A guest commentary.
I was reading Leonard Pitts’ editorial attack on Fox News while I was watching a news report about the fed’s Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) October 5 while eating breakfast. Pitts’ assault on Fox News made me reach for my flipper and check the two high rated broadcast news programs in the morning on NBC and ABC. I can’t remember which I turned to first but the broadcast news was reporting more details about the tawdry breakup of the Gosselin marriage (John & Kate plus eight) as this family dissolves. I then flipped to the other channel which had a report about the salacious peeping Tom arrest in the Andrews hotel videotape arrest. Tiring of tabloid trash from the coastal elite media I turned back to Fox News.
While Fox News will also slip down to tabloid celebrity journalism on occasion there is a real effort to cover real news. That is quite a contrast from the elite, coastal news media that has been publishing fraudulent stories for years. I remember the disgrace that fell upon the Washington Post concerning the Janet Cooke reporting that turned out to be pure fiction years ago.
The New York Times topped this years later with the Jayson Blair fiction that was published in the paper that the times itself called “… fabricated statements,” in this “reporting.” The New York Times has repeated this disgraceful journalism since then by using omission, distortion, falsification, and emphasis to distort the truth in Bob Kohn’s book “Journalistic Fraud.” Kohn’s 2003 book could be updated with a big slab of new material since that time listing additional disgraceful misbehaviors. In last year’s presidential election the times ran a story alleging improper ties between John McCain and a female beltway lobbyist. This story lacked a source and should have never been published.
All of these abuses were topped in 2004 when Dan Rather tried to change the outcome of the presidential election by reporting a fraudulent story about George W. Bush’s National Guard service during the Vietnam War. This journalistic disgrace destroyed Rather’s career with the final blow occurring with the dismissal of his pathetic lawsuit just a few days ago.
If Mr. Pitts was really interested in media bias he would check out Bernie Goldberg’s numerous books about CBS, Dan Rather, and the disgraceful story told in A Slobbering Love Affair: The True (And Pathetic) Story of the Torrid Romance Between Barack Obama and the Mainstream Media, a book about the appalling news media coverage of the 2008 presidential campaign. The elite coastal news media’s behavior since Obama’s inauguration has been almost as sycophantic in its coverage as Pravda was in Moscow during Soviet times.
These were the “news” organization that Mr. Pitts finds credible. Mr. Pitts attacks Fox News commentators and alleges that their mistakes are more egregious than the disgraceful misbehaviors listed above. Recently I heard Glenn Beck, who seems to be the main target for Mr. Pitts’ editorial ire, state a correction at the beginning of his broadcast. This is a huge contrast with Dan Rather who is unrepentant.
Mr. Pitts was unable to issue a single example of any error from Fox News’ broadcasts in his rant. Let me state that Fox News has made errors. I have heard them acknowledge and correct these mistakes on the air. Mr. Pitts ignored this fact.
Now a left winger like Mr. Pitts will oppose Mr. Beck, Bill O’Reilly, and Sean Hannity’s politics. Mr. Pitts is upset about their expose of the left wing ballot stuffing group ACORN. That is fine. That is his opinion. Unfortunately, Mr. Pitts will not extend the same First Amendment privilege to folks who disagree with him. Beck, Hannity, and O’Reilly are all opinion commentators who are not engaged in reporting news. Like Mr. Pitts they do engage in commentary on the news. However, the effort by Mr. Pitts to denigrate and through their alleged mistakes according to Mr. Pitts, this column implies we need to muzzle the only network that provides both sides in U.S. television news coverage. This is an insult to the First Amendment and to the disgraceful journalistic malfeasance generated by the elite news media in this country.
Sadly, since Mr. Pitts attack on Fox News in the Wichita Eagle, it now appears that a Wichita Presbyterian Church will be bringing Mr. Pitts in to speak here. The KNSS radio ads for his speech make him sound like some kind of conservative. Mr. Pitts fraudulent attack will now be combined with a fraudulent misrepresentation in these ads. With this kind of record, will Mr. Pitts end up in a prime media posting in NY or in Washington next?
Editor’s note: The program announcement for Pitts’ appearance in Wichita gives this information about him: “For Pitts, the gospel is about personal salvation and seeing the end of social injustices around us, including racism and economic disparity. Using John 13:1-17 where Jesus washes the disciples’ feet as his model, Pitts speaks about not “doing church” but “being church.” He will talk for about 45 minutes at the Town Hall event, followed by a conversation with Eastminster’s senior pastor, the Rev. Dr. Steven M. Marsh, incorporating written questions from the audience.”