A history of bigotry

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Unfair and unbalanced

When one thinks of fair and balanced news, storytelling, journalism in, one need look no further than the corporate gold standard that is Fox News… This is of course a joke and should in no way, shape or form be taken with hint of seriousness. Since its launch on Oct. 7 of 1996 (at least that’s what the Wikipedia article said when I looked it up), Fox News has been of, shall we say, questionable quality in relation to the media landscape.
Now, the thing I want to get right out of the way is Fox’s ties with a Republican-based audience. I understand that there’s leftist media and there’s right-wing media. This piece isn’t about how the outlets views tend to focus on one party versus another, it’s more so focusing on how Fox News tends to lean more towards propaganda or scare tactics, rather than facts-based reporting. Again, I understand Fox isn’t the only media institution that does this, but due to their significant pull in numbers (viewership and the like), they’re certainly one of the bigger organizations that continue to go about throwing generalized hail marys.

To start off with one of the lighter issues (if there is such a thing) is Fox’s use of hypocrisy. In 2018, famed horror actress Jamie Lee Curtis was back in the front seat with the release of the newest Halloween film. In said film, Jamie Lee uses guns as a means of defeating the main villain. However, the way that the Fox News website portrayed such an action meant that Curtis was a hypocrite for advocating for gun control when she herself uses guns in the film. Obviously, the line between fact and fiction is about as blurry as the line between fact-based and belligerent-style reporting when it comes to Fox. During the piece, it was revealed that Fox never reached out to Jamie Lee for comments on the film or to let her clarify her stance (which she did anyway).

Moving from the above to bigger offences committed by the platform (this being in more recent memory), the lack of emphasis that’s been put towards the severity of climate change has been a long-standing issue with Fox News. In fact, in a recent interview that was done with CNN, James Murdoch (son of Rupert Murdoch, the Chairman of the Fox Corporation) and his wife Kathryn were disappointed with his father’s media outlet empire and how they’ve been covering the climate crisis (now being called a climate emergency by most). This was especially apt timing for the comments considering it was in or around the height of the Australian wildfires. In regards to actual comments that were made, the Murdochs’ spokesperson stated that “Kathryn and James’ views on climate are well established and their frustration with some of the News Corp and Fox coverage of the topic is also well known.”

Moving away from climate and going deeper into the unethical reporting of Fox News, the mass media corporation became wrapped up in a rather interesting situation. In April of 2018, Sean Hannity (a primetime host of Fox and one of the company’s biggest ratings draws) had made comments defending Michael Cohen (the personal lawyer of Donald Trump) after the FBI raided Mr. Cohen’s office and home. However, it was revealed that Mr. Hannity was actually a client of Michael Cohen’s and that the link was not disclosed in any of the comments made during

Now, these are only a couple of examples of unethical reporting, but believe me when I say that the controversies that surround Fox are not few. In fact, on a much heavier topic (warning of difficult subject matter for the rest of the paragraph), Fox has also been an organization that has an unsettling history with sexual harassment. Although not the most accurate portrayal because of its Hollywood roots, the new film Bombshell (which follows Grecthen Carlson’s lawsuit of former and now deceased Fox Chairman Roger Alies) presents the issues to a global audience. For a more in-depth look at Grecthen Carlson’s lawsuit, one can also read the book “Getting Real” which details her time at Fox, as well as “Be Fierce: Stop Harassment”which goes into her personal struggles. Other issues that occurred at the mega-media outlet were Bill O’Reilly’s firing in 2017 and the coverage of Weinstein scandal .

All in all, for an organization that runs with slogans like “Fair and Balanced” and “Most Watched. Most Trusted”, doesn’t seem to uphold either.

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