Debra J. Saunders

Now don't tell me that Fox News is biased but The New York Times is not. Do I like everything on Fox? No. I hit the remote when feuding talking heads are spouting prefab talking points and I can get a real news story on CNN. (Other times, I turn to Fox to escape the same on CNN.) I also turn to Fox because its coverage on the war in Iraq takes the longer view and its coverage on intelligence eavesdropping does not read like an ACLU press release.

But I don't like how Fox News leads some conservatives to believe they should not be exposed to liberal media, just as some San Francisco Chronicle readers are indignant at the very thought that they -- or their friends -- should have to suffer exposure to a dissenting point of view (moi). When people have a strict diet of Designer News, they run the danger of thinking -- a la Greenhouse -- that their opinions are fact.

Besides, it's not as if Fox never reaches across the aisle. Its opinion shows feature partisans on both sides. Fox mogul Rupert Murdoch gave half a million dollars to former President Clinton's global confab and held a fund-raiser for Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y. Nonetheless, Bill Clinton berated Fox anchor Chris Wallace for a "nice conservative little hit job" -- just because Wallace asked Clinton a question. In a respectful tone, Wallace told Clinton that Fox viewers wanted him to ask why the former president had not done more to stop Osama bin Laden.

A Bubba tirade followed, when an answer would have worked fine. As Wallace told The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz, the surprising thing was that he (Wallace) was the only TV interviewer among many to ask Clinton that question, even though Clinton had been complaining about an ABC miniseries that faulted his handling of bin Laden.

It is amazing no one else asked. It goes to show that Fox News keeps American media fair and balanced.


Debra J. Saunders


 
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