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Fox News Can't Bring Itself to Say "Media Matters for America"

Reported by Melanie - January 8, 2005

Sometimes all I can do is laugh (or is it cry?) at tough, gruff Fox News, especially when they show how frightened they are of something. The existence of Media Matters for America, for example.

Media Matters, joined by MoveOn, MediaChannel, Free Press, Working Assets, Campaign for America's Future, Alternet, and Robert Greenwald, the director of Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism, recently launched a campaign called Sinclair Action. Per the Sinclair Action website, the campaign was launched,

"...to protest Sinclair Broadcast Group's continued misuse of public airwaves to air one-sided politically charged programming without a counterpoint.

"The campaign aims to spur action against Sinclair's use of the 62 television stations it owns or operates to systematically promote partisan political interests. Of particular concern is a nightly "news and commentary" segment titled "The Point", in which Sinclair vice president Mark Hyman consistently attacks progressives and prominent Democrats and ardently supports President Bush and conservative policies.

"We hope additional advertisers will join our effort to encourage Sinclair to balance the content of their news programming by offering equal air time for a counterpoint."

Media Matters itself monitors the media and regularly reports on the distortions and falsehoods made on the Fox News Channel, as well as on other outlets.

On both Thursday and Friday of this week, during Fox's Your World w/Neil Cavuto, Cavuto reported news about Sinclair Broadcasting and one of its advertisers, Staples, the office products chain (see the Sinclair Action website for details). Media Matters and its Sinclair Action website are central to the events Cavuto reported, yet this is what he said on Friday:

"Backpedaling. Staples now says that it will continue to advertise on Sinclair Broadcasting. Early reports claimed Staples was pulling out. The company says that it was misrepresented by an organization [Media Matters] with no affiliation with Staples. A group supported by MoveOn.org [Media Matters] claimed the ads were being pulled due to complaints over Sinclair's so-called right wing political tilt."

COMMENT: If you've ever listened to "The Point," or have followed news about Sinclair Broadcasting over the last few months, you know that a "right wing political tilt" runs through it at full force, there's no "so-called" about it. Also, where's the mention of Media Matters? I contend that Fox News doesn't want its viewers to know about Media Matters. Media Matters blows holes in Fox News' spin and Fox wants to keep its viewers in the dark as to its existence.

Additionally, over the past year, Fox News has painted MoveOn as a radical, hate-filled organization, working against the good of the country, and one probably guilty of some devious shenanigans during the last election. To regular Fox News viewers, the name MoveOn conjures up images of liberal fanatics, a near-instantaneous way of discrediting anything or anyone associated with it. So my main points are: (l) Cavuto omitted mention of Media Matters even though it was central to his report, and (2) of the six entities who lent official support to Media Matters' Sinclair Action campaign, Cavuto chose to name MoveOn, a group Fox has already turned into a monster and whose mention, Fox hopes, will discredit the whole anti-Sinclair campaign.

They're amazing aren't they? Oh, what a web they weave.

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