March 12, 2007

Democrats Reject Fox as Illegitimate

The story reads that "the Nevada State Democratic Party is pulling out of a controversial presidential debate scheduled for Aug. 14 in Reno." But the story should read that a grassroots movement pressured the National Democratic Party to reject Fox.

This rejection goes far beyond a "snubbing" of FOX News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, though Nevada Democratic party chairman Tom Collins and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) didn't pass on the opportunity. No. This rejection is far deeper in the minds of many people. It is a challenge to the legitimacy of Faux News.

John Edwards deserves significant credit for taking a principled stand early on that led to the unraveling. collected more than 265,000 petition signatures sent to the Nevada State Democratic Party. also deserves credit for laying the groundwork with their distribution campaign of Glenn Greenwald's documentary "OUTFOXED: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism."

This represents significant evidence of a maturing social movement; is building on social capital invested over several years. First, they have a legitimate base that is truely mainstream (not extreme) and grassroots (read small-d democratic, not a phony corporate front group).

Second, the MoveOn base and others have been educated by documentaries like Greenwald's, and web sites like News Hounds whose motto is "We Watch Fox So You Don't Have to."

Third, the buzz about Fox's lack of credibility has reached the ears of politicians. The popular discontent is so... popular that politicians are willing to risk giving a major media outlet like Fox the snub. Given the weak knees of politicians toward the media, this is a truly significant shift.

Though Fox Vice President David Rhodes spun it to say, the "Nevada Democratic Caucus... appears to be controlled by radical fringe, out-of-state in interest groups," the fair and balanced version of the news is that the Nation rejected Fox's role in co-hosting a presidential primary debate of national significance. A deeper analysis is that the Nation is rejecting Fox. Media Life Magazine reported a 24% drop between 2005 and 2006.

Fox will need to moderate its abuse of journalism or it will find itself disregarded by the public.


Anonymous said...

Enjoyed the Faux News posting - nice to see the heat turned up on Fox. However, the problem with Fox is that, left to its own devices, it will always do the minimum necessary in any attempt to regain its credibility. "Moderating its abuse of journalism" falls short of what is needed. What's needed (wishful thinking) is an about-face and forced march back to traditional standards of journalism.

GDAEman said...

What's needed is an inquiry into their FCC license and possibly a challenge of their corporate charter.