Dumb and Dumber

“Before that, you had folks like Hearst who used their newspapers very intentionally to promote their viewpoints. I think Fox is part of that tradition. It is part of the tradition that has a very clear, undeniable point of view.

“It’s a point of view that I disagree with. It’s a point of view that I think is ultimately destructive for the long-term growth of a country that has a vibrant middle class and is competitive in the world.” Barak Obama to Rolling Stone Magazine September 2010

At some point in life, reality is going to catch up with Mr. Obama. I think it’ll start on November 2nd, but we’ll just have to see.

Politico is reporting the following from White House Spokesman Bill Burton, “If you’re on the left, if you’re somebody like Keith Olbermann or Rachel Maddow or one of the folks who helps to keep our government honest and pushes and prods to make sure that folks are true to progressive values, then [the president] thinks that those folks provide an invaluable service.”

Now, let us contrast these two statements. One laments intentional bias while the other seems to champion intentional bias. He’s deriding all of Fox News- not just the opinion commentary of the evening broadcast- while praising two of the most partisan opinion shows on what has consistently been shown to be an overwhelmingly biased network.

Hello Pot, meet Kettle.

This isn’t the first time Obama has gone after Fox News either. He did it back in June:

I’ve got one television station that is entirely devoted to attacking my administration…That’s a pretty big megaphone. You’d be hard pressed if you watched the entire day to find a positive story about me on that front,” Obama said.

“We welcome people who are asking us some tough questions. I think I’ve probably been as accessible as any president in the first six months…..I think that actually the reason people have been generally positive about what we’ve been trying to do is people feel as if I’m available and willing to answer questions and we haven’t been trying to hide the ball.

Of course, he’s got the rest of the media kissing his ring and jumping over themselves to write the next gloating “article”. Consider:

Overall, roughly four out of ten stories, editorials and op ed columns about Obama have been clearly positive in tone, compared with 22% for Bush and 27% for Clinton in the same mix of seven national media outlets during the same first two months in office, according to a study by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism.

Recently, a Politico/George Washington University Battleground Poll found that, “Among cable news channels, Fox was the clear winner, with 42 percent of respondents saying it is their main source, compared with 30 percent who cited CNN and 12 percent who rely on MSNBC.” In January of this year, Public Policy Polling found that “Americans do not trust the major tv news operations in the country- except for Fox News.

Our newest survey looking at perceptions of ABC News, CBS News, CNN, Fox News, and NBC News finds Fox as the only one that more people say they trust than distrust. 49% say they trust it to 37% who do not.

CNN does next best at a 39/41 spread, followed by NBC at 35/44, CBS at 32/46, and ABC at 31/46.

Pew Research did a study on the State of the Media and found that the strongest ratings and ratings growth were on ideological programs.

Glenn Beck was up 96% from the year before in Fox’s 5 p.m. time slot. The O’Reilly Factor, the top program in cable, was up 16% to an average of 3.3 million viewers. The Rachel Maddow Show ended the year with 13% higher viewership than in the year before. Perhaps the one exception to this pattern was Lou Dobbs, whose viewership was down 25% for the year before he left CNN.
But over all, these audience figures seemed to reward what had become a clear branding strategy at the channels.

… The tone of cable news content seemed to mirror this ideological alignment. The partisan gap that showed itself during the 2008 election season continued into 2009, at least when it came to cable’s coverage of the new Obama administration. A PEJ study of the first 100 days found that the majority of Obama stories on Fox were clearly negative in tone. It was the only outlet studied where that was the case. On MSNBC, the majority of stories were clearly positive in tone. It was the only outlet studied other than Newsweek where that was the case. In that respect, the two channels offered divergent images of Obama. CNN, meanwhile, mirrored the rest of the mainstream news media in the tone of its coverage.

… After bowing to criticism and removing the liberal hosts Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews from covering the election, MSNBC brought them back on for the presidential inauguration. “Our guys do have a point of view in prime time, but they base everything on research and facts and they’re smart,” said MSNBC president Phil Griffin.8

… By contrast, Fox achieved growth across nearly all key metrics. Its audiences were up by nearly a quarter in both prime time (2.13 million viewers) and daytime (1.2 million viewers). Its profits (up 19% to $534.8 million) and revenues (up 14% to $1.21 billion) grew substantially. The channel’s news investment was up 10% to $674 million.

… As for MSNBC, the median audience for its prime-time programming, now filled with liberal talk shows, rose 3% to 786,000 for the year. Its daytime audience, when it relies more on news from NBC, fell 8% to 325,000. Financially, the mixed audience results helped keep things flat. Profits rose 1% to $149.6 million, on revenues that were similar, up less than 1% to $368 million. As a consequence, MSNBC is expected to have spent roughly the same amount, $217.9 million, on newsgathering in 2009 as a year earlier.

I’m not surprised one bit to see that Obama, once again, is on the opposite side of the American people. He doesn’t like Fox News, obviously because Fox News is the only channel actually questioning the Administration. He loves MSNBC, who’s only critique of the Administration has been that he hasn’t gone far enough to the left.

Obama’s approval rating is plummeting, and likewise, MSNBC’s ratings are in the basement.

The one thing we can count on from this Administration is this- whatever position the American people make, Obama will surely be on the otherside.

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