After The O’Reilly Factor smeared their town, a group of Bennington, Vermont high school students struck back.
Fox Host Bill O’Reilly derisively said Vermont is tied with Hawaii as “the most liberal state” and sent Jesse Watters to make Vermont look even worse with his agenda-driven, highly-edited “man on the street” interviews.
However, students from Mount Anthony Union High School in Bennington, Vermont dissected this segment with a “professional integrity audit” based on the ethics code of the Society of Professional Journalists.
The results? “We lost count” of the violations of the code of ethics; Fox engaged in “character assassination” and “rank propaganda,” not journalism: “The facts have been so distorted by O’Reilly and Watters that the real truth is totally unrecognizable.”
“You chose to take a mean-spirited approach to America,” one young person countered. And really, there’s no denying it.
“By watching Fox News, we have learned buckets about journalism – what to do and more importantly, what never to do. It is our hope that Fox News can learn the very same from watching us,” the students concluded. “Can you commit to raising the bar by sticking to high standards and the code of ethics of journalism?”
Well, kids, I hate to be a Debbie Downer here but the sad truth is that Fox makes buckets of money from this lack of ethics – and it has a large, loyal audience. The network simply has no incentive to change. Until its aging viewers die off.
Watch it below, from the Quantum Leap Exhibit Program at Mount Anthony Union High School in Bennington. Underneath is the original O’Reilly Factor segment from last July.
(H/T reader Jane)
To be fair to O’Reilly, as a former teacher, I hope that he actually tries to do something educational here. I would be happy to see a segment where he brought several of the students on to directly address Watters and specifically talk about the ethics that were breached. The key would be for the students to be able to present their positions in a clear manner that reflects their education.
Some of these kids may well come from conservative families (there are a fair number on Bennington), but this crap is just a bridge way, way too far for them.