Fox News? Oh, c’mon, everyone knows it’s a “minaret for America First prejudice” and “hyperventilated extremism” “screeching to the converted” with “the none-too-bright persona of the schoolyard bully.”
So says Christopher Dornan, director of something called the Arthur Kroeger College of Public Affairs at Carleton University, writing in the Toronto Star.
Naturally, the news that Quebecor is planning a Fox of the North has horrified non-screechy fellows like professor Dornan. According to CBC eminence Don Newman, it’s “the absolute last thing this country needs.” No hyperventilating at the Ceeb, thank goodness.
Full disclosure: for the last few years, I’ve guest-hosted for Sean Hannity on Fox News, first on Hannity & Colmes, latterly on its successor show Hannity. Always have a grand time. The money’s not great, but occasionally, if I’m at a media event in New York, Fox’s head honcho Roger Ailes will give me a shout out from the podium and say, “Mark does just a fabulous job.” And sometimes he almost sounds as if he means it.
Whereas Don Newman’s network has never asked me to guest-host anything. When it comes to the CBC, my phone hasn’t stopped not ringing. So take it as read that I’m eaten up by bitterness. For one thing, it’s severely reduced my chances of being governor general.
Nevertheless, I was struck by the somewhat generalized nature of the anti-Fox jeremiads.
As professor Dornan sees it, the problem isn’t Fox’s “conservatism,” or “even its bombast”: “It’s the channel’s mean-spirited vindictiveness. Opposing viewpoints are entertained, if at all, not so that they can be debated but so that they can be debased: brayed at, mocked, vilified.”
I mean, how difficult can it be, with all that endemic braying and mean-spirited vindictiveness?
Meanwhile, back at the CBC, Don Newman explains it for us: “Fox News has been hugely polarizing. It specializes in drive-by attacks and misrepresentations, and is positively Orwellian at times, claiming to be ‘fair and balanced’ while implying that its competitors aren’t.
“The reality is that it mainly spews out propaganda that is dangerously misleading and often factually wrong.”
Again: example? Just one?
Now I’m not a responsible, objective, neutral journalist like Mr. Newman. But even we hyperventilating schoolyard bullies spewing to the converted and debasing all others know enough about passing ourselves off as journalists to be aware that you can’t just declare things to be so without producing some evidence thereof. And yet Messrs. Dornan and Newman spend, between them, 2,000 words doing just that. Surely with so many “drive-by attacks” and so much Orwellian bombast to choose from, it would be the work of moments to produce some devastating sound bite by this or that right-wing blowhard. Otherwise, it risks looking a bit like—how would one put it?—a “positively Orwellian” “drive-by attack” by someone “claiming to be fair and balanced” while insisting his competitors aren’t.
Pages: 1 2