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Monday, 07 June 2010 08:19

Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and FOX’s Clueless Ongoing Criticism of the Rest of the Media

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by Jeffrey Joseph

Part of FOX’s success certainly comes from its oft-repeated, though easily refuted, claim as a paragon of journalistic integrity compared to the rest of the “lamestream” media it so despises. Too bad for FOX that their contributors most vociferously criticizing the rest of the media, people like the Glenn Becks and Sarah Palins of the network, so frequently prove they have no idea what they’re talking about in their attacks.

Beck spent a segment dedicated to showing video of the Israeli attack on the aid flotilla in Gaza, footage that shows the people on board the ship fighting back against the soldiers — with clubs. Proceeding from the footage, Beck insisted “besides FOX, nobody seems willing to show that,” next implying a mass-media conspiracy against Israel as responsible for hiding the footage.

Along came Jon Stewart to the rescue, illustrating how Chris Matthews’s Hardball had shown the same video on MSNBC at the time of Beck’s show, but also how MSNBC, CNN, CBS, NBC, ABC, and even PBS, among other networks, all showed the exact same video within the twenty-four hours preceding Beck’s show. As Stewart put it, “This can mean only one of two things:  Mr. Beck lives in a cloistered world of paranoid delusion that is impervious to a priori evidence that contradicts his world view or [...] Glenn Beck has become so powerful that his wise words can now be acted upon retroactively.”

The attempt from Beck to make himself appear as a lone purveyor of truth and friend of Israel illustrates just what a willful misinformer Beck has become. On the radio, Beck insisted on the importance of the work done in The Red Network:  A ‘Who’s Who’ and Handbook of Radicalism for Patriots, written by Elizabeth Dilling, a renowned anti-Semite who went to trials on charges of sedition for her alleged Nazi sympathies. With friends like Beck, Israel could hardly afford any enemies at all.

Then again, Beck recently railed against Saudi Prince Al-Waleed for offering then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani money in response to 9/11 since, as Beck said Giuliani put it, “I don’t think we want your help. You already sent us help. And you flew that help into the plane, into the the trade centers.” Obviously, Beck could not stand the idea of this apparent terrorist sympathizer Prince Al-Waleed and his money. Too bad for Beck that he happens to work for him. As the largest shareholder in News Corp. outside of the Murdoch family, Prince Al-Waleed happens to contribute toward Beck’s pay, and the network’s content, as the prince boasts. Hence Beck’s rage against the media and its influences, assuming said rage followed any logic, would turn inward onto himself.

However, Beck hardly holds a monopoly on misinformed media criticism at FOX. Helen Thomas recently commented on the flotilla incident by suggesting to Rabbi David Nesenoff that Israelis should “go home [to] Poland and Germany and America.” The comments drew the obvious and warranted ire of Thomas’s fellow press members. Nonetheless, Sarah Palin complained via Tweet, “Helen Thomas press pals condone racist rant? Heaven forbid ‘esteemed’ press corps represent society’s enlightened elite; Rest of us choose truth.”

Aside from a willingness to follow standard grammar, Palin also lacked any proof of her criticism. As Politico pointed out, the outcry against Thomas began immediately and only continued as the week progressed. It would be expected of Palin to ignore Joe Klein’s condemning of Thomas, what with Klein referring to Palin as nearly “seditious,” but as someone clearly not a fan of Palin or willing to take orders from her, his piece in particular points to how people throughout the media criticized Thomas for her comments. Palin can continue her self-righteous crusade against the media all she wants, but as a particularly uninformed member of it, she, too, primarily has rage to turn toward herself.

Other members of the FOX network hardly serve as responsible members of the media, either. From Bill O’Reilly comparing homosexuals to terrorists and FOX & Friends displaying the network’s political bias in celebrating Rep. Eric Cantor’s birthday on television, FOX hardly qualifies as a standard bearer for responsible, objective reporting. It just so happens that Beck and Palin most transparently show how the network’s criticism of the rest of the media often has not even the semblance of research supporting it. Thus, viewers should tell FOX News it should rid itself of contributors who make baseless criticisms of the rest of the media and focus on doing some actual reporting supported by facts — and in the meantime, choose to Turn Off FOX.

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Originally posted at Turn Off FOX.