’s a propaganda channel for the far right, and not much worse than MSNBC’s leftist partisan smugbursts. And an administration, in my view, should be open to all at regular press conferences (okay, not heckling by the Daily Caller) … but does not have to legitimize propaganda machines by appearing on them. I’d keep off MSNBC and Fox if I were in any administration. They both poison our discourse. Let these propaganda channels put talk radio on TV all day if they want. You don’t have to enable them.
Powers – one of Fox’s token “liberals” – argues:
It’s not okay — or presidential — to continue smearing an entire network of hard working journalists because you are mad at Sean Hannity.
And why not, pray? If Fox wants to regain some semblance of respect for their viewers, they need not have that partisan fanatic on every night. Was he not exposed as a complete fraud and a total fool on election night? Every time he opens his mouth, he delegitimizes Fox News as a journalistic enterprise and when he’s on in prime time that reflects on the whole enterprise.
Are some Foxies better than others? Sure. Shep Smith is an entertaining, talented newsman. Megyn Kelly is razor-sharp. They belong on a real news network, not Fox. Of course, the White House cannot and should not do anything to restrain Fox’s freedom of speech – including untruths and propaganda designed entirely for political rather than journalistic purposes. If it did, I’d be the first to go after them. But you don’t have to cooperate with non-journalists and well-paid “liberals” at Fox to be some dreadful threat to free discourse.
Fox is the threat to free discourse and to journalism. Because it has turned journalism into partisan oppo research. And revels in it.