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October 08, 2009


I think we would all agree that quality products tend to be more successful than inferior ones. E.g., one reason that Toyota expanded while GM contracted is because Toyota's vehicles were of higher quality.

In news, accuracy is a big component of quality. Thus, it's logical to think that one reason why Fox News's viewership is higher than CNN's and MSNBC's is because Fox News is more accurate.

Does accuracy breed success in the news business? I think Brendan would agree with this principle if he were addressing, say, the New York Times, or even his own blog. Yet he finds it absurd to apply the principle to Fox News. Perhaps he's prejudiced against them.

If you think people value truth, you are not a good judge of people.


High quality products do tend to be more successful. However, it does not mean that a successful product is of high quality.

Here's Homer Simpson on the nation's most popular newspaper (via SNPP)

Homer: Here's good news! According to this eye-catching article, SAT scores are declining at a slower rate!

Lisa: Dad, I think this paper is a flimsy hodgepodge of pie graphs, factoids and Larry King.

Homer: Hey, this is the only paper in America that's not afraid to tell the truth, that everything is just fine.

I wonder if Brendan's criticism of Fox News was unconsciously triggered by White House attacks against that network, as reported in Time Magazine:

the White House blog now issues regular denunciations of the Administration's critics, including a recent post that announced "Fox lies" and suggested that the cable network was unpatriotic for criticizing Obama's 2016 Olympics effort.

Brendan's criticism of Fox News was very consciously "triggered" by what Mr. Clemente, the Fox News executive said, David.

daniel, maybe you're right. However, what's striking about the harsh criticism of FNC by Brendan and by the White House is that it's not tied to any particular mistakes. Normally Brendan criticizes organs that have reported inaccurately or with unfair spin. In the case here, FNC merely asserted that their news was accurate. That's such a common claim for a news outlet to make that it's hard for me to see why it would have triggered Brendan's post.

"In the case here, FNC merely asserted that their news was accurate."

Not really. The F(R)NC here, through Mr. Clemente, claimed that his network put out what it BELIEVES to be accurate. There's a difference.

I see little logical difference. The alleged accuracy is FNC's opinion whether that point is emphasized or not.

Incidentally, daniel, by putting that (R) in your post, you're doing what I faulted Brendan for doing. You're accusing FNC of bias but providing no evidence, no examples and no cites.

I don't find the quote disturbing, nor even surprising. It's about what I would expect from the leading purveyor of Infotainment.

Surely no objective listener still believes Fox is a real news network?

Just a couple years ago, an independent study found that Fox "News" broadcasts had the highest rate of inaccuracies: up to 60% of programs had at least one mistake.

If you'd like some specific examples (far too numerous to mention here), I'd suggest looking at this:

"You're accusing FNC of bias but providing no evidence, no examples and no cites."

LoneStar does the heavy lifting for me in this regard. I have to laugh at the double standard in your sentence, though. If I had a penny for every time a Republican/conservative criticizes the media for being biased to the left, without providing any evidence, examples or cites, I'd be a rich man.

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