Social Question

dealrrr's avatar

Why does Fox "News" get away with lying to you?

Asked by dealrrr (266points) July 23rd, 2010

how can any reasonably sane person not at least attempt to verify what they hear from the Rupert Murdoch machine? are there really that many close-minded, ignorant, insane people in america who simply WILL NOT check the facts?

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52 Answers

ETpro's avatar

Because it isn’t against the law to lie when you are not under oath, and because Fox even went to court to defend their “right” to fire reporters who refused to relate Fox propaganda because they researched in—you know, investigative journalism—and found out it was untrue.

Austinlad's avatar

Because too many people believe them.

Dog's avatar

Tabloids have gotten away with this for decades and people still buy them even after it is proven that they have made up stories.
Too many sheep not enough independent thinking.

All media has an agenda. I do not read anything and take it as fact without further research. I just wish they taught media propaganda in High School.

Aethelwine's avatar

@Dog Great answer, as always. Thank you for mentioning that Fox isn’t the only news organization guilty of this.

augustlan's avatar

I agree with @Dog that all media has an agenda, and all ‘facts’ should be checked before accepting them at face value. However, in most cases this agenda is served by either spinning the news in a certain direction or withholding information. Fox, like tabloids, is different. They outright lie. To me, the word “News” should be reserved for other outlets.

WestRiverrat's avatar

MSNBC isn’t any better. Remember when they showed the man carrying a gun at an Obama rally, from the back and claimed anti black racism? Only to have the uncropped picture appear to reveal the man in question was himself black?

If you don’t get your news from several sources with different agendas, you will end up only getting a carefully edited version of the truth designed to support the agenda of the host media source.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Fox Gnus is in the business of delivering and audience of conservative viewers to advertisers seeking to appeal to that demographic. They do not even pretend to practice journalism.

To the more sophisticated and informed, they are considered a source of political parody and snide entertainment.

No intelligent, well informed individual would consider their “reports” to be journalism. They present the world as their viewers and sponsors wish to see it, with all the drama, preaching, and hyperbole as part of the entertainment package.

They don’t lie to me, they tell me fables, just like the Disney corporation does for children who want to believe in Peter Pan, Captain Hook and Tinkerbell.

charliecompany34's avatar

i hate FOX news. my wife and i always get into debates about what is news and what isn’t. she watches FOX all the time. it’s sensational and it delivers to a market that needs to hear fluff and gossip.

tifa's avatar

I HATE fox news and their reporters who don’t research whatever they report and throw out all these questions and when confronted they beat around the bush ignoring the answer…

RANGIEBABY's avatar

What about teachers, newspapers, reporters of every kind that think their opinion is the only one. What about attorney’s in the courtroom. They both can’t be telling the truth. What about our politicians?? And you are worried about Fox News.

augustlan's avatar

That is why I think “critical thinking” should be taught in schools. That would give everyone the ability to evaluate any information for the likelihood of truth.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Fox news to me is no different than watching Entertainment Tonight or whatever. I rarely watch tv news and care for talk radio even less. For breaking current events then I’m more likely to pay attention to what someone catches on their celly or what friends in other countries are sharing.

Russell_D_SpacePoet's avatar

Get real. ALL MEDIA LIES. Don’t care for fox or any of them, but fox isn’t in Obama pocket like all the other media outlets.

ETpro's avatar

@WestRiverrat I remember that, but when the truth of the photo came to their attention, MSNBC was quick to retract and apologize. What they did not do is go to court to defend their Constitutional right to lie and Photoshop to so that they can deceive their viewers.

Fox News, on the other hand, has done just that. So no, they are not the same. They are not even close to the same. Claiming they are is like claiming that the most respected news organizations on Earth are no different than what Pravda was at the height of the Soviet Union’s days because all papers occasionally get a story wrong.

What’s different is intent. Real news organizations intend to tell the truth. They may have a slant to attract a certain audience, but they intend to tell the truth to that audience. Fox and all of Rupert Murdoch’s many media outlets intend to do whatever is necessary to turn America into a one-party-rule nation. They knowingly lie to do it. That is what is called propaganda, not news.

