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Bias Right Before Your Eyes

Reported by Judy - September 27, 2004 -

If you took a stop watch to a portion of Fox News Live today and timed the amount of video devoted to George Bush and John Kerry, you might conclude their coverage of the two candidates was balanced.

If you actually analyzed the content of the video, a different picture entirely emerges.

At issue is the video played during an interview with Bruce Reed from the Democratic Leadership Council and Craig Fuller, former aide to George Bush's father, Poppy Bush. While the two talked, Fox alternated shots at campaign events for the candidates. The video essentially cancelled out the audio of whatever the "fair and balanced" interview was supposed to be about.

The images that dominated were a bright shot of Bush alone in the center of a crowd of people who were applauding and waving signs supporting him, Kerry walking into a dimly lit room shaking hands with two people, back to Bush standing in the crowd, which rises behind him as if on bleachers so that the entire screen is filled with supporters, back to a tight shot of Kerry shaking hands with a few people that is back lit and dark.

To the clock, the segment is balanced because each candidate is featured roughly the same amount of time. To the viewer, the segment is unfair because it gives the illusion of support to one candidate and the illusion of loneliness to another. It is a metaphor for how Fox sees the entire campaign: light versus darkness.