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Saturday 31 October 2009

When News Is Not News

I looked recently at the clash between the Obama White House and Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse) over the coverage that Rupe’s network was giving the Prez. Fox have been countering, via their Senior Veep Michael Clemente, that there is a difference between news programming and opinion programming. So there is.

But when you consider the hours that Clemente gave for “news programming”, which are 9am to 4pm and 6pm to 8pm, and then match them with the channel’s running order, this makes for revealing reading, as Jon Stewart demonstrated on the Daily Show Thursday night (We in the UK got it on More4 at 2030 yesterday. You missed it? Where were you? Comedy Central may have video available).

Stewart showed that, by Fox’ own definition, the shows hosted by Bill O’Reilly, Greta van Susteren, Sean Hannity, and – it’s that man again – Glenn Beck are not news. Those in the UK that recall Dan, Dan the Oratory Man going on Fox to denounce the NHS may be interested to know that he went on with Hannity and Beck. So that, according to Fox, was not news.

Good to get that one cleared up. Thanks Mike.

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