@RANGIEBABY A common logical fallacy is to divert the discussion form the question at hand to everything else on Earth when you don’t want to face the truth of the answer to the question at hand. What about parking meters? What about the next asteroid strike on Earth? That wasn’t the question. Your list are all interesting, legitimate things to talk about separately, but they are all smokescreeen to cover what Fox News is. Favorite channel for you, is it? :-)

@augustlan Great Answer. Critical thinking and logical fallacies really should be part of a fundamental education for everyone now that the venerable old newspapers of the past are fading in favor of sensationalist, tabloid news programs and the bolgosphere.

@Russell_D_SpacePoet That’s the most popular lie that those who want Fox News’ missioin to succeed will trot out to deflect criticism of the propaganda mill. All media make mistakes. All media do not intentionally lie. And as far as I know, Fox is the only US media outlet claiming to be a news organization that has ever defended its right to lie in a court of law. There is a world of difference between getting a story wrong and printing a retraction when the error is discovered, and deliberately pushing stories that the media outlet knows are lies. Fox lies.

Russell_D_SpacePoet's avatar

@WestRiverrat The Reporters that ran the Sherrod story on fox did apologize. All media has an agenda or slant.

RANGIEBABY's avatar

@ETpro I think this is a silly question. It is stated as if the Fox News is the only news that lies. So it is ridiculous to answer it without including all the others. I must say I enjoy Fox News more than the others. They are more entertaining, but I don’t spend much time watching any of them.

woodcutter's avatar

they don’t, neither does msnbc

tifa's avatar

i think the only real truth if any come from the a&e biographies but they only show the good ones late night because they’re so controversial and might attack the government’s/police/politicians credibility.

jerv's avatar

Fox isn’t there to tell the truth; they exist to sell advertising time and enhance shareholder value. While you can revile them for spreading lies, there is no way that you can claim that they are not doing their job.

ETpro's avatar

@RANGIEBABY If your primary source of news is Fox News, I can understand why you would believe the lie that all other news outlets lie. Fox says so. But one more time around the wall. Fox is the only major US media outlet claiming to be a news organization that has ever gone to court to defend their right to knowingly lie.

All real news organizations actually employ teams of investigative journalists whose job is to fact check news stories before they run with them. They actually try to get the story right. Do they sometimes foul up? Of course they do. All humans make mistakes at times. But when they realize they got a story wrong, they retract it and issue an apology. They do not go to court to win their Constitutional “right” to deliberately keep lying, even when they know the story is a lie. Fox news is no more credible than Pravda was in the heyday of the Soviet Union. They are a right-wing propaganda mill just as certainly as Pravda was a left-wing propaganda mill.

ETpro's avatar

@woodcutter MSNBC definitely does have a liberal lean. That’s only fair to actually balance “Fair and Balanced” Fox. But when MSNBC has been caught running with a story that turned out to be wrong. They ran retractions. They did not go to court to defend their right to lie, and keep running with the lie knowingly like Fox did. There is a HUGE difference.

RANGIEBABY's avatar

@ETpro I never said Fox News was my primary source of news, you said that. Furthermore YOU can’t understand anything I believe or don’t believe. You must have magical crystal ball syndrome. Let me speak in simpler terms, I get my information from many sources and then form my opinion. I also feel that every single source of information whether it be foreign or our own national news, will say what ever they think they can get away with to serve their agenda. Some get caught on it and some don’t. Like running a red light.
Furthermore the question says: Why does Fox “News” get away with lying to you? Did it??? Obviously not if you are talking about it. Silly Question!!!!
Believe what you like…. There is really no other way I can explain it to you, so I am done and moving on. Thank for the banter.

