Saturday, September 15, 2007

FOX News' Entitlements

From the good folks at Media Matters comes the news that Howard Kurtz went on Glenn Beck's show and said that Fox News is "entitled" to be a Bush "cheerleader" and "misinform[] our society". Naturally enough I have a couple of points to make about that.

First of all, he is absolutely right from a legal point of view. There is nothing at all that says that a news channel has to actually report the news in anything like a truthful fashion. As a matter of fact there is case law that says the contrary. From what I can tell, this would be true irrespective of whether there was a return of the Fairness Doctrine at some point in the future.

However, it seems to me that there is an ethical obligation that an organization that calls itself a "Fair and Balanced" news gathering entity should actually act according to the principles that it espouses.

And no, I am not holding my breath.

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