Home Store In Memoriam Deborah Newsletter Forum Topics Blogfeed Blogroll Facebook MySpace Contact Us About

Spinning the Concept of "Balance"

Reported by Nancy - June 4, 2005 -

Last night on Special Report, Jim Angle was in for Brit Hume & the program in general was pretty much what you'd expect in any case. One item from the "Grapevine" segment provided more evidence of the reactionary echo chamber at work, but FNC may come to regret opening this particular can of worms.

At 6:27pm Angle read a teaser for the "Grapevine": "why some people don't think fair & balanced reporting is such a good thing"

At 6:32 pm Angle did the "Grapevine" segment, leading off with this: Linda Foley, President of the Newspaper Guild, speaking at the "Take Back America" conference, said that "conservative bias is a major crisis in the media" & "balanced reporting is used by conservatives in place of the truth." Angle added that she also said, "The conservatives have got us, as a country, now believing that balance — giving both sides — is the same as truth, & there are some things that are just false."

Comment: The reactionary echo chamber has been attacking Linda Foley since her talk at the National Conference for Media Reform in St. Louis on May 13. The attack dogs (WorldNetDaily, NewsMax, Power Line, Washington Times, Town Hall, Accuracy In Media, among others) generated the usual torrent of hate mail & hate calls to the Newspaper Guild, ultimately so severe that staffers at Guild headquarters in DC stopped answering the phone because of abusive phone calls (callers were asked to leave messages on voice mail & await a return call). But the attacks haven't resulted in Foley's resignation, so it looks like the echo chamber will now latch onto her more recent remarks to whip their "base" into a frenzy.

I couldn't find a transcript of her remarks at the Take Back America 2005 website, so let's assume that Angle got it right & didn't take it out of context. What's wrong with what Foley said? Nothing that I can see. And she raises a *very* important issue: the idea -- heavily promoted, of course, by the megacorporation that wanted to trademark the phrase "Fair & Balanced" -- that "balance" is some kind of goal for which news reporting should strive. Actually, *reporting* the news means conveying facts & information to viewers & readers, so there is no place for "balance". You can't balance a fact with a non-fact. Or the truth with a lie. The only place in news where "balance" is appropriate is in the realm of *opinion*. And that's a dirty little secret FNC doesn't want its viewers to know: that all the "balance" on Fox is opinion, not FACT.

NOTE TO READERS: Please stay on topic (Special Report's coverage of Foley's remarks, the reactionary echo chamber, the concept of "balance" in news). O/T comments will be deleted. Thanks.