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Whine, Whine, Whine

Reported by Nancy - July 12, 2004 -

Towards the end of today's show, Fox aired live coverage of John Kerry's speech at a campaign reception in Boston. But ...

... Linda Vester had to go & spoil it by announcing that the coverage was "fair & balanced -- you got to hear from President Bush this morning, now you get to hear from Kerry this afternoon."

Comment: Quibble #1 - why does Vester refer to "President Bush" but only "Kerry" instead of calling him "Senator Kerry"? Quibble #2 - it was hardly "fair & balanced" to cover Bush's entire speech for 30 solid minutes, & to cover Kerry's speech for about 10 minutes. Quibble #3 - it was even less "fair & balanced" if you include Fox's incessant hyping of Bush's speech this morning or its exhaustive post-speech "analysis" & endless replays, none of which was done (yet) for Kerry's speech.

Continuing the right wing's method of whining about a "minority" trying to impose on a "majority", Vester ended her show today with coverage of one man's effort in California to abolish the phrase "Happy Holidays" & insist on using "Merry Christmas". After a brief report from the field, Vester stated "96% of Americans celebrate Christmas", then asked an audience member what she thought; big surprise, the woman stated "Bring back 'Merry Christmas'."

Comment: Fox is hitting some high points today. Case in point: phony statistics. Where did they get that "96% of Americans celebrate Christmas"? Of course, they didn't say. So I did some digging around the web, & found the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) which was conducted in 2001. Here's a newsflash for Fox: 81% of American adults identify themselves with a specific religion & 76.5% (159 million) of Americans identify themselves as Christian. So unless there are a lot of Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, wiccans & atheists out there "celebrating" Christmas, Fox is overstating by nearly one-third. The same website cites a USA Today/Gallup Poll in 2002 which showed that about 50% of people in the US consider themselves religious, about 33% consider themselves "spiritual but not religious" & about 10% regard themselves as neither spiritual or religious. No matter how you slice & dice these numbers, Fox is way off.