Monday, October 11, 2010

Dangerous Fox vs Invaluable Olbermann and Maddow: Part I

As I mentioned in my post on looking for conservative facts, I've been reading the NewsBusters blog. They've taken issue with Barack Obama calling Fox News dangerous while White House deputy press secretary Bill Burton called Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow invaluable. I decided to investigate a bit. First, let's look at what each side has to say about the other.

I'll start with NewsBusters' articles about Rachel Maddow, since I was already at the site. NewsBusters' search is done using a Google custom search, so this is effectively random stories. Because of this randomness, I wanted a good sample size, so this is approximately two pages worth:
So, Rachel Maddow is liberal, possibly distorts a fact on her show every once in awhile, is liberal, makes lots of money, is liberal, possibly hypocritical, and is liberal. This is what NewsBusters has to say about Rachel Maddow at random times. I have to say that I wasn't too terribly impressed. NB's recent site redesign does not include a search box anymore, and this post is very long (for me) already. Consequently, I'll be skipping Keith Olbermann articles. It should be noted that Keith Olbermann is probably a more divisive figure, though.

Contrast that to what MediaMatters has to say about Fox News. MediaMatters has wonderful search functionality, and they regularly do issue-summary articles, so I didn't have to do a random sampling at all.
Fox's dangerousness is pretty well documented by MediaMatters. It's a rare day when most every major program on Fox doesn't have an article or blog post on it. Most of those entries are related, showing a long history of coordinated efforts at presenting their agenda, often with disputed facts and other problems.

With the negative stuff out of the way, I'll explore the other half of the argument in my next entry: Does Maddow (and/or Olbermann) provide any sort of invaluable service? In the meantime, please comment below if you have more and/or better examples of Maddow (or Olbermann) being bad, or of Fox being dangerous. If you disagree with my characterization of any of these links, or the opinions therein, then please enlighten me!

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