Dominic is a sophomore political science major and writes "Dominic's Politics" for the Daily News. His views do not necessarily agree with those of the newspaper. Write to Dominic at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today I had a mission. My job was to wake up and, all day long, only read and watch right-wing media.
As soon as I woke up, I grabbed my phone, opened Twitter, and failed. I did not realize how difficult this would be.
My social media, Facebook and Twitter, as well as the many apps on my phone, are all what I consider “quality journalism.”
My usual morning routine is simple. I wake up, take a shower, make a cup of coffee and delve right into the news for about 45 minutes. I read and listen to CNN, The New York Times, Politico, The Washington Post, IndyStar and many, many more.
Today was different. Besides my little flop of a CNN article about the possible government shutdown, I was consuming the other side. I waded through the muck of journalism that claims to be the truth, yelling day-in and day-out “Fake News.”
Before I got started, I decided to do a little research.
Fox News was created in 1996 as a response to the success of CNN. Rupert Murdoch, a media mogul from Australia, appointed known conservative Roger Ailes to permanently lead the network. It was instantly successful. In January of 2002, Fox News surpassed CNN as the No. 1 news cable channel and has remained No. 1 to this day.
After that, I opened my laptop, started a word document and went right to foxnews.com.
The first thing I notice is a countdown timer in the corner, ticking down to the impending government shutdown. The first article, and the biggest on the screen, is titled “Democrats ready to block bill to avert shutdown sang different tune in 2013.”
The article was tough for me to read. Essentially, it compared certain Democrats’ statements against Republicans made in 2013 to comments made today. It was not what I expected, especially as an article they clearly want their readers to click first, but I have to give them credit because, it was actually an interesting read.
However, Fox failed to do what everyone else is doing. Republicans are in control of both houses of Congress and the White House. If they fail to pass a budget, it is their fault. Most networks and newspapers are showing both sides, stating Republicans are trying to frame Democrats and vice versa. Fox News is not. I scoured their website to find an article or even headline pointing the blame to the President or Republican leadership or even at least discussing it.
I think the biggest question to ask, with a President who likes to scream the term, is this: Is Fox News fake news?
Technically, Fox News is part of mainstream media. They are the highest-rated cable news network in the country. Fake? Maybe not. Biased? In my opinion, very much so.
I think the network provides an incredible disservice to its viewers by not providing alternative opinions or the complete facts. For example, in a segment about the economy, an anchor stated that the President is not receiving enough credit for the economy. The anchor listed supporting reasons, but did not attempt to give voice to the other side of the argument.
Honestly, Fox News thinks their viewers are stupid. I don’t think they are, I just think they are being deceived by journalists with an agenda, things that should never go together.
Yes, Fox is just giving its viewers what they want. The average age of a Fox News viewer, according to Nielson, is 68. Older viewers also tend to be more conservative. However, a journalist’s job is not to give a viewer what they want, but rather what is true. I believe that a news network should be providing facts as well as balanced discussion and the presentation of both sides of an argument.
Fox News fails to do this. During my time watching Fox News, the network did not have a guest on air that argued a liberal opinion or anything an anchor disagreed with. They had several Republican lawmakers on air, but not a single Democrat. That’s a problem, especially since polls have shown that most Fox News viewers only get their news from Fox.
“Fair and Balanced” used to be Fox News’ slogan. The network is anything but that, and I believe it is nearly impossible to argue that it is fair or balanced. My adventure into the darker waters of conservative media helped me reaffirm my beliefs.
I think one of the most important things in a healthy democracy is a free, unbiased press. Being an informed voter requires that you educate yourself on both sides of an argument, which is why I will continue to read Fox News every once in a while.
Everyone should be reading, watching and listening to more than one source of news.
Be educated and be informed. Our Democracy depends on it.