In a gloating, open letter to Roger Ailes today, Harold Meyerson, a liberal columnist for the Washington Post, thanks the president of Fox News for the network's "consistent misrepresentation of the news." In Meyerson's view, the "right-wing fantasies" peddled by Fox News are so laughable that they have rolled back conservatism.
Now, I'm not a particular fan of U.S. television news—Fox News included. For the most part, the industry caters to the lowest common denominator, emphasizing tabloid, shallow reporting and anchor star-making rather than hard for-your-own-good news. Far better is the European model, exemplified by the Beeb, al Jazeera International, Euro News, and Sky.
I won't defend Fox News; its reporting is far from faultless. But if Meyerson is so opposed to the network, he might ask himself why it has dominated cable news virtually since its inception. Not surprisingly, it's because Fox News benefits from the very phenomenon Meyerson chides it for: misrepresentation and bias in the media.
The mainstream news media (for lack of a better term) consistently misreport news stories every day. And it's not just a fact or figure here and there but a deep bias in the way the media approach stories.
As just one example, consider taxation, the hottest topic in the last election. How many times did networks report that proposed tax cuts would "cost" so-and-so dollars? Why is static scoring the sole impact measurement, when there is considerable evidence supporting the greater accuracy of dynamic scoring? How many MSM reporters even know who Arthur Laffer is?
This negligence is just as ill-informed or biased as liberals would label Fox News reporting, and Meyerson's snarky piece is typical of the American model's shallow hype over substance.