Since its founding in 1996, the Fox News Channel has been the subject of much media scrutiny. Part of this was inevitable given that its creator, Roger Ailes, explicitly designed it to be different than the rest of the national media outlets which lean to the left.
As such, there has been a lot of journalism produced about Fox News. Some of it has been excellent. Much of it has been nonsense, including a hoax “study” purporting to show that Fox News viewers have lower IQs than average and actual real study claiming that people who watched the channel were “misinformed” about political issues. As it turned out, the non-hoax was incredibly shoddy as it basically determined that someone was “informed” if he agreed with the political opinions of Democrats and “uninformed” if he agreed with Republicans.
Gabriel Sherman of New York magazine is a media writer with a flaw. He wrote about Fox News without seeming to think he had to watch it. On Monday night, he wrote an article hotly claiming that Fox News hosts were ordered not to talk about gun control after the Newtown shooting (except for Fox News Sunday).
Jeff Poor at The Daily Caller unloaded a painful box of facts on Sherman about all the examples of gun-control talk over the weekend. Sherman’s report was anonymously sourced and loose on the facts:
After Karl Rove disagreed with other Fox News Channel contributors that President Obama had won re-election on the night of Nov. 6, a reporter for the New York Magazine website has claimed that network president Roger Ailes was “angry” at the GOP strategist's “tantrum,” which led to Rove being “benched” from the cable channel for 27 days.
In a story on the subject, Gabriel Sherman relied on many anonymous “sources” to claim that “Rove's meltdown” resulted in his banishment by Ailes, who sought to “reposition” the news channel “in the post-election media environment.” In truth, according to Fox officials who spoke on the record, Rove has been less of a presence on the channel because the election has ended.
CNN International's Zain Verjee on Monday's Newsroom highlighted The Guardian's left-wing talking point that the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabby Giffords "points to the rise of political extremism in the United States." Verjee also bizarrely played up a post from al-Jazeera's website which speculated whether the U.S. would blame Islam for the shootings in Arizona [audio available here].
Anchor Kyra Phillips brought on the CNN International anchor 53 minutes into the 9 am Eastern hour to report on international reactions to the violence, and asked, "So, what are the headlines there, starting in Great Britain, Zain?"
Verjee launched right into The Guardian's headline as she held up a copy of the newspaper:
New York Magazine's lengthy cover story about Sarah Palin hitting newsstands Monday may end up being a disappointment for liberals expecting a classic hit piece thoroughly disemboweling the former Alaska governor.
On the other hand, the picture Gabriel Sherman paints in his 6000-word "The Revolution Will Be Commercialized" of an almost desperate woman willing to sell her soul to pay Troopergate-related legal bills after losing her bid for Vice President will not sit well with conservatives either.
Complicating matters for Palin fans will be the article concluding with the opinions of Bristol Palin's former fiancé Levi Johnston.
Despite all that, Sherman had some remarkably positive things to say about Palin likely to the dismay of his largely New York City-based readership (h/t @timlindell):