By Allison Herman
On Friday, Fox News did a story about a college professor who offended conservative students when he allegedly gave an unfair writing assignment, telling his students to criticize Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Fox had an interview with one of the Republican students who said he was offended by the assignment. I thought the idea was good and viable, but the way it played out on the show was all wrong. The questions the anchor asked were clearly biased and leaned to the right. Also, I felt that the story didn’t have much credibility. The tease for the story was very misleading, as are most teases, but I think that it could have been much better written to more accurately portray the story. Also, the details from the student and the details from the anchor describing what actually happened with the assignment didn’t match up completely, which made me doubt the credibility of the whole situation. I felt that Fox News dropped the ball with that story.
However, they did do a good job of showing both sides of the story when the newscast went to the “Strategy Room.” Fox did an interview with two women who were discussing the importance of the Catholic vote in the November election. One guest was a former advisor for Hilary Clinton, while the other was a former GOP chair in Virginia. The segment was incredibly entertaining because both of the women were so obviously opposed in their opinions about who was going to win the Catholic vote and what each thought about the recent controversy over Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden’s pro-choice stance, despite being a Catholic. The same anchor who did the interview with the Republican student also did the interview with the two women, but the second interview was much better formatted and used fair and balanced questions.
I was also really impressed with the use of presidential polls during the dual segment. Several polls were referenced and used by the anchor and the guests, but it really worked because it was tied into good conversation and debate, which I felt made for pretty good TV. I thought this was the perfect instance where polls were used correctly and actually added something to a newscast.