Green Room

An Assault on FOX News by—Howell Raines??

posted at 12:13 pm on March 14, 2010 by

Howell Raines: Would you trust this man to do anything?
Howell Raines: Would you trust this man to do anything?

It sounds like something straight out of The Onion: A critique of FOX News by one of the most biased, least open-minded individuals ever to sully the profession of journalism, Howell Raines. If the name is unfamiliar, Raines (whose mugshot appears at the left) is a former executive editor at the New York Times, another bastion of journalistic fairness and honesty. His most notable achievement at this newspaper was hiring professional liar and plagiarist Jayson Blair.

Raines’s rant against Roger Ailes and FOX, which appears in today’s Washington Post, is certain to come away with honors as the decade’s unintentionally funniest commentary on the state of the modern fifth estate. Just take this quote alone: “Through clever use of the Fox News Channel and its cadre of raucous commentators, Ailes has overturned standards of fairness and objectivity that have guided American print and broadcast journalists since World War II.”  Standards of fairness and objectivity? Raines couldn’t be more of a stranger to fairness and objectivity.

Raines’s disquisition on the alleged unfairness of FOX centers on one beef: its biased treatment of the current health care fiasco. In support of his claim, Raines relies on an unattributed quote he ascribes to FOX: “The American people do not want health-care reform.” Crack journalist that he is, Raines probably should name the FOX employee whom he is quoting, but remember—this is the man who gave the world Jayson Blair.

But never mind any of that. Raines, oblivious to blunt self-contradiction, shoots himself in the journalistic foot a paragraph later by noting “It is true that, after 14 months of Fox’s relentless pounding of President Obama’s idea of sweeping reform, the latest Gallup poll shows opinion running 48 to 45 percent against the current legislation.”

You have to hand it to the Washington Post for publishing this bit of self-righteous drivel and, in so doing, demonstrating that they are willing to hire, if only on a freelance basis, the handicapped.

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That is pretty hilarious, HP.

Fox News Sunday had John Podesta on the panel today, and he and Bill Kristol got into it with some heat at one point. Podesta is in some ways more left than Fox regular Juan Williams. Fox routinely has commentators from the left on its news shows — meeting the same criterion (and frequently exceeding it) that Raines would presumably use to judge “fairness and objectivity” in what is unquestionably the editorial realm.

The only opinion hour in which the host doesn’t frequently have leftist commentators is Glenn Beck’s. O’Reilly and Hannity have them all the time. They get argued with, but that’s hardly unfair, and certainly doesn’t produce an “unobjective” outcome.

Well, anyway, your point that Raines is the last guy we ought to listen to on this topic is the salient one.

J.E. Dyer on March 14, 2010 at 2:26 PM

Thanks, J.E. I certainly had to do a double take when I saw the headline and byline. As to FN Sunday, I have it TiVoed and had a chance to see the opening, which mentioned that Podesta was on. But what gives me pause about watching the show is that Robert Gibbs is first up. I find it very hard to watch that guy.

Howard Portnoy on March 14, 2010 at 3:20 PM

Why would anyone want to assault the only network with real truth-telling journalists. One of the modern mysteries of what remains of journalism.

tarpon on March 14, 2010 at 3:54 PM

Well if they aren’t going after Fox, then they go after Glenn, Sarah, and Rush. They go after any firm or person who is not in lock step with this bho, team, and the d’s. The good thing, those who they go after get lots and lots of people listening to them. This is back firing big time for them!

letget on March 14, 2010 at 3:54 PM

I think that us right wingers need to just call this stuff liberal projection and not bother to refute it; just categorize it.

Didn’t Was Post run 100 stories on Maccaca in order to destroy George Allen?

joeindc44 on March 14, 2010 at 4:23 PM