Media Blog

Fox vs. Everyone Else

Nothing about this Pew Research poll strikes me as all that unusual, except that for all of its pandering to the left, MSNBC still hasn’t managed to distinguish itself as the most pro-Obama network. Of course, the left is not always pro-Obama, and MSNBC has attacked Obama from the left for things such as his refusal to immediately convene war-crimes tribunals against Bush-administration officials. So that may account for the network’s inability to break away from the pack.

Other than that, this poll tells us what we already knew. About half the country (47 percent) thinks at least one network is too hard on Obama, about half (46 percent) thinks at least one is too easy on him. Yes, of course Fox News stands out among those networks cited as being too critical, and of course that’s the statistic that the Pew Center chose to highlight in its headline. But look at the broader picture. It’s clear that, on the “too critical” side, a bunch of Democrats and some independents marked Fox News, while on the “too easy” side, a bunch of Republicans and some independents marked every other network (respondents were allowed to mark more than one). The headline could just as easily read, “Every network other than Fox seen as too easy on Obama.” Better yet, it could read, “Majority of independents (54 percent) say at least one network is too easy on Obama.” Only 45 percent of independents cited at least one network as being too critical.

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