This post was assigned to me by the bureau chief, but I had fun with it. There’s a lot of Fox-haters who read Mother Jones. (ex: an old editor at The Nation who, somewhat surprisingly, tweeted my piece out to his legion of followers this morning.)
As David pointed out in his Politics Daily column Wednesday about the feud between Fox News and the White House, “Fox is just not worth a game of chicken.” I would go one step further and suggest that, for all of its obvious flaws, Fox and its out-sized viewership are still very worth Obama’s time.
Following statements by White House Communications Director Anita Dunn describing Fox as “opinion journalism masquerading as news,” media watchdogs and left-wing pressure groups have turned up the heat on the network. Yesterday, Media Matters sent around a press release drawing attention to Fox’s use of outdated or dubious polls that suggested its audience is as balanced as its coverage famously claims to be. MoveOn is urging Democratic lawmakers to boycott Fox News.
The attention is not unwarranted. Dunn was merely voicing what every Daily Show viewer has known for years. The fastidious fact-checkers at Media Matters caught Fox News playing up last year’s biennial news consumption survey from the Pew Research Center while ignoring its less favorable but more recent media attitudes survey and called out political analyst Dick Morris for quoted some unbelievable numbers on air.
A boycott, however, is the wrong kind of attention…
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