Monday, October 25, 2004

Fox News or Faux News? Stop... you're both right!

The name "faux news", in reference to Fox News, is often used amongst people who aren't partisan-minded Republicans, including Democrats, lefties, and even some libertarians. While it is true that Fox News does seem to be nothing more than a mouthpiece for the Bush administration, I don't find that the "faux news" label is entirely justified.

What follows is my listing of the pros and cons of I'm looking at the website as opposed to the television network since I never watch television news. I consider television news to be worse for the brain than crack cocaine. I'll start with the cons for no reason other than I want to.

* Their general news content, which definitely paints the Bush adminstration and Republican politicians in a unjustly positive light. This is especially apparent when it comes to foreign policy issues in the post-9/11 era. It's true that no mainstream outlet is without it's own particular bias, but that just gives me a good reason to criticize all of them, including Fox News.
* Bill O'Reilly: this guy is no better in print than he probably is on his program. Do I really need to explain why this guy is nothing but a hack whose "no spin zone" is actually ripe with spin?
* The fact that they devote a regular column to the neoconservative friendly Heritage Foundation.
* Steven Milloy's "Junk Science" column: I never know what to expect from this guy. Sometimes his columns bring up good points, and other times his writing looks at a particular issue too simplistically and rejects certain opposition viewpoints without effectively acknowleging and refuting them. There are other times where it seems as if he's nothing but a paid shill for the likes of Monsanto, a company that has anything but the public interest at heart.

* Radley Balko's "Straight Talk" column: It's great to see a regular column written by a principled libertarian in a mainstream outlet. His articles are well written, thought provoking, and take aim at BOTH establishment parties, not just Democrats. It was especially refreshing to read his most recent column, since it's a rare sight to see such criticism of the Bush administration that is actualy affiliated with Fox News. Balko lets people know that it isn't just "liberals" and lefties who are opposed to Bush's warmongering.
* Wendy McElroy's iFeminists column: Another good column that appears regularly on the site. McElroy is another quality libertarian writer who lets the smug conservative crowd know that not all feminists are power hungry statists who want to subjugate men.
* The regular column devoted to commentary from the CATO Institute. While I may not always agree with what comes out of this particular beltway think tank, it's always good to see regular commentary from a libertarian perspective within the mainstream media.
* The Tongue Tied (PC Police) column: This column always seems to relay some humorous stories in addition to disturbing stories that all have to do with the rise of "political correctness" in our society. I may not always agree with what I read here, but it's always an enjoyable read. It's also good in general to question instances of PC overkill, and such overkill happens often.

Taking all of that into consideration, I would conclude that is certainly a valuable site in terms of providing a mainstream outlet for certain unpopular and fringe ideas of the libertarian persuasion. What it's not good for is a one-stop site for all the latest news, although there really is no such thing as a good one-stop site for news. And as with all other mainstream outlets, Fox News is certainy guilty of being far too statist for the good of mankind, despite the web space devoted to certain libertarian columnists.


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