One-Sided Criticism

Eric Boehlert’s great piece at Media Matters asks the following hypothetical questions:

All of which begs the questions, why do Fox News execs spin so furiously whenever they’re the ones accused of having a bias? Why do they consider it “sad” and “pathetic” to be tagged as Republican? Why do Fox News employees find the label “conservative'” so insulting? Why does Fox News indignantly demand news outlets print corrections if they simply report that Fox News has a Republican tilt?

The answer here is that Fox News can’t fight back against charges of bias the way other news organizations do. When Howard Kurtz, for example, was criticized in an online chat at the Washington Post, he trotted out the old line “I get criticized from both sides, which tells me I must be doing something right”. For the traditional media, that’s their (lazy, logically-flawed, foolish…) go-to excuse to get out of any charges of political bias, but that would never, ever work for Fox News. Even their most ardent defenders would crack a rib laughing at the notion that anyone would ever accuse Fox of having a liberal bias. They can’t play the “both sides hate us” card, so they have to resort to Plan B : throw a temper tantrum like the overgrown children that they are.