11.20.2007

The Fox News template

Recommended article: “The changing face(s) of Israeli TV news,” by columnist Caley Ben-David, The Jerusalem Post, 16 November 2007: LINK

Israeli cable TV outlet HOT last week dropped CNN International and is now broadcasting Fox News.

Ben-David writes:

“Fox is no substitute for CNN, not by a long shot. I'm not talking about Fox's conservative bent, which at least allows for a more diverse range of views than one usually gets on MSM (Main-Stream Media, if you didn't know). That's especially welcome when it comes to its coverage of Israel, which is certainly more sympathetic (or "fair and balanced," depending on your perspective) than CNN or the BBC.

“Unfortunately, however, its reporting from Israel - or, for that matter, anywhere else outside the US - is decidedly skimpy compared to those genuinely global media outlets.

“Fox is actually not an international news channel at all, but an on-air version of an American tabloid - the broadcast equivalent of Rupert Murdoch's racy, breathless, editorially right-wing paper, The New York Post, where coverage of the latest missing-attractive-white-woman-in-peril case gets more air time than the crisis in Pakistan.

“At other times, though, Fox resembles nothing so much as the fulfillment of the prophetic vision of television news presented in the classic 1976 black comedy, Network, with that film's deranged anchorman, Howard ("I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!") Beale, the "mad prophet of the airwaves," incarnated in living form as Fox host Bill O'Reilly of The O'Reilly Factor.

“This sometimes can be fun to watch, sometimes not, but I certainly dread to see the Fox formula used as a general template for the future of television news.”

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