Friday, December 26, 2008

Fox News Online Joins the Liberal Media in Bashing Republicans Palin & McCain Via "Memorable Quotes" of 2008

On Christmas Day, Fox News' web site featured a big teaser-ad-like promotion titled “They Said It”, with pictures of Obama, Palin, Jeramiah Wright, and John McCain, and a link to an article. The unsigned article itself was titled: “2008: The Political Year in Quotes. runs down the most memorable lines of the 2008 political year.” (link)

But, as it turns out, Fox News lied in the teaser. The quote they "use" for Palin isn’t hers at all – it’s Tina Fey’s Palin-mocking line delivered on the comedy show Saturday Night Live: “I can see Russia from my house”.

In the text supporting its choice of the quote, Fox News justifies its misrepresentation:

[Quote by] Tina Fey. Okay, so Fey was embellishing for comic purpose. The actual quote delivered by Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to ABC News in September was: "You can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska." But the "Saturday Night Live" impersonator distilled the essence of Palin's remark -- a bizarre statement on foreign policy experience -- for a politically attuned audience that had begun to question the Republican vice presidential candidate's qualifications for higher office.
The Fox article includes quotes from four politicans who ran this past election cycle: Obama, Clinton, McCain, and Palin. The quotes selected from Democrats Obama and Clinton were positive ones and the Fox narratives about them were very complimentary. Fox even included among the memorable quotes a very positive one from Ted Kennedy: "Together we have known success and seen setbacks, victory and defeat. But we have never lost our belief that we are all called to a better country and a newer world. And I pledge to you that I will be there next January."

However, for Republicans, Fox News changes its tune. They ridicule Palin using a quote from someone else and call her own statement "bizarre" (an opinion with which I disagree). And here’s the entry on John McCain, which even includes a rebuttal from Obama (while no rebuttal quotes from Republicans were present in Fox's fawning over the quotes from Democrats):

"The fundamentals of our economy are strong.” -- John McCain heard the end of this one on Election Day. The Republican presidential nominee made the rose-colored remark at a rally in Florida on Sept. 15, as Lehman Brothers was filing for bankruptcy and the stock market continued to tumble. Barack Obama and his Democratic supporters seized on the comment as a sign that McCain just didn't understand the mess he would inherit should he win the presidency. "What economy are you talking about?" Obama asked in response. McCain later clarified that he was talking about the American worker.
Could anyone possible think that the above stuff wasn’t written by liberal Democrats? It’s the typical liberal media bias – celebrating Democrats and smearing Republicans, couched so often as it is in ostensibly “balanced” or non-idelological articles. The cowards who wrote this didn’t even have the decency, as they set out to smear Sarah Palin, to find words she actually said. If Fox News wants to criticize Palin or McCain -- fine, just be out front and honest about it.

Fox News may indeed have some marquee commentators who hold conservative views, but despite its reputation as a "conservative" enterprise, as with the Wall Streeet Journal, when you look under the surface (or off the editorial page) there are plenty of liberals planting their digs and insinuations.

Meanwhile, the Media Research Center has its own "best quotes" of 2008 compilation (link); I haven't reviewed them all yet, but I'll bet they're all actual quotes.

Update 12/29/08: Tina Fey selected as "Entertainer of the Year" for trashing Palin on the liberal Saturday Night Live TV show (Gateway Pundit post here). However good Fey's impersonations were, at least the award-givers, unlike Fox News online, knew that Fey and Palin are two different people.

John M Greco