Wednesday, September 5, 2012

FOX News: Objective or Biased?

Devin Bartolotta

It’s no secret that FOX news is often accused of learning toward the right side of the aisle, which makes this particular news outlet that much more interesting and fun to observe this semester.

For example, this morning’s CNN headline reads, “5 Things We Learned Last Night,” about the Democratic National Convention. Appropriate, considering the many speeches given at the DNC last night that could potentially impact the election. However, the lead on FOX’s website this morning was, bizarrely, “Obama’s nomination speech moved indoors, party cites weather concerns.” I anticipated reading the latter, then thought: Uhh…who cares?

But I understand this blog is not just about leads, or even just headlines. However, I did not find much out of the ordinary about FOX’s coverage of the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.

One of the things I did find is that many news networks seem to be harping on the marathon time that Paul Ryan discussed in an interview last week, even finding different angles to keep it in the headlines, and FOX wrote only one article on the subject. While some may see that as an indicator that Fox is a more conservative-leaning news outlet, I would argue that it simply makes sense and that many Americans are tired of the news shaking its finger at Paul Ryan for saying he can run faster than he actually can.

Interesting to me was the poll on the side of the website. It says, simply, "Are you better off now than you were four years ago?" I found it kind of "iffy" because not only were the majority of results a resounding "NO WAY, JOSE," (which really indicates the audience FOX news is getting for its coverage) but it also is a new sort of motto for Mitt Romney, including his hashtag #AreYouBetterOff. Perhaps if this poll were from a left-leaning news organization, the question would read differently.

On the contrary, this article almost seemed to mock parts of the RNC and the things that took place there. So far in my observation, I believe FOX has given equal observation to both the RNC and the DNC and can’t be accused of learning towards either direction.

In all, I think FOX did a very thorough job of covering both conventions. Both had multiple articles, covering pre- and post-convention opinions and observations, and included transcripts of all speeches for both. I’m sure there will be more coverage after Obama’s speech today – even if it is moved inside. 

Here's a glimpse at the fact checking FOX did the first night of the DNC.