Tuesday, June 14, 2005

THIS IS NOT JOURNALISM As I remarked the other day, Fox News is a threat to reasoned discourse. It's different from outlets like The Weekly Standard and The National Review--and not just because it has a bigger megaphone.

Those publications have conservative points of view, and side almost always with Republicans. But their rhetoric doesn't--or at least doesn't always--mirror the rhetoric coming out of GOP headquarters.

The same can't be said of Fox.

Andrew Sullivan picks up the thread:

This is a free country, and Sean Hannity and Fox News can broadcast what they want. Fox is far more entertaining than the other cable news channels and I can see its appeal, and the need for a less liberal network. But this [Sean Hannity's interview of Vice President Dick Cheney] was not journalism. It was propaganda, cloyingly arranged between interviewer and interviewee, based on talking points adhered to by both sides, and broadcast as if it were a real interview. I worry that viewers actually begin to believe that this is journalism, that asking questions designed to help the interviewer [sic--should be interviewee] better make his case, in fact often supplementing his answers to improve their rhetorical power, is somehow what real journalists do. It isn't. I wish I could provide a better kicker for this blog item than Sean Hannity did. But I can't. So here's his sign-off: "Lynne, I was too tough on him."

CONTRAPOSITIVE is edited by Dan Aibel. Dan's a playwright. He lives in New York City.