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FOX and Friends: New York Times and Arthur Sulzberger "in the toilet"

Reported by Chrish - January 14, 2008 -

In a segment crafted to demean the New York Times on FOX and Friends 1/11/08, the Friends showed a graphic which on its own seemed to support their contention that the newspaper is performing very badly indeed, so badly it may soon become a "collector's item." The segment was disengenuously lacking in context, provided after the jump.
With video.

Now there's no denying that the NYTimes' stock has dropped, enormously, over the past four years. Doocy's first misdirection was to put the recent low in a framework of the past eleven years rather than addressing the recent industry-wide tumbles since 2004/5. Secondly, he compared their losses with the gains of the S&P over the same period rather than comparing it to another company in the same industry, like so, or the industry as a whole (see bar graphs linked below.)

As documented by "Newsosaur" Alan Mutter,

"The market value of the American newspaper publishers entering 2008 as independent, publicly traded companies has fallen by $23 billion, or 42%, since the end 2004, the year before the wheels started coming off the industry.

Nearly half the slide in the market capitalization of newspaper stocks came in 2007, when the shares lost a collective $11 billion, or 26%, of their value. Thus, newspapers lost nearly as much value last year as they did in the two prior years put together."

He goes on to note that

"The biggest losers in the three-year period were Journal Register Co., whose shares fell 91% to close 2007 at a mere $68.9 million in value; Sun-Times Media Group, which slid 86% to a market cap of $176.7 million, and McClatchy, which fell 82% to a value of $1.03 billion. Details for the balance of the group are in the table below."

(The key to the abbreviations is in the 2007 chart here.)

So why did Doocy single out the New York Times? FOX has been hammering the Old Grey Lady for quite some time. The paper of record is a favorite target of Bill O'Reilly, and they have been accused of treason or something quite like it often by a wide array of FOX personalities and guests.

This segment was cutesy, and snappy, and a hit piece plain and simple, intended to reinforce the crazy talking point that Bill O'Reilly propounds that people have stopped buying newspapers because they're too liberal, hence the drop in stock price. Geez, he could be an analyst on Cavuto's show with insights like that! Brian Kilmeade, who either was lying about watching the FBN the day before or doesn't know Neil Cavuto from David Asman, segued viewers into a clip of Asman. (That's one way to get people to watch FBN!) This tactic allows FOX to reinforce a talking point from "another" source that is merely another tentacle of the Murdoch empire, like when they cite an article in the NY Post. And note the unprofessional graphic at the end of the piece.

But this constant drumbeat of criticism by FOX of the so-called liberal media, the mainstream media, is to convince their viewers that the "other" media is not to be trusted. If they're mistrustful of other sources they'll more easily swallow whatever their "Friends" at FOX tell them, especially if it's delivered in a "folks"y manner, where they're all victims of the same conspiracies and members of the same clubs. I've said it before, it smacks of classic abusive behavior. They build their case day after day, using their own prior false accusations as basis for the latest, until their loyal cult followers keep it tuned to FOX all day.