It drives me bonkers when I hear people talk about the “liberal,” or “mainstream media.” However, I think the worst is when individuals bash Fox for being misinformed, blatantly biased/partisan, etc.
First of all, I would like to point out that no television show, station or network is objective. Any product produced by a human being is not objective. Humans are subjective by nature. Should a person wish to view “objective” media, s/he should opt to watch CSPAN. However, CSPAN also has its biases so in reality the only way to receive objective news would be to witness news in person. I assure you, Fox is not the only network that is “bias.” Should you wish to avoid subjective reporting I suggest you renounce MSNBC and CNN along with Fox.
Next, according to pew research Fox actually has the most balanced amount of republican and democrat viewers. Pew’s 2009 research found that 39% of Fox viewers identified republican and 33% identified as democrats, a difference of 6% (22% identified as independents). For CNN viewers, 51% identified as democrats and 18% identified as republicans a difference of 33% (23% identified as independents). For MSNBC 45% identified as democrats and 18% identified as republicans a difference of 23% (26% identified as independents). Regardless of how you feel about Fox, they actually did have the smallest range between party viewers. So it is not only republicans tuning in to Fox, and if fox is misinforming viewers its misinforming members of both parties.
I would also just like to point out that Cartoon Network officially has higher ratings then MSNBC and CNN. Fox News was rated the #2 ranked cable network last week in prime time, averaging 233,000 viewers behind USA. MSNBC was #26 and CNN was #32. So, Fox must be doing something right to attract viewers. Or maybe people are just tuning in to watch “misinformation” happen in real time, but I doubt that’s the case.
I don’t think the media is “liberal,” and I also don’t believe in “mainstream media.” Conservatives have their niche in U.S. media, evidenced by Fox and other individuals like Rush in talk show radio. I also bet if you asked someone what “mainstream media” actually means, they won’t be able to logically explain what it is. That is simply because there is no “mainstream media” anymore. Individuals have choices when it comes to media consumption, and are no longer bound to receiving their information from any one station or outlet.
The most important idea in the debate over biased media involves the effects it has on viewers. People who claim others are brainwashed by Fox are sadly mistaken. This is the third person effect at its finest, or the belief that media effects others in a greater manner then it effects the self. Have you ever felt “brainwashed” after watching a program or reading an article from Fox/MSNBC/CNN? If so, I imagine you are in the minority. The U.S. population is able to sort through information much more effectively then given credit for, and can successfully identify bogus stories when presented with one.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Fox is not the end of humanity.