Monday, January 09, 2006


Jesse Kornbluth wrote on The Huffington Post Would you like to turn on a cable TV channel and know that you will never see Pat Robertson, Ann Coulter, James Dobson or Ralph Reed? Would you like to know that the news program you're watching --- whatever the politics of the network's owner --- presents verifiable facts from respectable sources?

Then watch Fox News. It is Fair and Balanced.
Would you like to watch commentary on the news by experts whose opinions don't come from the daily talking points of either political party? Me too. That's why I'm writing this open letter to George Soros with one simple request --- PLEASE BUY CNN.
Why should he? CNN is as far left as it can get, and still get any viewers at all.
That thought has come to me from time to time over the last few years, as CNN has devolved into an anemic version of Fox News.
Fox is destroying them in the ratings. Their ratings are not as bad as MSNBC, but they are approaching it.
But it became an incessant drumbeat in my head last week, when Jack Abramoff took his plea and almost everyone on cable bought the Republican lie that this is a "non-partisan" scandal. It is anything but. Although a few Democrats did get chump change from Abramoff,
40 0f 45 Democratic Senators Took Abramoff Money
the tribes that hired him, and SunCruz Casinos --- here's a comparison of his "giving" --- Abramoff's ultimate reason for breathing was to advance Republican causes and cement Republican power.
No his ultimate objective was to increaseAbramoff power. He may have helped the Republicans a little more than the Democrats, but that is because they control both the House and the Senate.
I can understand why Fox News would misrepresent reality --- but why the others?

The reasonable conclusion is not that Fox has such a genius programming formula that everyone else slavishly imitates it. It's that the owners of other cable networks are not much interested in the news business. Except, that is, in a network's ability to turn a profit.
It is called Capitalism.
As for telling the truth about Washington's sordid politics --- forget it. These suits know how much they have to lose if they cross the most vindictive administration in our history. Consider the rich defense contracts of General Electric (NBC, CNBC, MSNBC)
Then why is NBC, like CBS and ABC, in the pocket of the Dems.
And those oh-so-valuable government sources that the publications owned by Time Warner (CNN) have cultivated. To say nothing about regulators who might want to take a closer look at television licensing and movie ratings. [At Viacom, which owns CBS, Sumner Redstone, a liberal Democrat, has been refreshingly blunt about his bias --- he announced he was voting for Bush in 2004 because "I vote for what's good for Viacom."]
But he left Dan Rather on the air until his dishonesty was exposed by the blogs.
It's not the sort of charge you can ever prove --- there won't be any memos to leak or e-mails to forward --- but I'd bet the ranch that the owners of the other cable networks have sent the word down: Get with the program. Treat all issues as if there are two, equally plausible positions --- even when "on the one hand this, on the other hand that" programming results in pointless blather or blatant whoring for Republican causes.

I submit there's an audience that wants more than propaganda from cable TV. I believe many millions of viewers want real news --- without spin from any side --- and informed opinion that's clearly labeled.
You are right. And they watch Fox News to get a Fair and Balanced presentation.
And I'd bet that audience is vastly bigger than the numbers CNN is currently attracting.

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