woodcutter's avatar

@ETpro It’s looking like you advocate two wrongs make a right? That if FOX lies then it’s only fair that msnbc do it a little too? Saying stuff that may not technically be a lie but was definitely intended to sway is really kind of a lie, don’t you think? How many people have gotten themselves into a used car only to discover there are things about it that the dealer knew about or SHOULD have known about but kept mum? most people in that situation would say they got screwed. The truth is most used car salesmen are a little bit slippery and so are all agenda driven news outlets. The people at FOX aren’t expecting liberals to tune in and those at msnbc aren’t expecting conservatives to watch either. They both preach to the choir, So it really depends on your political leanings as to which news org misrepresents the worst. There is no worst or least if either one does it AT ALL, they exude a taint

ETpro's avatar

@RANGIEBABY You wrote “I never said Fox News was my primary source of news” No, you siad, “I must say I enjoy Fox News more than the others” So it is reasonable to persume you listen to it enough that you might gather impressions about how much other news sources lie form Foxes coverage ot that topic. I listen to Fox as well, to see what they are saying. And they often go on about some other channel getting a story wrong even though the other channel runs a correction once the error is noted. A regular Fox fan would get the impression that all news sources lie equally often, but it is not true any more than it is true that Pravda was a honest as the London Times.

What on earth is your point about silly question. Does catching a liar in their lie mean they didn’t lie? The question isn’t silly in my mind. It isn’t my question, but it makes perfect sense to ask. One might expect that there would be some journalistic standard beyond which a news organization should be defrocked and reclassified as a propaganda mill. I think you might agree that the material we find on The American Nazi Party website is not very credible, and uses a lot of lies to underpin it. I would rate NASA’s website as significantly more credible. All news sources are not the same.

But we do have freedom of speech, even when that speech is not true. We just cant damage the reputation and honor of others with lies, or use them when under oath in a legal proceeding. So while the question makes sense, the answer is Fox does have the right to lie. And they quite knowingly use it. They retract exposed lies only when the news cycle compels them to do so, because propaganda and entertainment is Rupert Murdoch’s intent for all his media empire, and retractions don’t help boost ratings.

@woodcutter I advocated nothing of the kind. I find mo fault with any news organization taking a slant. The fault was deliberate, knowing lies. I have not seen MSNBC caught doing that. They have run with stories that they didn’t do adequate fact checking on, but I’ve seen no indication they knowingly lie and they certainly have never gone to court to defend their right to force their reporters to lie. Fox is the only news organization to have behaved like that since the days of William Randolph Hearst.

woodcutter's avatar

@ETpro when a report is gotten skewed and a scramble is on to “make it right” one cannot help but wonder why the report was shot out there so hastily to begin with. It’s like when the judge instructs the jury to disregard that last statement. Disregard that last statement? Yeah right like the human sub-conscience can just wipe the first idea clean and authenticate only the statement touted to be correct, this time. Oh yea, that supposedly disregarded statement will go right into a special file that is always easy to bring up so the original mis- information doesn’t really die. The attorney or witness that blurts out the inappropriate statement did so knowing it would be stricken but are also smart enough to know it is a brilliant tool that will stick in the minds of the audience too. It works.

jerv's avatar

@all – Is there anything wrong with getting news from multiple sources and using your fucking brain to try and figure out what the real truth is? Well, aside from the fact that showing any sign of intelligence is a Socialist Fascist plot from Barack Osama to deprive everybody of wealth and power as revenge for slavery and the oppression of his Muslim brethren.

ETpro's avatar

@woodcutter Your point on “Strike that for the record” has merit. Surely it has an impact, but juries deliberating do recal that it is not to invfluence their decision. I think you need to give the listening public a bit more credit for reacting to retractions. The recent Shirley Sherrod hatchet job by Andrew Breitbart is a case in point. For a 24 hour news cycle, most Americans assumed she was a reverse racist. But within the next 24 hour cycle, the truth came out and most now know that she, despite seeing her father gunned down in the back by a KKK thug, has spenmt her life’s work trying to end racism on either side, white agasinst black or black against white. When Breitbart switched his lie to “I never meant Ms. Sherrod, it was the NAACP applause and laughter I was talking about” a second review of the original, unedited tape revealed there was no such laughter and applause at not heloing a white man. So now most discerning Americans know the truth. Breitbart is the racist and is trying to edit and manipulate news to make it seem that those fighting racism are the problem when it is really him, and race baiters like him.

