Joseph Farah, the fellow who runs World Net Daily for fun and profit, wrote yesterday in a piece – one of his so-called “daily commentaries” – called Fox News Stands Alone? that he greatly admires Roger Ailes of Fox News. Farah does have a few issues with Ailes though. What upsets Farah is that Ailes is not enough of a wingnut. In other words, his sin is one of omission: a lack of excess.
No Greek wisdom is to be found at WND; no moderation. Nossir.
While it’s true that Fox News is often criticized and demonized by many in the press, it’s also true that Fox News acts like it is the only alternative medium in the U.S. It is far from it. It’s also true that Fox also has some of the same institutional problems that plague the euphemistically called “mainstream media” – problems of bias, political correctness and sacred cows.
He does not like that Fox News bills itself as “fair and balance” because, he says (without a trace of irony) that journalism is “not about ‘fair and balanced.’ It’s about seeking the truth.”
This, of course, gives Farah a chance to toot his own horn: “We have been fearless seekers of the truth ever since – for more than 17 years. So I think I have more than a little knowledge in this area.”
In fact, truth is a very low priority at WND, where the National Inquirer seems to be the business model. Yet Farah wants his readers to believe that he and his writers are a bunch of modern-day heroes:
The WND team is a collection of journalistic refugees from the “mainstream media,” which abandoned their watchdog role and their mission to expose corruption, fraud, waste and abuse in government.
Which brings us to the unforgivable lack of ideological purity exhibited by Fox News:
But there are some places Fox News won’t go. There are some stories Fox won’t cover. There are some things you just can’t say on Fox News – things that need to be said and reported.
While it’s true Fox provides a forum for conservative voices, it is still heavily stacked against them. Think about it. There’s Sean Hannity and Mike Huckabee and Neil Cavuto. But on the other side of the spectrum there’s Greta Van Susteren, Geraldo Rivera, Sheppard Smith, Bill O’Reilly, Chris Wallace, Juan Williams, Lis Wiehl, Kirsten Powers, Jehmu Greene, Mara Liason, Judith Miller, Bob Beckel, Alan Colmes, Arthel Neville, Megyn Kelly, Greg Gutfeld and dozens more who are not – some of whom represent strong liberal points of view.
Can you imagine Bill O’Reilly and some of these others being accused of liberal points of view? I don’t recall ever hearing anything even resembling a liberal point of view from Bill-O. But if you’re not certifiable, you’re not Republican these days.
But Farah isn’t finished with his absurdist fantasy:
Is Fox News vilified by the establishment press out of jealousy over ratings and because it provides a handful of conservative voices with a platform? Yes.
But is it all America needs to get the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? No.
Really? A handful of conservative voices? Really? You have to wonder what Farah has been smoking.
Farah wants you to believe that “the truth is the American government has never been at war with the free press like it is today. And that is because the American government, under liberals, is moving closer to unconstitutional authoritarianism than perhaps ever before in its history.”
Clearly, Farah Rip van Winkled the Bush years. Or he is just exercising that Republican ability to ignore uncongenial facts.
So of course, we come to the inevitable point in Farah’s logic chain: “Meanwhile, it is imperative that Americans use all their skills of discernment in searching out truth in the media. I believe that search begins at WND.”
In other words, if you want only the finest in propaganda, go to World Net Daily. And buy something while you’re there. It takes a lot of money to put up all those Ten Commandments signs that condemn lying, after all.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.