Chris Wallace Admits Fox Is Biased

I watched Jon Stewart’s appearance on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.  Naturally the discussion focused on Stewart’s frequent criticism of Fox “News” for its obvious bias.  I know that Stewart’s calling Wallace “insane” has grabbed much of the attention, but here is the most important part of the interview:

STEWART: So, you believe that Fox News is exactly the ideological equivalent of NBC News?

WALLACE: I think we’re the counterweight. I think that they have a liberal agenda and I think we tell the other side of the story.

Now, here we have Chris Wallace, Fox’s most prominent journalist—and to the Fox brass, its most journalistically validating employee—admitting that Fox tells “the other side of the story.” 

What side is that?  Fox is supposed to be “fair and balanced,” remember? Wallace, basing his admission on the false premise that NBC News is “liberal,” is telling the world what the world already knows but what Fox journalists are loathe to admit: Fox does not do straight journalism.  It is designed to “tell the other side of the story.”

Conservatives are no longer able to deny that Fox, rather than a “we report, you decide” journalistic enterprise, is nothing more than a “counterweight” to the imaginary bias in the other major news outlets.

We know without a doubt now that the “news” side of Fox is biased, consciously so.  And the network’s most prominent journalist has said so.

And by the way, Wallace, when Stewart pointed out that Fox viewers were the “most consistently misinformed media viewers,” did not deny it. Instead, Wallace attacked Comedy Central.

That, folks, says it all.

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25 Comments

  1. janice reed

     /  June 21, 2011

    I thought every rational person in the world already knew that Fox is totally biased. All anyone with only half a brain has to do is listen for 3 minutes.

    Like

    • Janice,

      I agree with you, but remember the point is that Fox never admits its bias. Wallace did so, and admitted it in a way that his critics have been doing for some time. As far as I’m concerned, Fox has every right to brand itself as “conservative” news, whatever that is. But it has tried to brand itself as “fair and balanced,” which, as you point out, any casual observer knows is not true at all. Wallace has now let us know that it is not fair and balanced but represents “the other side.”

      Duane

      Like

  2. ansonburlingame

     /  June 21, 2011

    Duane first,

    You said “Fox does not do straight journalism, I agree.

    Now please show me ANY news reporting that is pure as the driven snow or even close in comparison. I for one think NBC is the “worst of the lot” in biase. Opps, not true. MSNBC fits that bill but between “mainstream” media including now Fox, NBC takes the cake in bias in my view, today. CBS held that position for a long time with the what’s his name that followed Cronkite and was fired for his bias.

    Now Janice,

    The last time I checked my brain was “full and complete”. I’m not the smartest around here for sure but my brain is fine from a physical, neurological standpoint. But if you want to call me stupid for choosing Fox News as my program of choice go ahead and show your true colors. I’m not stupid either, Janice, at least in my view.

    Anson

    Like

    • Anson,

      First, Janice did not call you or anyone “stupid” who watched Fox. Reread her comments. Perhaps as Bob pointed out, you are a little too defensive.

      Second, we have had this debate before, but I’m glad you agree that Fox is biased, an admission the folks at Fox are loathe to admit. Wallace has forever rendered the claim that Fox is fair and balanced a phony claim. It clearly sees itself and presents itself as an alternative to “liberal” news outlets.

      As for the bias of NBC and others, that is ultimately in the eyes of the beholder or consumer. I find NBC, ABC, and CBS about as balanced as one can expect. CNN is moving to the right, MSNBC skews left at night, but conservative in the early morning. In between, in the daytime, MSNBC is all over the place. Have you ever seen Dylan Ratigan or Andrea Mitchell? Sometimes I want to pull what’s left of my hair out watching those two. But neither is ideological. Mitchell is a first-class reporter, who aggravates me as often as she pleases me, which, I suppose, is the mark of a good journalist as measured by a committed partisan.

      Duane

      Like

  3. bob samuels

     /  June 21, 2011

    I find it funny that you feel the need to tell someone that you watch fox news but you are not stupid. In most cases stupidity, or lack thereof, is self evident.

    Like

  4. Fox viewers seem to love the lies and pomposity they receive from their “leadership”. There are simply hundreds of sources for getting the straight dope, as we used to say. Anson might start with Al Jazeera, Max Keiser on RussiaToday, Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, or, for that matter, Jon Stewart on the Daily Show is more accurate than Faux News.

