Congress demands answers
Yes, Fox News is a problem, but so are NBC, CBS and ABC when they give a platform to GOP clowns and liars like Rand Paul, Ron Johnson and Steve Scalise, and the hosts sit there and let them spew their crap about the last election. The hosts shouldn't have to ask these guys if they believe Joe Biden was legitimately elected, that's a question the producer should ask before the booking is completed. If the answer is no, the invitation should be withdrawn. And it would be nice if the carriers had an obligation to ask subscribers what they want to watch. I would dump Fox, Newsmax, OANN and all 50 home shopping channels DIRECTV sticks me with.
Tucker will need a new sponsor now that the My Pillow Guy is getting sued by Dominion and Smartmatic. The wind power companies should also sue the Tucker Carlson for falsely claiming wind power doesn’t work in the cold. That belief is a huge threat to that industry.
This is off topic but definitely a media issue. Chris Hayes recently posted a link to this article reporting on the results of two surveys about how satisfied parents really are withe the choices they have for their kids’ education during the pandemic:
“ Polls show most — though not all — parents are getting the type of instruction they want for their kids”
Silly me, I expected those studies to have gotten more attention in the media. Contrary to what the media has been telling us about how dissatisfied parents are with remote learning, most of the parents surveyed say their kids are getting the form of education they want for them. 89% of parents whose kids are full remote are satisfied with that choice. A USC survey found that only 15% of parents they surveyed want more in person education. The experience in my city bears that out. Our schools went back to full remote since before Christmas. Schools recently went back to offering part time in person classes. 26.,000 families chose that option while a whopping 60,000 chose to stay full remote which surprised me. And majority of parents here who have chosen to keep their kids remote are African Americans worried about the increased risk to them of Covid.
The article points out that the parents demanding schools reopen “may have outsized sway with politicians.” The article should have also said that it is not just politicians who are only listening to the parents demanding in-school education, it’s the mainstream media that is once again listening to complainers and ignoring those who are satisfied with what their schools are doing.
The right is using this issue to bash a favorite target — teachers’ unions. Unfortunately the media is aiding them — again. The media seems to have no clue that there are states like mine that have the same education problems as unionized states and often those problems are worse in non-union states. That is strong evidence that the problem with our education system isn’t unions.
We need a new version of the Fairness Doctrine. The rules and standard practice of journalism as taught and practiced (for the most part) in the legitimate press should be the standard. Meanwhile, watch the fox trumptoads scream and whine starting today about how the "Biden Congress" is trying to deprive everyone of their first amendment rights. Their viewers believe the election was "stolen", Antifa raided the Capitol, and anything else that hannity and carlson can think up. Fox is an entertainment business. There ought to be a warning label on their product.
When streaming technology rivals broadcast quality, the prospect of a la carte channel lineups may be fully realized. The true marketplace could decide. For now, the corporate entanglements are such that a carrier enforced fairness can be met with blackmailing by withholding popular entertainment destinations until they cry uncle. (eg: Premier League is fine on NBCSN but sucks on Peacock. If you don't use xFinity/Comcast you would have to pay to find that out.) So the blackmail is at least a two headed serpent.
In a word: boycotts. Honestly, if I was independently wealthy, I think I'd quit my job, which I love, to form an organization that would set up boycotts.
It’s about time. One can’t help wonder how many of the 500 thousand lost souls might have been saved with accurate information
Eric, I love and appreciate your work, but are you completely unsympathetic to the arguments raised by Glenn Greenwald yesterday? I vehemently disagree with many of his positions, but in this case I think he has a point. Inviting influence over cable networks' selection of content providers, however well intentioned, is to me the definition of a slippery slope. Fox today, MSNBC tomorrow? Of course there are dramatic differences, but are we really willing to empower Congress to police them? And who next? Al Jazeerah?
Thanks Eric. I didn't have this on my radar and it is good news.
AT&T, (Direct TV) Comcast, and Verizon are powerful players and have managed for the most part to avoid the spotlight, and any responsibility, during the Trump years.
But there is no doubt complicity here, and we need sunlight. For example, you write, "[Fox News] rakes in nearly $2 billion each year from the hidden subscriber fees, twice as much as CNN and three times as much as MSNBC. Those sky-high fees in turn protect Fox News when advertisers abandon the network." I had no idea there was a disparity this large, and numbers like this will cause a stir.
Lets hope the committee members are up to the task of asking the right questions.
Yes, today is the day that will decide the future of the free press, the mendacious lies spewed from right-wing misinformation campaigns parading as news...
As I understand, Faux Snooze bills its self as an "entertainment" channel and doesn't have to be monitored as a "news" channel.
Wouldn't we just see this play out in the court of public opinion if a carrier truly turned off fox news? Fox would then respond by crying foul and pulling all Fox programming from the carrier, which I suspect the public would not tolerate. Seems like a no win situation from the carriers stance. Filling our airwaves with lies ought to have repercussions, none of us want state run programming regardless of party alignment.
I don't Photoshop but for any who do I freely offer this idea for an editorial cartoon. Playing off the infamous 60s photo of side by side drinking fountains in the South, one marked 'whites only' and the other, 'coloreds.'
Two TVs side by side, one a tattered old tube type, b&w with rabbit ears, marked 'whites only' and displaying on screen, 'Fox news.'
And the other a wide screen wall mounted thin panel marked 'full colored,' showing all news channels and a worldwide information cornocopia, like, blue planet -- world of color.
I've been asking Spectre-I-mean-Spectrum for years why I can't buy just the cable channels I want off a menu, and Time Warner before them. I've never gotten a good answer. I don't even know which channels I would subscribe to, but I know Faux News wouldn't be one of them.
Thanks for letting us know about today's hearings. I am listening now. I can only imagine some of the "crap", we shall hear..
Eric I totally agree, but I have a few nits to pick around the edges
The Fairness Doctrine is the precedent for “Both Sides.” And that’s worked out well.
If anyone thinks that the Fairness Doctrine is a solution, I would like to point their attention to "Hannity & Colmes” which is what Fox News pointed to whenever challenged on their claim of Fair & Balanced.
Broadcast television from the start was regulated as a public good (there’s a legal definition), and cable and internet are not. But cable and internet are probably modern utilities and can/should be regulated to bring them inline. It just seems wrong that they are held to a different standard. If broadcast television aired the kind of programming that Fox News airs, they would have their license yanked by the FCC.
What do you think is going to happen Eric?