The current dispute between the President and the fantasy news network (FNN) is one we all need to pay attention to. It’s one of those issues that seem to pop up every now and then, where we find people who would literally never be on the same side of an issue huddling together and working on solving a problem. At issue is the ability of the press to access the President and a dispute about the abuses of power; theirs not his. We still need a free press but when a press goes rouge are there limits to how much access the President should give them?
We all know there is no love lost between the FNN and President Obama. Touted by more than one as the media arm of the Republican party, this news network consisting of both talk radio talking heads and twenty four hour news networks provides listeners with daily blast of bias, innuendo, misspeak and outright mis-approximation of information. There are no rules for what they are doing. To say they are pushing the envelope of credibility would be an understatement. Yet viewership is up and for the owners, profits are running high and money talks whether it is good or bad!.
Quite a turnaround from the support FNN gave President Bush. He apparently was right no matter what he did wrong in his eight year fiasco of a Presidency, and no matter what, could always draw on that one card he seemed to have in the hole with FNN media; that being, he’s the President stupid, show some respect. Apparently Obama has no such card to play.
FNN has labeled our new President everything from a Nazi to a Socialist intent not only on taking the candy from babies, but the parental rights that go along with it. For a sample of the bashing they daily put out against the President check out the links column of this site for the who said what piece.
The idea that serious reporting required some fact checking by the press was lost long ago with the boys and glamour gals at FNN. Off the cuff remarks become full blown news stories and the nightly line up of entertainment talking heads need only stroke the masses with made up facts to increase ratings. Any cry for credibility from the other news sources seems to be falling on deaf ears. One needs only to remember Jon Stewart dealing with Jim Kramer, the FNN financial analyst guy. When questioned about his responsibility for giving bad information when the very information he was giving was tied back to those who stood to make the most from its use, Kramer insisted, that this was just entertainment; no one takes this stuff for real. Must be the reason I hear Jim Kramer advertising so that I can follow his stock portfolio for a monthly fee and learn what he does with his real money.
The war of words between Obama and FNN has increased FNN’s ratings. Liberals, while opposed to what FNN is saying, have to say that FNN has the right to say it. Truly it appears that Walter Cronkite said it right when he said the birth of twenty-four hour news was the death of real news. And while we still have the ability to turn the switch off and listen to something else, how long will it be before other presupposed real news stations have to bow to the reality of ratings revenue and turn their news from facts to entertainment programs? Sadly for us all, not very long at all. In fact, it’s happening already…
(more to come)