If you have evidence of other news organizations sticking to lies even when they know they are lies—and of going to court to defend their right to force their reporters to knowingly lie, bring it on.

woodcutter's avatar

@ETpro bring what on? we can do stuff like that on fluther?

jerv's avatar

@woodcutter As long as you attack ETpro’s position and not ETpro himself, yes, you can.

Russell_D_SpacePoet's avatar

@ETpro All media is slanted in some form. They do it for ratings. I scan all major news outlets and sort it out myself. I have been off injured the last couple of years. Lots of time to see the different slants. The only thing I can say for fox is that at least they aren’t scared to ask hard questions. Every other media outlet that interviews Obama or other high ranking democratic officials really give them a pass on the tougher issues. Seen a lot of it. Now that the economy is clearly not what we were told it was gonna be, some media people are starting to ask better, tougher questions.

woodcutter's avatar

well in the spirit of the question I can say none of those news orgs “get away” with lying to me. They all misrepresent to some degree. People will believe only what they want to. When you decide to view agenda based commentary you should pretty much know what to expect, at least i do.

flitter54's avatar

woodcutter…There’s the rub, when you claim to be a “NEWS” program, you lie about key points, your veiwers trust you to tell them the truth then they do get away with with it. Alot of people watching fox don’t understand they are being led down a crooked path. There are those who can not or will not try and locate the truth as they don’t get that they are being filled with “agenda based commentary” or LIES. The surgeon general puts warnings on cig boxes, maybe we should require one on fox as well. “beware, rampant lies spewed here”

Russell_D_SpacePoet's avatar

@flitter54 Agenda based commentary is the norm in media today. It is rampant in all forms of news media. That is why you have to look at it overall. I guess the other news outfits that aren’t fox should have the disclaimer “Easy questions for dems and towing the (dem.) party line.” It’s all slanted. BBC, Al Jazeera, MSNBC, FOX, etc. etc.

flitter54's avatar

Russell…I feel you aren’t getting the point, fox uses deliberate, bald faced slanderous lies! Designed, no doubt, for ratings. They feed them to a population that doesn’t understand they are being lied to. These people won’t go research the truth if they believe they already have it. That is why outright fabrications need to be outlawed somehow.

woodcutter's avatar

news anymore is more entertainment than substance. It’s all about the ratings and people want to see stuff in the news that they think is right…for them and theirs. The news orgs have to worry about their advertisers sticking around. If fox suddenly got religion ( about being accurate) they would lose alot of market share. Some heads would roll. Same with msnbc. I think all of them have some kind of an agenda and you can bet that the journalists are vetted pretty thoroughly as to their political leanings before they get the job. People want to be lied to. And the idea that right wingers are naive or shallow and can be led by the nose looks to me to be a form of bigotry, just look at most of the blacks who voted for obama for the wrong reason. Now they are calling him Tom.

flitter54's avatar

Those calling Mr. Obama tom are a tiny and insignificant minority and I haven’t met any of them so have no idea who or where they are. Your comment about “most of the blacks who voted for obama for the wrong reason” say what? Our president was elected not by black vote alone but by an enormous white turnout as well. However, back to the subject of this blog. Fox is the tool of the right and fox paints the right as being “shallow and led by the nose”. If anyone is to blame for that idea it would be the right wing mouthpeices in the media. Whatever they spew is accepted as law by those who will not look deeper for the truth. After reviewing the amount of misleading media from the likes of Fox, Limbaugh, Beck etc.. I am of the conclusion that they may not be capable of telling the truth, I guess once you make a habit of lying it seems the norm?

woodcutter's avatar

here’s the thing- you cannot apply a “truth” law to just one side and really enforce it. No news org including msnbc would support it. That would fall into the category of “be careful what you wish for”. The lawsuits would be unending. The the lawyers would be raking it in big time. It is a watch at your own risk deal and the viewer has to assume some responsibility for what he takes in and weigh the facts. It always has been. What will you think when one of the liberal tabloids really makes a serious boner in the facts dept? A retraction is all it would take to make you feel better? C’mon

