Do Viewers Really Even Want Unbiased Media? [OPINION]
The Obama White House unsuccessfully tried to block FOX News from covering a story. Back in 2010, FOX News ended up included in a round of interviews with Obama administration “pay czar” Kenneth Feinberg, but only after the rest of the White House press pool said they would not do the interviews if FOX was excluded.
An opinion piece posted on WWL Radio website has gone viral on the internet. The question posed by afternoon show host Scoot, asks what would have happened if President Obama had called FOX News "fake news".
The sh*t would have hit the fan if President Obama had praised CNN and MSNBC while bashing Fox News as “fake media,” but that is essentially what President Trump is doing by praising FNC and labeling their competitors as fraudulent.
I realize that I’m taking a chance on offending many Trump supporters with my professional observation about the media. It’s easy to discredit the expertise of anyone you disagree with, but my 40 years of experience on the air and studying the relationship between mass media and society does allow me to have an educated opinion on media matters.
Perhaps I’m not 100% correct, but my professional observations are inspired by what I see and hear and not by any personal grudge against President Trump. Any conscious listener appreciates that my show takes positions about the issues, regardless of political affiliation.
That being said - President Trump is turning the Fox News Channel into an extension of the executive branch of government. The benefit for Fox News is the anticipation of expanding its lead over competitors, and that is based on the assumption that enough Americans will tune in to watch a pro-Trump spin on the news. Fox News has been complicit in creating a “safe zone” for President Trump and in return, the President appears to be favoring Fox to the point that if President Obama did the same with CNN and MSNBC, the criticism from Fox News viewers and right wing radio talk show hosts would have been loud and relentless.
This op-ed blog is not an attempt to bash President Trump – it is an honest observation about the scary reality of a biased media going so far as to become an extension of the executive branch. The one thing that continues to distinguish media in America from media in many countries around the world is that our media is free from government control.
What happens if our media volunteers to become part of the ruling class in our government?
As I have argued many times, Fox News has every right to be biased in favor of conservatives, but if Fox News does accommodate a pro-Trump stance and if the President continues to show extreme favoritism to that cable news network, and the Fox News ratings grow, then we can conclude that many Americans defy their own claim to want a media that is not biased.
There is one place the Trump administration is not safe. That is the afternoon show Shepard Smith Reporting:
Tell us what you think in the comments below.