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Wednesday, March 17, 2010
The ConWeb Runs to Fox News' Defense
Topic: Media Research Center

The ConWeb has long defended the existence of Fox News, despite its clear bias. When former New York Times editor Howell Raines penned an op-ed for the Washington Post criticizing his fellow journalists for allowing Fox News to "legitimize a style of journalism that is dishonest in its intellectual process, untrustworthy in its conclusions and biased in its gestalt," it was time for another rush to the ramparts.

Newsmax's Ronald Kessler responded not only by noting that "Raines is the same editor who presided over the Jayson Blair scandal," he resorted to his usual defense of the network:

In contrast, Fox News practices journalism the way The New York Times practiced it decades ago, when it was the pinnacle of the profession. Aside from opinion shows, Fox News has a rule that, on any controversial issue, guests from opposing sides must appear.

Ailes keeps track of the statistics religiously to make sure the rule is enforced. What could be more fair and balanced than that?

Kessler has never provided an example of how this purported policy works in practice -- perhaps because it doesn't.

Kessler was followed by Brent Bozell, who devoted his March 17 column to bashing Raines, headlined "A Fraud Fights Fox News." Unmentioned by Bozell: His Media Research Center perpetrated a fraud against Raines, spending nine years insisting that a statement that Raines wrote in his memoir that Ronald Reagan "Reagan couldn't tie his shoelaces if his life depended on it" was an insult of Reagan's intelligence. In fact, Raines was writing about fly-fishing. Even after being called out on its lie, the MRC couldn't do a simple retraction; instead, it added a "clarification" to previous articles containing the quote with the note that "we regret the confusion."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:48 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 2:49 PM EDT

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