Just when you think you've seen it all, along comes an interview during the 30-minute Politicking With Larry King program on Thursday night in which the long-time interviewer asked his guest, Dan Rather: “Do you ever think the thought that Fox News Channel is an actual part of the Republican Party?”
The veteran newsman paused for a moment before responding that the claim “goes too far” even though network founder Roger Ailes has used the channel to benefit the GOP. However, “is it a sole operative and propaganda machine for the party? I'd have to stop short of that.”
The nightly Fox-bashers at Comedy Central unsurprisingly booked liberal author Gabriel Sherman for a five-minute interview to discuss his Roger Ailes book “The Loudest Voice in the Room” at the very end of “The Colbert Report” on Wednesday night.
Displaying the usual hypocrisy of media liberals, completely satirical conservative Colbert lectured Sherman that he really shouldn’t have spent so much time on his research, since he should have learned from Fox News that you decide what your story is and "only talk to the people who support it." How many thousands of liberal media reports have we witnessed where the only people cited are liberals, and they don't even have the honesty to call themselves liberals? (Video below)
In 2009, Jacob Weisberg argued “The Australian-British-continental model of politicized media that Murdoch has applied at Fox is un-American.” This makes him a natural choice for The New York Times in picking a reviewer for Gabriel Sherman’s new anti-Roger Ailes biography “Loudest Voice in the Room.”
In Weisberg’s opinion, instead of helping the GOP defeat Obama, “Ailes effectively sabotaged them by giving unlimited airtime to fringe figures like Rick Santorum, Sarah Palin and Herman Cain during primary season. Having weathered this freak show through the primaries, Mitt Romney couldn’t shake the Fox News taint.” Times media columnist David Carr wrote almost exactly the same thing about the “fringy” conservatives:
During Wednesday night's edition of Piers Morgan Live on the Cable News Network, a panel of four media analysts joined their liberal host in agreement that The Loudest Voice in the Room: How the Brilliant, Bombastic Roger Ailes Built Fox News -- and Divided a Country, a new book written by New York Magazine reporter Gabriel Sherman, will not have much impact on readers' views of that cable network.
“People who are skeptical of Fox News are going to read this book and are going to be sure, once and for all, that Fox News is an arm of the Republican Party,” said media critic Brian Stetler of the New York Times. However, Amy Holmes -- a host on TheBlaze TV -- asserted that the book is filled with “pretty thin gruel.”
On Friday's CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell refreshingly departed from their usual softball treatment of liberal guests, and pursued New York magazine's Gabriel Sherman about his new biography of Fox News's Roger Ailes. O'Donnell spotlighted how "critics...[are] saying...you're a younger, liberal-leaning journalist."
Both anchors also hounded Sherman for a political accusation in the very title of the bio – The Loudest Voice in the Room: How The Brilliant Bombastic Roger Ailes Built Fox News – and Divided A Country: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
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):