The dominance of Fox News in the cable news ratings -- and what liberals see as its annoying tendency to cover topics and angles that they believe should be buried for the good of liberalism -- has led to a great amount of Fox-hating in the anything-but-"mainstream" press.
These liberal elites love to pretend that the patch of dirt where they stand is the hallowed ground of objectivity, when in reality, their idea of "mainstream" is floating out on a liberal sea, on a fanciful boat where everyone thinks Howard Dean is best classified as a political moderate, as were McGovern, Mondale and Dukakis. As, one is meant to believe, are they.
From their vantage point, which is nowhere within boom-microphone distance of the center, Fox News Channel must look like Right-Wing Kooksville. Unique in standing to the right of the ossified liberal media establishment, Fox is now regularly disparaged as the only ideological news media outlet in the United States. The rest of them are all, to use Dan Rather's self-description, "common-sense moderates."
Anyone with his feet grounded in reality realizes that in fact Fox is fairer and closer to the American center than any of the liberal outlets. Pick an issue -- global warming, taxes, homosexuality -- and Fox demonstrates the temerity to allow both sides to debate, whereas other networks still pretend that only one reasonable, quotable side exists. No wonder their audience numbers are sliding as Fox continues to climb.
The latest sad anti-Fox outburst came when the National Press Foundation decided to honor respected Fox news hound Brit Hume with its "Broadcaster of the Year" award, Geneva Overholser, a former ombudsman of the Washington Post and a whining liberal windbag if there ever was one, resigned in protest since she felt Hume and Fox practice "ideologically committed journalism."
How controversial was the Hume selection? Consider the previous winners of this award: "moderate" Dan Rather, fired New York Times editor Howell Raines, loopy leftist Ted Turner, tiresome PBS propagandist Ken Burns, and NPR bias legend Nina Totenberg, who tried to destroy conservative hero Clarence Thomas with phony-baloney sexual allegations and wished AIDS on conservative hero Jesse Helms in a TV appearance.
No one, including Overholser, resigned over any of them.