Although it is the goal of journalism to be impartial to ideology and remain unbiased, more often than not, journalist’s attitudes are clearly seen in the way they report the news. It is up to the individual reader to decide the merits of the articles they are reading and decide which deals more in reality and which is more ideologically driven. The two essays about to be discussed, one from Fox News and the other from AlterNet, illustrate an example of what it means for the reader to take responsibility for where (s)he get their news. The first article, “Bush Gives Examples of Progress,” is obviously ideologically driven toward making the readership see the President and his administration in better light. The article bashes the American press, saying they are not telling the “whole story” of Iraq. They believe the media is focusing on all the negative happenings in Iraq and not focusing on any positive. Fox News then cites poll numbers of American’s withering support for the war as evidence of this bias. It is interesting to note however, that Fox News is the most watched 24-hour news network in the country. It seems that if Fox was correct in the analysis of their article, most American’s would be in support of the war; however, this is not the case.
In the second article, “Bush Bombs,” the author, Robert Scheer makes the case that what Bush said in the run up to the war and what he is saying now, conflict. In the beginning of the article, for instance, he quotes an elderly gentleman that points out to Bush that all of his main reasons for going to war, Saddam’s ties to Al Queda, WMD’s, and the alleged purchase by Iraq of nuclear materials from Niger all turned out to be false. Scheer then goes on to explain that audio tapes, proving Saddam no longer had WMD’s, were found and even though the Bush administration knew about this, they still were telling the same lies to the American People. Scheer then concludes by explaining that President Bush had access to all the same intelligence information as did the September 11th Commission, which found that Iraq had no ties to Al Queda, thus implying that President Bush was lying to the American pubic.
For myself, whenever I see something on Fox News, I immediately question it. If they are saying it is Tuesday, I immediate run to the nearest calendar. They are not at all a good source of information and have routinely been deceiving the American public for many years. The quality of debate on their news network is horrible, inviting far-right guests, who always get to finish their point, to debate, at best, centrists whom they label “liberal,” and who rarely ever finish speaking before interrupted. Besides this, a poll conducted by the Program on International Policy, found that there were significant misperceptions in the American public after the invasion of Iraq. The poll found that of all the respondents, those who regularly got their news from Fox, 80 percent had incorrect assumptions about Iraq and the reasons for us going there. It is shameful that an organization that prides itself on being “Fair and Balanced” can mislead the American public to this extent. (Misperceptions, Media, and the Iraq War)
Of the two articles, the one by Robert Scheer definitely holds more merit. Although both of the articles are driven by ideology, the Fox News article relies on faulty information (such as the polling I have already discussed), and basing the entire argument of bias in the media on one exception in Iraq; that of the progress of “democracy” made in Tal Afar. In the same article, this exception is acknowledged by President Bush himself as not an accurate description of what is overall happening in Iraq. The Scheer article, even though it too is ideologically driven, relies on hard facts and basis its arguments on those. In the article, Scheer quotes Bush both before and after the war and shows that he is being inconsistent with his statements. He also relies on information about the tapes found which show the Bush knew in that Saddam had no WMD’s, even thought he was telling the public otherwise to get them to support the war. Fox News should being taking notes.
Bush gives examples of progress. (2006). Fox News, . Retrieved Apr 03, 2006, from http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,188401,00.html
Misperceptions, the media, and the Iraq war. (n.d.). Retrieved Apr. 03, 2006, from http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/articles/international_security_bt/102.php?nid=&id=&pnt=102.
Scheer, R. (2006). Bush bombs. AlterNet, . Retrieved Apr 03, 2006, from http://www.alternet.org/story/33904