“Fair and Balanced” News Shills for SuperPACs
Written by Corey Goldstone
Fox News Channel takes pride in its slogan- “fair and balanced.” As educated consumers of political news, we have a right to expect this standard not only from Fox News, but all major journalists relaying the latest political developments.
Being critical thinkers, we can assume that a superPAC, whose board members support theories that President Obama’s birth certificate is a “forged document” would be intensely partisan in nature. If so, then it seems peculiar that Fox News host Sean Hannity would give this superPAC, called Special Operations for America, what amounts to free advertising. Hannity used his position as a prime time Fox host to tout the superPAC’s mission of “ensuring that Barack Obama is a one-term president,” and repeatedly flashing SOFA’s website across the screen.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Paul E. Vallely, a SOFA board member who has tirelessly promoted birther theories, was a Fox News contributor for six years. Similarly, superPAC strongman and Fox political analyst Karl Rove, has had his “celebrity president” attack ad promoted on seven separate Fox programs. Fox reporters have praised the attack as “fabulous” and “the most effective anti-Obama ad I have ever seen.”
Fox News has long been an accommodating avenue for Super PACs to put down their opponents in front of national audiences. How much exposure news channels should give to attack ads is a matter of personal preference, but most people would agree that venomous 30-second spots are not the best way for uninformed citizens to form the opinions they take to the polls.
The First Amendment extends protection to misleading company slogans. As a supporter of the First Amendment, I can only politely suggest that Fox News change its line from “Fair and Balanced” to “Fairly Imbalanced.”
Corey Goldstone is a Syracuse Orangeman, braving the harsh winters to study American Political Science with a Concentration in Public Policy and the Legal System. He has volunteered for a local Obama reelection movement, interned for the Federal Affairs office of CSX, and worked for New York State constituents at Senator Charles Schumer’s CNY Office. His interest is in exposing the roadblocks to democracy that prevent everyday citizens from accessing electoral politics.