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Is It Ethical for a News Network to Actively Advocate Against a Sitting President

By Dustin Rowles | Miscellaneous | September 12, 2012 |

By Dustin Rowles | Miscellaneous | September 12, 2012 |

It’s no secret to anyone that Fox News is a conservative news network. It promotes conservative causes, it echoes conservative talking points (an anchor from their morning news program actually read from their talking points a few months ago), and it advocates for conservative politicians. The people they have on to present opposing viewpoints are typically easy straw men to knock over, and they’re typically shouted over, anyway.

Most of us understand this about Fox News. We also know that they’re not a fan of President Obama. But how deep does that dislike run?

Media Matters did four years of extensive research, fascinatingly put what we already knew into stark headlines by collating information proving that Fox News has made a concerted effort to turn President Obama into a one-term president. You should check out the entire report, but the headlines demonstrate their point effectively enough:

Since the election of President Obama in 2008, Fox News has engaged in an ongoing and escalating campaign to prevent him from winning a second term. At all levels, the network has continued to violate ethical standards by promoting any and all causes that further its goal of making Obama a one-term president.

  • After Obama’s Election, Fox News Declared Itself “The Voice Of The Opposition”

  • Fox Parent Company Donated Millions To Republican Causes

  • Fox Figures Aggressively Supported GOP Candidates And Organizations

  • Fox Played Key Role In Shaping And Promoting The GOP Presidential Primary

  • Fox Aggressively Supported The Anti-Obama Tea Party Movement

  • Fox Provided Republicans With In-Kind Donations of Airtime

  • Fox Continues To Employ Prominent GOP Fundraiser Karl Rove Despite Ethical Conflict

  • Fox Newsers And Executives Tried To Influence GOP Elections And Causes

  • Fox Executives Pushed Fox News’ Anti-Obama Messaging Coverage Against Obama


    Is this an ethical way to run a news organization?

    Moreover, as someone who listens to a fair amount of conservative talk radio — because I like the theater and absurdity of it — I often wonder if Fox News and conservative talk radio would actually suffer if President Obama were defeated? I mean, if you counted the number of times they mention Obama and the number of times they mention Romney, I’m guessing the former would outweigh the latter at least three to one. They spend the lion’s share of their air time, not building up their own candidate, but tearing down Obama. Attacking Obama is a billion dollar industry. Without him, how would they fill their space?

    The best television dramas need an awesome villain. What would Fox News do without their Big Bad? In the long-term, beating up President Obama may not be just bad ethics, it may be bad business. Indeed, in the financial grand scheme of things, what’s one day of celebrating for the conservatives compared to four more years of complaining?

    (Source: Media Matters)

    Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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