Russell_D_SpacePoet's avatar

@flitter54 Democrat are you? Just curious because you seem to tow the party line. I can’t stand either traditional political party.

flitter54's avatar

My goodness, condemned for feeling as though the dems may have something worth fighting for. At least’ we ( myself anyway) don’t condone the lies and vicious threats made by those who are not interested in bettering the lives of the common man but in lining the pockets of the rich. Our “delegates” in DC seem more interested in the agenda of large corporations than in grandma’s like myself, yes sir I am a democrat and want to see the changes made that Mr. Obama has been trying to make. It is time the common man got a better lot. I haven’t seen the left threaten to kill anybody or their families for having a different opinion?

Russell_D_SpacePoet's avatar

@flitter54 Not condemned. Like I said. Both political parties are problems. Dems. are just as crooked as as republicans. Need proof of that, look at Charlie Rangel, Blagojevich, etc. What we need is a change of the whole system. I am not a dem,nor rep., but voted Obama because we needed a change. I just don’t think this is the change we needed.

woodcutter's avatar

I wish everyone could get the stones to actually register Indy. I think it would shake stuff up enough to make the big two let loose of their strangle hold. What do we have to loose really?

flitter54's avatar

I registered indy one year, I think it was the year of Ross Perot, sorry I cant remember how to spell is name. Nader was a change.

tifa's avatar

@jerv: than if that’s true they’re giving us false advertisement and the issue isn’t that they aren’t doing their job its that it isn’t news and it shouldn’t be called the “news” it should be called the “payed opinion”

Jabe73's avatar

I could say all news channels are biased in some way.

RANGIEBABY's avatar

@Jabe73 I will go one further, I could say all Americans are biased in some way.

woodcutter's avatar

@flitter54 I think that when the campaigns take notice of how many are Dem, Rep, or Indy and see most everyone is Indy they will stop taking the voter for granted and start being afraid. I’m sure there is a database they can get that will give them the heads up. We are held hostage by the fringe extremes here who are the most bellicose and therefore receive all the ass kissing.

ETpro's avatar

@Russell_D_SpacePoet, @woodcutter, @Jabe73 & @RANGIEBABY Certainly all news organizations have a slant. There is so much news today, no one organization could possibly cover 100% of it or even 1%. They have no choice but to specialize. Scientific American isn’t likely to print an article on the antics of the latest teen Hollywood heartthrob and Entertainment Tonight isn’t going to delve deeply into the latest discovery in astrophysics. Some news organizations are more liberal and some are more conservative.

The question wasn’t about slant, though. It was about one particular media outlet, Fox News, that calls itself a news organization and yet deliberately, knowingly tells lies. And again, we know this is true because Fox has gone to court to defend their right to force their reporters to lie.

So once more I lay down my as-yet-unmet challenge. For those who keep claiming all news media are the same, show your evidence others force their reporters to lie. Where are the links to the court cases? Do you claim that Kim Jong Il’s Rodong Sinmun and Communist China’s People’s Daily, the voice of the Central People’s Government and CPC Central Committee, are just as accurate in their reporting as The Wall Street Journal? Because tacitly saying “they’re all the same” is claiming that, and I think that assertion is patently absurd.

ETpro's avatar

@Russell_D_SpacePoet Maddow did acctually run a correction stating that Shirley & Bannister had not represented Grassfire.org since 2004. Your source conveniently neglects to mention that. In addition most of the other things they are so angry about her saying may be embarrassing to them, but they are nonetheless true. Fact check them. Once again, we are not talking about newscasters making innocent mistakes which they then correct. We are talking about knowingly lying, and continuing the lie even after it is pointed out.

flitter54's avatar

Thank you Russell my point exactly! I wish more people would fact check before they spew the untruths so rampant in the media as fact, which many many many times they are certainly not.

ETpro's avatar

@flitter54 I do too. Unfortunately, fact checking pure lies isn’t all that easy. When you are free to simply invent facts, you can get a 24 hour head start on the news cycle before anyone can run down the real facts needed to rebut the fabrications. And partisan blogs all know this.

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