A few days ago I had a brief political discussion with a casual friend. We stand on opposite ends of the political spectrum, so we usually avoid any exchange of opinions on that subject. On this occasion, however, I sought her reaction to the Democrat debate that had occurred the previous evening.
It was obvious that my friend was deeply disturbed by the debate. More than anything, she desires the defeat of President Trump, but she saw nothing in the previous evening’s performances that encouraged her to believe that any Democratic candidate could stand up to Trump in the general election. She was profoundly discouraged.
As we talked, my friend revealed that she listens only to the liberal or progressive television commentators, members of the so-called mainstream media. She stated her conviction that the Fox news channel does not offer any real news but presents nothing more than right-wing lies and propaganda. I countered with my opinion that Fox news people like Neil Cavuto, Bret Baier, Martha MacCallum, and Chris Wallace are straight news people who present a reasonably balanced program. On the other hand, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin and Jeannine Pirro are conservative commentators who do not conceal their traditionalist slant, and everyone who listens to them must take that into account. Hannity, Levin, et al do not pretend to be unbiased presenters of the news, and they offer a counterbalance to the more numerous opinion makers on the left. Commentators on MSNBC, CNN, and others mainstream programs may act as if they are giving us straight news, but actually they are just as biased as Sean Hannity and friends, and their attitude has a profound effect upon the way they choose and present their stories.
I believe we need Fox news. At a recent forum two news media veterans admitted that liberal bias and overt hostility to Donald Trump is hurting the country and threatening to destroy the relevance of journalism. Van Gordon Sauter, past president of CBS news, said “I think a liberal bias is increasingly embedded in the journalism as a result of the Trump experience, and it’s accelerating and deepening the wedge in our society between the left and the right.” Sauter blamed universities for the lack of an ideological mix in newsrooms: “Our colleges, which are dominated by liberals, liberal professors, are churning out these students who never hear another opinion.”
Those unfortunate people whose minds are exposed to nothing more profound than the vacuous mouthings of left-wing pundits are being led down the path to disillusionment.