The “Main Stream Media” has disapprovingly noted the Obama administration calling out Fox News as the media arm of the Republican party.  See here, here, here, here and here.  Not unexpectedly Fox News howled in outrage and liberal blogs cheerfully detailed the hypocrisy of Fox’s complaints when it cheered on the Bush administration calling out NBC News and MSNBC.  Very few media members noted that the underlying charge that Fox News is “opinion journalism masquerading as news” is essentially true.

A couple of good reads from the Economist’s Democracy in America blog today comparing Fox News to what is happening in Russia, Italy and Thailand, and Slate’s Jonathan Weisberg noting that the Fox response to the administration shows the inherent bias in its coverage.

I agree with the final point in both articles.  Cable “news” is now unwatchable.  Opinion shows dominate the peak hours and off-peak hours are filled with a bunch of documentary shows.  Even CNN Headline News which a decade ago provided 24 News coverage is now filled with shows that masquerade as news.  The Internet would be a refuge for finding news, but alas even the AP has decided to muddy its role as a wire service by falling for the opinion journalism lure.

More than ever, developing a filter to separate the wheat of news from the chaff of opinion is essential.  Paraphrasing the legal principle of caveat emptor, let the  unwary news reader beware.

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