The New Christians

The New Christians

Olberman Calls for a Boycott of Fox News

posted by Tony Jones

Disclosure: Beliefnet is owned by Fox Entertainment Group, which also owns Fox News.

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posted June 2, 2009 at 1:19 pm

Maybe that will improve his ratings.
Problem is, FOX is the only major media outlet that leans right. MSNBC, CNBC, CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS and PBS all lean left.
So to really have “fairness”, boycott FOX. Yep. That’s a sensible position for an open-minded emergent blogger to promote. Thanks Tony!

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posted June 2, 2009 at 1:32 pm

Where did you get the idea that Tony was promoting the boycott? Merely noting something on your blog is not an endorsement. Maybe his intent was to ridicule Olberman.

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adam lehman

posted June 2, 2009 at 1:42 pm

FOX NEWS doesn’t lean right. It leans “republican.”
If republicans were really conservative, they’d have elected Ron Paul in last year’s primaries.
However, republicans are only a different form of liberal. liberal dems. liberal repubs. they just pick opposite issues to be liberal on.
so, dan, every news channel leans left. some just lean republican or democrat. either way, they’re liberal.
foxnews is the only station that is crawling with Jerks.

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Jim Marks

posted June 2, 2009 at 2:13 pm

All television “news” is entertainment first, and informative by mere coincidence. It is produced to provide ratings to advertisers. Period.
There is no such thing as a serious journalist who works exclusively in television. Period.
There is no need or reason to watch television in order to stay informed. There is no problem or conflict in calling for the boycott of a television station simply because it leans in a different direction from the others (which I disagree with, but for the sake of your position I’ll concede the point temporarily) because television news is not, cannot be, will never be a valid, utilitarian way for anyone to be a well informed, responsible citizen. Period.
Calling for the boycott of entertainment because that entertainment promotes hatred and violence is an ethical statement, not a political statement. Period.
To conclude that boycotting Fox News is an invalid choice for whatever reason is to condone Fox News and their open promotion of hate and violence. Period.
Boycott all genuine information sources that lean consistently in one direction because biased journalism undermines civil society. Period.

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posted June 2, 2009 at 2:14 pm

Curious how the word terrorist is applied the the killer of Dr. Tiller by Olberman yet he disdains it for Muslim terrorists.
Also should Fox News and and other pro-life groups call for a boycott of liberal media including NBC News, ABC, MSNBC which have implicitly supported abortion rights and the murder of millions of babies a year? Are the lives of these babies of any less value than that of Dr. Tiller? Is it any less heinous that while Olberman speaks of abortion “rights” he is supporting terrorism on unborn babies? I would say shame on you Olberman for pretending outrage at the death of Dr. Tiller while completely neglecting all those he has killed.

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Rachel H. Evans

posted June 2, 2009 at 2:31 pm

To me, this is a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Even in this piece, Olberman uses the same kind of inflammatory rhetoric to denounce Fox News as Fox News uses to denounce the left. It’s a vicious cycle of feigned outrage from both sides, and it gets a little tiresome after a while.
The truth is, it’s easier to watch whatever news station makes you feel better about what you already believe. It’s harder to take the time to read a variety of newspapers, magazines, and blogs…or to sit through a seemingly endless session of congress on C-Span. Both O’Reiley and Olberman have done an excellent job of exploiting our laziness. If it’s after 8 p.m., I recommend sticking to CNN.
Dan – I have a hard time believing Tony supports Olberman’s boycott,seeing as Beliefnet is owned by Fox Entertainment. :-)

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Your Name

posted June 2, 2009 at 2:53 pm

I assure you the outrage expressed by the left over this assasination is hardly “feigned”.
N.B. – “Disclosure: Beliefnet is owned by Fox Entertainment Group, which also owns Fox News.”!!!
I wonder how long it will be before Rod Dreher gets a starring slot on Fox “News”?

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posted June 2, 2009 at 3:27 pm

All television “news” is entertainment first, and informative by mere coincidence. It is produced to provide ratings to advertisers. Period.
This is true of just about all media, including newspapers and magazines. They exist to sell advertising, no less than TV.

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posted June 2, 2009 at 3:29 pm

I chuckle because I’m guessing that a majority of Olbermann’s audience already boycotts FOX and FOX still creams MSNBC every week in the news cycle.
Anytime I’ve ever seen Olbermann he seems to be ginning up hatred toward the right. You can almost always predict who is going to be on his “worst person” list. Sounds kind of judgmental to me.

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posted June 2, 2009 at 3:30 pm

Larry – I laughed when I read your comment because just as I read it an advertisement popped up that I had to close out of. Can’t beat good timing!

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posted June 2, 2009 at 3:39 pm

I find it interesting that no one has really commented on the content of what Olberman has to say but rather just whether he’s more or less biased than the next guy. I agree that it’s kind of silly for one anchor to call for the boycot of another. Really their only job is to convince you to listen to them instead of the other so I don’t think he’s really doing anything out of course here. I don’t think he or O’Reilly really have a lot of moral ground to stand on, but that’s almost beside the point of what he’s doing here.
I agree it’s a horrible thing that this doctor was murdered, regardless of how heinous his practice may have been. Murder is never right. I think Jesus was pretty clear on that with Peter. That being said, I don’t think Fox news really ever said anything that he quoted there that encouraged this doctor’s murder. They called him a baby killer, said he was responsible for tens or thousands of abortions, that what he was doing was borderline illegal whether you agree with abortion rights or not. What was said here that was untrue? I don’t think you can blame someone for stating some facts. The rhetoric may have been a bit heavy, but it was still just facts. They didn’t call for his assassination outright. Can you really hold someone responsible for a murder just for stating some facts? If that’s the case I think it could lead to a pretty dangerous precedent for a lot of the faith community.