    Of course, it would cause a hell of a lot of cognitive dissonance that Big A couldn’t handle.

    Like

    • Jane,

      I’m glad you mentioned Al Jazeera. Like the BBC, you read things on there that you rarely find anywhere, except maybe NPR. I’m amazed that if one only watches cable news, one never knows much of anything about what is going on in the rest of the world.

      Al Jazeera is a great source to keep up with what non-Americans are up to, as well as look at how others in the world report on news here at home.

      Duane

      Like

  5. ansonburlingame

     /  June 22, 2011

    Bob,

    I have no idea who you are and have not seen you “here’ before. Just leave it at there is so much crap thrown around in this particular blog against anything conservative that it occassionally bears calling people on.

    Some people that watch any news programs are stupid and many are not. Calling someone a “half brain” for watching a news program of any sort is a stupid comment. I speak of real NEWS programs not the opinion crap that flys around everywhere.

    Hannity turns me off. O’Rielly, sometimes but not often. Van Sustren is pretty good most of fhe time. And for the earlier NEWS broadcasts, I find Fox fair and balanced and particularly like Britt Hume as an honest broker.

    And Janice, don’t get ME start on congnitive anything in this particular blog. I’ll start sounding like you if I do.

    anson

    PS: Cognitive = Thinking (straight)

    Like

    • Anson,

      Here is Janice’s comment in full:

      I thought every rational person in the world already knew that Fox is totally biased. All anyone with only half a brain has to do is listen for 3 minutes.

      As is your penchant, you took personally something Janice wrote that wasn’t necessarily an insult aimed at you or anyone who regularly watches Fox. All she said was the following:

      1) Rational people know Fox is biased. (You qualify as rational since you admit Fox is biased.)

      2) Even semi-rational people know Fox is biased. (Again, you qualify.)

      Duane

      Like

  6. ansonburlingame

     /  June 24, 2011

    Duane,

    You wrote, “As for the bias of NBC and others, that is ultimately in the eyes of the beholder or consumer.” Well, Fox and it’s bias is also in the eye of the beholder, is it not? Or is any beholder that watches Fox for “3 minutes” and believes it is no worse that the others simply a “half brain”?

    They are ALL biased in my view even in the coverage of “news”. Watch NBC, ABC, CBS for 30 minutes then compare any of them to the Fox News report at 5 PM (local time) to evaluate who is “more biased”? I see little difference in the “news” coverage.

    Now, every evening Fox shows O’Reilly, then Hannity then Van Sustren. No network program has such a lineup each evening other that CNN. So there is little to compare in terms of opinion programs.

    Hannity compares to Limbaugh on the radio in my view. Some liberals have tried to beat Limbaugh at his own game and gone broke or off the air in a flash in so trying. There is really no one else to compare him (Hannity) to other than St. Rachel on MSNBC, that I have seen. Both are so far right or left that all you can do is…. when I watch either of them.

    Now go watch a SOTU address or other major government speech then scan through the channels to listen to all the talking heads critiquing the speech. I find Britt Hume to be just about if not THE best at such critiques.

    Then of course there is Krauthammer, a “regular” on Fox. Yes, he is generally conservative but he is also brillant and articulate. Any liberals around that can take him on, one on one. I see none of that quality speaking from the left.

    Finally, I do not take it personally when someone says that people that choose Fox News are “half brained”. To me it is simply a stupid comment applying a very broad brush to millions of people making their own choices, informed or not. It would be like me calling anyone that chose to watch MSNBC on a regular basis as “half brained”.

    Anson

    Like

    • Anson,

      You are, of course, quite wrong in comparing Hannity and Maddow. Beyond the fact that he is a conservative and she is a liberal, there is no comparison. She was a Rhodes scholar, has a Doctor of Philosophy in political science from Oxford, and, more important, generally uses reason and not emotion as the thrust of her show.

      Hannity on the other hand is a college dropout whose specialty is demagoguery of the worst kind.

      Now, the truth is that Maddow’s superior education has nothing to do with her superior show. One doesn’t need to go to college to know things about politics, right? But she simply does not normally resort to demagoguery and sensationalization of the facts to carry her through for an hour.

