An Assault on FOX News by—Howell Raines??
posted at 12:13 pm on March 14, 2010 by Howard Portnoy
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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