and not news!
First, via Crooks and Liars, the unedited segment of the interview that became distorted in the edited version that Fox broadcast:
The edited version of this clip that Fox showed also comes from the same Crooks and Liars story. Notice the sudden jumps in expressions on Stewart's face.
Now, for those who have not seen the entire, unedited 24 minute interview, this is it via Mediaite.
Mediaite has since reported that PolitiFact found Stewart's claim that all polls find Fox viewers the most consistently misinformed "false." On The Daily Show Tuesday night, Stewart followed up on that finding:
Some outlets have taken issue with PolitiFact's findings. People, who follow Glenn Beck, certainly have a screwy understanding of reality. Just one example, nearly all of them falsely believe that George Soros was a Nazi collaborator.
lies, misinforms, smears, distorts, quotes out of context, etc.
Almost as if to support Stewart's claim, Fox Nation posted statistics from their viewers that demonstrated Fox viewers' ignorance on several matters:
- 91 percent believe the stimulus legislation lost jobs
- 72 percent believe the health reform law will increase the deficit
- 72 percent believe the economy is getting worse
- 60 percent believe that climate change is not occurring
The debunking of these Fox replicated myths is available on a post with Alternet entitled "Jon Stewart was right about Fox "News" being the most misinformed citizens." Following concluding remarks and trailing tag lines are the results of research done by the liberal, media watchdogs, Media Matters for America (1) supporting Stewart's claim that Fox viewers are misinformed. If Fox Nation's data doesn't already convince you already, these findings will reinforce Stewart's point. However, for many on the right who are convinced that Fox and Beck tell the "truth," findings to the contrary are actually counter-productive. The Alternet piece ends with these discouraging words:
Political scientists Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler did a study in which two groups of volunteers were offered George Bush's claims that Iraq was bristling with WMD. One was also given information debunking those claims. The researchers found that “Thirty-four percent of conservatives told only about the Bush administration's claims thought Iraq had hidden or destroyed its weapons before the U.S. invasion, but 64 percent of conservatives who heard both claim and refutation thought that Iraq really did have the weapons. The refutation, in other words, made the misinformation worse.”That's what the “balance” of Fox News is all about – advancing the misinformation that can never be fully corrected by contrary information in the eyes of its viewers.
However, if he was basically correct about Fox's viewers, Stewart's respect for Chris Wallace seems misplaced. When Beck was first hired by Fox, Wallace and Fox host Shepard Smith had an exchange of words about Glenn Beck. As reported by Think Progress in March of 2009, "Shep Smith repeatedly mocked Beck and the program, admitting that although he watches Beck’s show, he does not listen to it. Smith also pointed to a giant satellite truck parked outside and wondered if it was for Beck’s “ego.” Chris Wallace told Smith he must be jealous:"
This exchange begs the question why is a decent reporter like Smith working for a channel like Fox? One can only wonder at this point what Wallace thinks of the megalomaniac, Beck, now.
In conclusion, Fox is not fair. If Fox were fair, they would not have taken out the part where Wallace admits that Fox offers the "other side" to MSNBC and Stewart's reference to Bill Sammon giving marching orders. Wallace's statement demonstrates that Fox is not balanced. Fox is the other side, the conservative/reactionary point of view. Most observers readily grasp this about Fox, but they still engage in the false advertising by claiming to be "fair and balanced."
If that were all Fox was about, Glenn Beck would not have lasted there for 30 months. Beck lies too often to be an acceptable commentator there if Fox were only offering a conservative perspective on news stories and a rightward spin of the truth. Many of the lies that Stewart listed in his follow-up segment on The Daily Show were lies spewed by Beck, and there are many, many more. Fox hosts and their guests routinely distort the facts, make false claims, engage in hyperbole, make baseless accusations, hype bogus theories, propagate evidence-free attacks, etc. on a fairly routine basis. Their journalists, good (S. Smith) and bad (Wallace), are fig leaves masking what Fox president, Roger Ailes, has actually put together, i.e., a channel of right-wing propaganda. Fox is not news, and they do not provide accurate information. Fox is a right-wing propaganda outlet that tells conservatives and reactionaries what they want to hear which is not the truth. That is not the only condition that explains how a liar, hate-monger, fear-monger, yellow propagandist, race-baiter and bizarre conspiracy theorist like Glenn Beck lasted there for 30 months; but it serves as the most likely explanation for why he survived this long there.
For a summary about Glenn Beck, see "Becoming Paul Revere"