      Look, you seem to think that because demagogues like Hannity have a larger audience that therefore the show is somehow “better.” Obviously that is false, since the second most popular show on television this season was Dancing With The Stars, with an average of 22.5 million viewers. I think Hannity gets about 1.8 million viewers and Maddow about 1 million. Does that make DWTS a better show because “the market” has decided?

      Nope. You prefer Fox because you apparently like the kind of “news” you get there. I prefer MSNBC in the evening because I like to hear articulate liberals do their thing. That’s okay by me. As for liberals matching Krauthammer, we have played this game before. The more I read and watch Krauthammer, the less impressed I am. There are plenty of liberal commentators who not only could take him on, but could expose him for some of his silly notions. He is a good commentator on your side, but you, and Rush Limbaugh, give him way too much credit.

      Duane

      Like

  7. I’m not troubled by fox being a conservative outlet. I do think they should be more upfront about it though. Maybe they will be now.

    Like

    • Bruce,

      Nor am I troubled by Fox being a conservative outlet. What I am troubled by is the fact that other news outlets treat Fox as if it weren’t a conservative news outlet and legitimize it as a mainstream news organization, which it most certainly is not.

      Duane

      Like

  8. ansonburlingame

     /  June 26, 2011

    Bruce,

    I am not “troubled” by MSNBC being a liberal outlet. It bothers me not at all because I rarely watch it. When they say something important, usually for liberals, Duane runs a clip herein.

    I also note that the free market has been rather clear in “its” preferences. Just look at the ratings and MSNBC’s “reorganization” of late. Each to his or her own preferences is my position on what they watch on TV.

    It is what they write about publicly that usually draws a comment from me, in agreement or disagreement.

    Anson

    Like

    • Anson,

      I know you refuse to do it, but your analysis would be much better if you actually watched MSNBC programming, as I watch Fox programming. You simply can’t address the issues thoroughly without actually knowing the other side’s arguments, and knowing them from actually hearing them expressed by real liberals, not merely knowing them as expressed by the conservatives on Fox who caricature those same liberals.

      Duane

      Like

  9. How often do you watch fox Duane, not counting it being rebroadcast on a more liberal outlet??

    Like

    • Bruce,

      Not so much anymore, but probably more than is healthy. It’s just too difficult these days to make it through too many entire programs, but off and on throughout the day when I am home I will watch the so-called straight “news,” (Shep Smith is as close to a real news show as Fox will ever get) and in the late evening, I sometimes watch reruns of O’Reilly, get bits and pieces of Hannity (all I can stand anymore) and Greta. I used to watch Beck more than any of them because I found him fascinating, in the sense that he seems to be a caricature. In that sense, I will miss him.

      On Saturday I sometimes watch that crazy Bulls and Bears show, or whatever that is, and I watch excerpts of the Sunday morning program on the Internet and listen to Fox News on the radio, which, to tell you the truth, I find less offensive than the TV version. I don’t know why that is. Perhaps it is because I’m used to it, since as an avid talk radio listener for years, I heard it all the time. I don’t much listen to talk radio anymore, although I think 20 years is kind of enough to qualify as an expert on the genre.

      Duane

      Like

  10. I watch O’Reilly at times, but I think Hannity is useless other than to make me angry.

    Like

    • Bruce,

      I gave O’Reilly a chance by listening to him on the radio for two hours every day for the time he was on. I have listened to him, literally, for more hours than I care to admit. I will say this: the more I listened to him the more I disliked him. It took a while to understand the whole Bill O’Reilly—the often unmitigated ignorance coupled with an impermeable noggin—but I finally achieved it. Thus, it is very difficult these days to get through an entire episode of this TV show, which in any case is something I don’t think is worth the effort to do.

      And that insufferable segment with Dennis Miller, which should be titled, Miller Does Bill, is so god-awful as to deserve a warning label for those sensitive to on-air copulation.

      Duane

      Like

  11. Cable personalities that are hired to spout their opinions, mostly can’t take seriously the possibility that they could be wrong. O’reilly may more blatant about than most.

    Like

  12. Hilarious….I see comment after nasty degrading comment about how Chris Wallace is a liberal. Apparently, we will never know. Perhaps, that is exactly the way he wants it to be!

    Like

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