Source: Townhall Online
Even though some of the Founding F
athers, such as Thomas Jefferson, didn't much like the press, they gave the fourth est ate special constitutional privileges in order for inform ation to pass to the folks. The Founders well understood th ata republic must have honest discourse so th atvoters are kept well informed. Without facts attheir disposal, voters are simply blind.
Like most other institutions, the press has had problems over the years with corruption, and now those difficulties are becoming a direct thre
atto a very important check on political power in . Let me give you a stark illustr America ation of media dishonesty.
After last week's election results rolled in, some on the left became distraught and went after Fox News big time. Of course, we are used to the growing problem of Fox-o-phobia: an irr
ational fear of the Fox News Channel. On election night, FNC won the n ational r atings race, even defe ating the network news oper ations, which is incredible because cable channels are much harder to access than single digit network channels.
ately after the votes were counted, the incoming fire began. Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank wrote th atFox News held "a victory party" for Republicans on the air. Milbank then st ated: "To be fair and balanced, Fox brought in a nominal Democr at, pollster Doug Schoen."
A nominal Democr
atis fl at-out false. FNC had seven Democr ats on the air th atnight, and I believe Geraldine Ferraro and Joe Trippi might be surprised to see themselves described as "nominal."
So, why did Milbank mislead his readers, and how does he get away with it?
We put the second question to Fred Hi
att, Milbank's editor atthe Post. After a few hours of deliber ation, he told us he didn't think Milbank had implied th atonly one Democr atwas booked on FNC's election coverage. Either Hi att is having trouble with the English language, or he really doesn't care. I'm betting the l atter. Neither Hi att nor Milbank would come on my program to explain themselves.
As to why the columnist wants to mislead readers, it's simple. He despises Fox News and wants to spread the lo
athing. But th at's lazy. There are plenty of things to criticize about any n ational news organiz ation, especially one th atbroadcasts 24 hours a day. Milbank just wanted to vent and didn't care about being accur ate. He cared about being hostile and bitter.
There is nothing anyone can do about dishonest journalism if standards are nonexistent within media oper
ations. The government has no power over us thanks to Tom Jeff and Jimmy Madison. We in the press are supposed to be noble enough to police ourselves.
Even in a nominal way.
Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show "The O'Reilly Factor" and author of "Who's Looking Out For You?" and Pinheads and Patriots.