Fox News spreads more lies, but that’s OK with America

Fox News sent one of their “journalists,” a guy by the name of Mike Tobin, to cover the protests in Madison, Wisconsin a few days ago. The crowd, as you can imagine, wasn’t enthusiastic about having Fox cameras on the scene, as the network had been taking the side of Governor Scott Walker, who went into office with the intention of busting the public employee unions. Walker, as you might recall, orchestrated a budget crisis by handing over millions of dollars in gave-aways to his supporters in industry, and then used said crisis to call for big cuts in state employee pay. The public employee unions, as you might also recall, reluctantly agreed to cuts, but Walker, it would seem, didn’t care so much about balancing the budget after all. He had his eye on the bigger objective of breaking their unions once and for all by essentially making collective bargaining illegal. But, Fox News wasn’t reporting that. Instead, they were reporting that teachers are getting rich on our tax dollars as the rest of us struggle. So, Tobin walked into that environment, and, as you might expect, he got his ass kicked. According to Fox News, the reporter was “attacked,” “punched,” “hit,” and “battered.” But, guess what? There’s now video showing that it never happened… That’s right, he lied about the violent, angry mob. At one point he’s tapped on the shoulder by an older woman in a Santa Claus hat, who wanted to get his attention, but that was about it. But, that’s what you get with Fox News.

Speaking of lies being broadcast as news, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has a great piece up on the Huffington Post today about a move in Canada to allow Fox-style “news” in their country. I wasn’t aware of it, but apparently, as of right now, it’s illegal to broadcast lies as facts in Canada. Here’s a clip:

As America’s middle class battles for its survival on the Wisconsin barricades — against various Koch Oil surrogates and the corporate toadies at Fox News — fans of enlightenment, democracy and justice can take comfort from a significant victory north of Wisconsin border. Fox News will not be moving into Canada after all! The reason: Canada regulators announced last week they would reject efforts by Canada’s right wing Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, to repeal a law that forbids lying on broadcast news.

Canada’s Radio Act requires that “a licenser may not broadcast….any false or misleading news.” The provision has kept Fox News and right wing talk radio out of Canada and helped make Canada a model for liberal democracy and freedom. As a result of that law, Canadians enjoy high quality news coverage including the kind of foreign affairs and investigative journalism that flourished in this country before Ronald Reagan abolished the “Fairness Doctrine” in 1987. Political dialogue in Canada is marked by civility, modesty, honesty, collegiality, and idealism that have pretty much disappeared on the U.S. airwaves. When Stephen Harper moved to abolish anti-lying provision of the Radio Act, Canadians rose up to oppose him fearing that their tradition of honest non partisan news would be replaced by the toxic, overtly partisan, biased and dishonest news coverage familiar to American citizens who listen to Fox News and talk radio. Harper’s proposal was timed to facilitate the launch of a new right wing network, “Sun TV News” which Canadians call “Fox News North.”

Harper, often referred to as “George W. Bush’s Mini Me,” is known for having mounted a Bush like war on government scientists, data collectors, transparency, and enlightenment in general. He is a wizard of all the familiar tools of demagoguery; false patriotism, bigotry, fear, selfishness and belligerent religiosity….

It hurts to acknowledge it, but I don’t think a bill stating that a company using our airwaves “may not broadcast….any false or misleading news” would have a shot in hell of passing. What does that say about us as a country?

Oh, and while we’re talking about the sorry state of journalism in America, check out this Daily Show piece on the the ever-increasing ineptitude at CNN, where they’ve made a choice to air funny YouTube videos instead of pursue investigative journalism.

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  1. Kim
    Posted March 1, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    There’s a cool image going around the web today. It’s of a sign that a protester in Wisconsin put up on FOX News camera.

  2. Agnot Atall
    Posted March 1, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    What’s next? A law forbidding lying by politicians, corporations, preachers, teachers, blog commenters, spouses? (What would happen to this blog if the nanny state were to forbid the occasional “lie” in this format?)

    We have free speech, including the inalienable freedom to lie.

    I, for one, much prefer a lie that affirms my aspirations to a truth that makes me feel fat, ugly and stupidly confused. Why should the press be the only ones not allowed this fundamental right? Free press + free speech = freedom of the press to lie.

    This is a Christian nation, after all, founded on moral values. These values demand that we reject homosexuality and uphold lying. Fellow FOX viewers will follow my logic. (BTW, my logic is also Constitutionally protected). I watch FOX because FOX tells me sweet little lies. Anyone who pretends they watch anything else for another reason is lying.

  3. BrianB
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    What does that say about us as a country?
    It says we’re totally screwed unless an equal or greater effort is made to expose the lies in the media than is being made to purport them. Thanks for posting this, Mark.

  4. Stephen
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    Have you seen this one yet?

    Fox News showed footage of violent protesters in Madison yesterday. The footage shows palm trees in the background though.

    I say we pass a law like Canada.

  5. Regina Cobell
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    I may not agree with the fact that they present lies as truth, but I will fight to my last breath to defend their right to do so.

  6. Stephen
    Posted March 3, 2011 at 12:56 am | Permalink

    Can’t sleep.

    Here’s something else about the state of journalism in America.

    “Hillary Clinton Says Al Jazeera Is Putting American Media To Shame”

  7. TaterSalad
    Posted March 4, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    America…………there is a “Bigger Problem”:

    The complete Islamization of America and the implementation of Sharia Law:













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