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The FOX News website and Politics

Reported by Chrish - February 23, 2008 -

The FOXNews.com website is, hmm, intriguing. There are little tricks to maneuvering it and a certain flavor to it that sets it apart.

One of the most interesting eccentricities is the inability to get directly from their home page to their Politics page. For people who pride themselves excessively on their political coverage (according to their slogans they are the best) you'd think they'd want to highlight it, or at least make it readily accessible.

From FOXNews.com one can click on a selection of section links:

Home, U.S., World, Politics,Business, Health, SciTech (Weather), Entertainment, Video, Opinion, MyNews, and Sports.

It's understandable that the "Business" link takes the reader to FOXBusiness.com, recently launched in conjunction with Murdoch's new business channel. What is harder to figure out is why the "Politics" link takes the reader directly to "You Decide 2008," which features AP articles in some form and others "by FOXNews.com, and not to the Politics section - where "You Decide 2008" is featured very prominently. In fact one has to scroll down a full page to find the Politics headlines. The reader has to manually type in the URL to get to the aforementioned Politics front page, or from You Decide 2008 click the far right (how appropriate) button for "more politics."

Important stories that I personally would file under "US" are sometimes found there. For example, today there is an article about FCC hearings on 'Net Neutrality. Doesn't this issue warrant more attention than, say, "Bet You Can't Do That Again... Lucky U.K. gambler parlays $1 bet into nearly $2M payday by correctly guessing the winner of eight horse races," the latest addition to the front page? It's almost like the webmasters are burying stories.

This tactic came to my attention when a search of "World" and "US" News on January 24th failed to unearth a headline or link to the news which Dana Perino had earlier declared "hardly...worth spending time on.," that the Bush administration had lied 935 times in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, and a search of Google News also did not provide a link; in fact, even a search of the FOXNews.com website itself didn't bring that article forth. Something is very, hmm, odd about this.

Of course it's Rupert's website and he can fashion it any way he wants, but this only serves to reinforce the importance of stopping, and reversing, the trend of media consolidation. The decisions of what we see, and how often, is left to an increasingly exclusive clique of media owners whose best interests are not in line with a flourishing democracy.