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Monday, April 23, 2018

Columns

Fox News isn’t fair or balanced


Would someone please sit Rupert Murdoch and his cronies at Fox News down and give them a lesson on what Nazism really is? It seems as though every day there is another claim launched by Fox affiliates that some left-leaning person or group is communist, socialist, elitist, terrorist-linked or most frequently a Nazi.

This idea is not meant to be taken literally; for them, referring to someone as a Nazi is just another way of saying “of a different opinion than our own.” It seems that until recently we reserved the moniker for only the cruelest of cruel, the most sinful corrupt tyrants and murderous hooligans around. So what gives?

The most recent example of this blatant mischaracterization was leveled against NPR by Fox news chief Roger Ailes when he said, “They are, of course, Nazis. They have a kind of Nazi attitude. They are the left wing of Nazism. These guys don’t want any other point of view.”

This attack was in response to NPR’s recent firing of anchor Juan Williams for his paranoid ramblings about Muslims. NPR’s reason for firing Williams was that, “His remarks on The O’Reilly Factor … were inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR.”

I suppose there are two ways to look at this. One, Williams was fired because his statements were borderline discriminative against a major religion and, being a news organization that is supposed to be fair and balanced, NPR didn’t want comments tarnishing their reputation.

Or there is the opinion of the self-prescribed fair and balanced folks at Fox who feel like by firing Williams, NPR was abusively exercising censorship. Ailes retracted his previous statements last Thursday after receiving negative feedback from the Anti-Defamation League: “my now considered opinion nasty, inflexible bigot, would have worked better.”

Frankly, this assertion by folks at Fox News seems like a clear case of the pot calling the kettle black, or even the right-wing, corporate funded, aggressive, bully-like news channel calling anyone that questions their opinion a Nazi.

As for the claim that NPR bigwigs are censoring their output, perhaps they should take a better look at themselves. The GOP’s ties to Fox news is not merely a rumor; during the first house debate since the mid-term elections, the GOP proposed to cease federal funding of National Public Radio.

This attempt to defund NPR was supported and lobbied by House Minority Leader and Republican all-star Eric Cantor, who also spoke out in the debate against NPR’s firing of Juan Williams.

Some other examples of news media’s finest publicly calling for the de-funding of NPR are Juan Williams (go figure), Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck.

All of them are affiliated with Fox News, all admittedly conservative and all (some might speculate) a little bit crazy.

In what has been called “a new low in American television”, Fox News pundit Beck launched a two-day long tirade on billionaire holocaust survivor and NPR financial contributor George Soros.

It almost seems futile to discuss the fanatical opinions of Beck, but the fact remains — he still has an audience.

In his ramblings, Beck tried to paint Soros as an anti-Semite and insisted that Soros is on a mission to overthrow our country, a claim that has the ADL and the Jewish community riled up. So congratulations, Mr. Beck, you have retained your title as world’s biggest idiot.

John Gervais is a psychology senior and may be reached at [email protected]


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