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The right stuff on Fox

July 20, 2001 | Page 6

FOX NEWS claims to deliver objective reporting--"We report, you decide" is one of its slogans. But a study of Special Report with Brit Hume, Fox News' marquee news show, found that of 56 partisan figures interviewed in a five-month period, 50 were Republicans and six were Democrats--a greater than 8 to 1 ratio.

In fact, right-wingers outnumbered all other points of view, including nonpolitical guests, by a factor of more than 2 to 1. The lack of diversity in political opinion was matched by a lack of diversity among guests--only eight women and six people of color appeared on the show, adding up to a roster of "experts" that was 91 percent male and 93 percent white.

Fox News has an editorial mission to provide a counterweight to the supposed dominance of the media by "liberal" political voices. But this notion of liberal dominance of the media is as mythical as Fox's objective news coverage. Of 67 partisan guests interviewed by CNN's Wolf Blitzer, 38 were Republicans and 29 Democrats.

But Fox News anchors are also known for going beyond extending invitations to conservative guests--and doing their own right-wing ranting.

During the presidential campaign, Bill O'Reilly, host of The O'Reilly Factor, mused about whether Al Gore had "a quasi-socialistic platform" with "work and production being supervised by the government."

"President Bush ran on the slogan 'reformer with results,'" said O'Reilly. "That sounds good to me."

--Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, July 2, 2001

Gap direct action?

GAP IS trying out a new promotional campaign to tap into young consumers. As protesters have taken to the streets in Seattle, Washington, D.C. and Quebec City to protest corporate globalization, Gap has identified…a marketing strategy.

With faded black jeans hanging in front of a red banner and the words "independence," "freedom" and "We, the People" scrawled in fake black spray paint across their store fronts, Gap introduced their new advertising strategy.

Gap is notorious for hiring sweatshop workers for pennies an hour, denying them basic health care and the right to form unions. Although many of Gap's clothes say "Made in the USA," most are produced in Saipan, a U.S. territory where U.S. labor laws don't apply. Apparently, "freedom" and "independence" apply more to their ability to make profits than to the workers who make them profitable.

--Independent Media Center Web site, June 20, 2001

George W. Bush blunders again

IN EARLY July, Bush stumbled through New York for the first time since he lost that state by nearly 25 points to Al Gore last November. Bush took the occasion to lead 29 new citizens in the Pledge of Allegiance at a naturalization ceremony stuffed to the gills with bigwig politicians and corporate backers.

Though his two public appearances in New York totaled no more than 20 minutes combined, he still managed a few good gaffes.

When Bush stood to lead the new Americans in the Pledge of Allegiance, he confused the Pledge with taking oath at the witness stand. "Right hand up, please," he said to the soon-to-be-citizens, raising his arm but then stopping himself. "Actually, right hand on your heart."

Moments later, Bush was posing for photographs with a handful of Democrats and Republicans in front of New York harbor when a reporter called out, "How do you like New York, Mr. President?" "It's a beautiful day," Bush responded tersely.

Even fellow Republicans--including New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Gov. George Pataki--froze for about five awkward seconds. After Bush reconsidered his response, he blurted out, "I love New York"--to the evident relief of his hosts.

During his trip, Bush also had to contend with 500 protesters who held signs reading, "He's not my president," and chanting, "Hey hey, ho ho, Bush and Cheney have got to go."

--New York Times, July 11, 2001

Heard it through the grapevine

"THE AMAZING thing [is that] we'll have our birthday on the same day again next year."
--George W. Bush when it was pointed out to him that he shares a birthday with an Associated Press reporter

"THE AMAZING thing about this job is the job seems to follow you around."

"THE RIGOROUS regimens the treatments require make questionable their effectiveness in low-income societies. If this is not enough, one has also to realize that to the extent the treatments were effective, the resulting increase in life spans could--since the medicines are not cures--actually expand the epidemic."
--Harvard economics professor Robert Barro on why efforts to provide Africans with AIDS drugs will backfire

"CONSERVATIVE CATHOLICS, who are aghast at fellow believers' willingness to ignore the Pope on matters of contraception, blithely ignore in their turn papal pleas to renounce the death penalty. George W. Bush said…Jesus is his favorite philosopher. Mr. Bush clearly needs some deeper consultation with the philosopher of his choice."
--Columnist and author Gary Wills

"STATES SHOULD be given more latitude in meeting federal pollution control rules, all regulations should be subjected to a strict cost-benefit analysis, and the EPA should drop its 'command-and-control' attitude toward environmental protection."
--Environmental Protection Agency chief Christie Todd Whitman

"I'M ALWAYS struck by the fact that there are not enough conservative voices in mainstream broadcasting."
--ABC News anchor Peter Jennings

"OUR INCREASES in gas prices aren't fed back into projects that provide alternatives to driving. They're fed into Exxon's balance sheet…To really affect oil companies, we should set gas taxes high enough…[so that they could be used to build] world-class bike and transit facilities."
Chicagoland Bicycle Federation member Steve Buchtel on why the group favors higher regressive taxes on gas

"THEY HAVE to do business in New York regardless of who is mayor. If you give to all of them, then it's just the price of doing business."
Rent Stabilization Association president Joseph Strasburg on his group's $250,000 donation to each of four candidates running in the Democratic Party primary

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