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FOX-TV So Rabidly Pro-Bush They Should Be On The Campaign Payroll

by Charley Reese Thursday, Jun. 26, 2003 at 11:26 AM

Watching Fox News is like watching an electronic adolescent that has appointed itself the strident, belligerent defender of the Bush administration and its foreign policy.

FOX-TV So Rabidly Pro-Bush They Should Be On The Campaign Payroll

By Charley Reese


Watching Fox News is like watching an electronic adolescent that has appointed itself the strident, belligerent defender of the Bush administration and its foreign policy.

As a result, Fox got its nose quite out of joint when the British Broadcasting Corporation recently ran a program based on an international poll that showed a majority in many countries don't like President George Bush.

Well, so what? I don't imagine Hillary Clinton or Tipper and Al Gore are all that fond of him either. Certainly Jimmy Carville isn't. So what is the big deal about a poll? The BBC poll, by the way, showed practically the same thing that an independent poll showed earlier. Nobody complained when the earlier poll results were reported.

It isn't the job of any journalist or pretend-journalist to defend the president against political criticism. He pays people well to do that, and President Bush's flacks are quite competent. Journalists are supposed to represent the common folks by just telling them what's going on, good or bad, with no regard whatsoever for the partisan political consequences, if any, of the news they report.

Maybe I feel so strongly because at one time I was a political flack. It paid very well. So I damned sure am not going to flack for some politician on a journalist's wage. What the folks at Fox News ought to do, if they like the president so much, is try to get on his campaign payroll. I'm sure the campaign pays better than Fox.

I have developed a theory about contemporary American politics, which is, in essence, that people don't pay much attention to the facts. They decide they either like or don't like some politician and that's the end of it. Don't try to confuse them with the facts.

I'm quite certain that if it were proven beyond a doubt that President Bush lied about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, it wouldn't affect his popularity any more than Monica Lewinsky affected Bill Clinton's. American politics today is all perception and emotion. Maybe, and I emphasize maybe, 5 percent of the people would change a political opinion based on the facts. The rest are attached to their favorites like movie fans. They just stare at them with goo-goo eyes and squeal on cue.

I realized this when Jimmy Carter made his acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention in 1976. The camera showed a close-up of a young woman with tears streaming down her face and a look of rapt adoration. Now, if you've ever heard a speech by Jimmy Carter, you know he is not even close to being a great orator. He was a droner, worse even than Al Gore. The normal human response to a Carter speech was, "When is this going to end?" Nor was he what a normal person would call adorable. Even "likable" would be a stretch. Yet that young woman looked like a teeny-bopper at a Beatles concert.

President Bush has his allotment of adoring fans, and nothing the BBC broadcasts is going to change their minds. Whomever the Democrats finally decide on will have his or her fans, and the great popularity contest will be off and running.

The days of great politics and great politicians are behind us. You have to go back to Dwight Eisenhower and Harry Truman to find any original and informed thinking in a political speech. Today's candidates are mass-marketed with committee-written speeches and clever sound bites and photo ops.

Despite all that, though, politicians often aren't in control of their own destiny. If the people believe the economy is bad, they will tend to blame the incumbent whether he had anything to do with it or not. And, conversely, if they think the economy is good, they will give the incumbent credit whether he had anything to do with it or not.

That tells us one thing: In October 2004, the Bushies at Fox News will be telling us how great the economy is even if we are all unemployed and half-starving.

© 2003 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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Pravda Gorby Thursday, Jun. 26, 2003 at 11:54 AM
Chucky ReeseCup Thursday, Jun. 26, 2003 at 12:14 PM
"In October 2004, daveman Thursday, Jun. 26, 2003 at 4:09 PM
and i believe daveman Thursday, Jun. 26, 2003 at 5:19 PM
davegirl wavemaster Thursday, Jun. 26, 2003 at 5:26 PM
Notice... Diogenes Thursday, Jun. 26, 2003 at 7:49 PM
Did you guys see... Eric Friday, Jun. 27, 2003 at 2:09 AM
brigg anti-brigg Friday, Jun. 27, 2003 at 4:10 AM

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