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Your Name

posted June 2, 2009 at 7:24 pm

What a bunch of purile crap. This is exactly why MSNBC is in the tank for ratings and Fox is no. 1. Fox is an honest news organization. MSNBC is not. Stop peddling crap, Tony.

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posted June 2, 2009 at 8:54 pm

You make me smile.

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posted June 2, 2009 at 9:05 pm

FOX owns Beliefnet? Where are the poledancers narrating the topics? It’s not FOX without some blond bimbo souting nonsense.

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posted June 2, 2009 at 9:07 pm

Spouting, it should have read… crappy commenting interface, FOX…

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Kevin s.

posted June 2, 2009 at 9:18 pm

The odd thing about Olbermann is that he more or less re-packages the Democratic party talking points, but does so in a manner that makes him seem completely insane. How can you care so passionately about a message that has been crafted so carefully?
People who sit through extended monologues telling them what to think are likely to do scary things. That goes for those who murder abortion doctors, and for those who see the murder of abortion doctors as the logical extension of an ideology.
Programmed is as programmed does, and people who take videos like this seriously are programmed.

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posted June 2, 2009 at 10:57 pm

Most of the people I know who listen to Olberman don’t watch Fox News anyway. Too bad, really.

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posted June 3, 2009 at 12:00 am

Olberman’s outrage about FOX calling a late-term abortionist a killer is hard to swallow – from a guy whose schtick includes a regular segment called “The Worst Person in the World”. Benyamen is right. It really begs the question as to what he believes FOX said about Tiller that was factually inaccurate. Does anyone deny that Tiller presided over tens of thousands of abortions? Does anyone deny that many of those abortions were third trimester? Or that many of those third trimester abortions were for “health” reasons that were not exactly life threatening?
Here’s the reality I see. In thirty plus years of the abortion debate, I have never once seen a major network simply report the facts of fetal development. Never. Ever. Nothing about the measurable brain activity of a 9 week old fetus. Nothing about the measurable heart beat of a three week old being. Nothing about thumb sucking, moving, dreaming, crying, all the “human” activities that go on in the womb. So the connection between sticking a blunt instrument into the skull of a viable and four-fifths delivered living infant and the word “killing” is apparently too much for most on the left side of the political spectrum to grasp. So telling the truth about George Tiller is treated as far, far worse than the violence Tiller committed on a daily basis.
What Olberman is doing, and Tony is consciously or unconsciously promoting, is a climate where it is becoming increasingly difficult, even dangerous, to simply speak the truth about issues like this. FOX told the truth. For this, they are blamed for the vigilante act of one man.
I wonder, has Olberman expressed the same level of outrage over the murder the next day of an Army recruiter in Arkansas? Did Olberman call out the radical left for comparisons of George Bush to Hitler, hanging Bush in effigy, and the endless “Bush is a murderer” rhetoric? Might that rhetoric have potentially incited an assassination attempt? Would Keith have held the left accountable? I doubt it. But I wouldn’t know. I don’t watch him. The clip above reminds me of why.

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Blake Huggins

posted June 3, 2009 at 12:06 am

I agree. The media equals entertainment today. Neil Postman was right, before his time. I’m sooo tried of the theater. Regardless of which side I may fall on, Olbermann and Co. have their script as does O’Reilly et al. And they will always be endlessly engaged in bombastic, divisive arguments, that’s their part. Kinda like a stuck record. And we let ourselves stay busy listening to them instead of re-imagining the whole system, which is a real shame.
But I will say that of them all Faux is especially laughable.

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posted June 3, 2009 at 11:39 am

This is why I don’t waste my money on cable. It doesn’t look like I’m missing much.

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posted June 3, 2009 at 2:42 pm

Is there anyone MORE inflammatory than Olberman when it comes to use of the English language? Sheesh, what a total nut job he is.

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posted June 3, 2009 at 4:18 pm

Really the most interesting bit here is Frank Shaeffer’s arguments. *If* you make the connection between abortions post 1972 and the holocaust of the 1940s, then one naturally makes the connection between Bonhoffer’s plot to murder Hitler. Was he just? Can a Christian be forced into a utilitarian cost/benefit analysis where one murder is just because it halts countless others? Do the means really justify the means? Can we really ask these questions or does “love your enemy” and “do not murder” really mean *do not*?

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Inherit the Wind

posted June 3, 2009 at 4:29 pm

Last time, I checked this guy was making bombs in the mid-nineties. Fox News or not eventually he would have tried to kill someone. Operation Rescues irresponsible propaganda is just that, irresponsible, but not responsible.

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posted June 3, 2009 at 8:44 pm

It is amazing to me how one radical can call another person or network a radical. I think it is time for people to use the intellect that God has given us the ability to use instead of attacking and fighting one another. When we allow ideology to be the basis of our life who really wins?
It is not one network over another it should be reasonable people working together to make our world better.

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posted June 4, 2009 at 1:46 am

I also hope that the troops are no longer being forced to watch Fox News. My understanding is that during the Bush administration it was broadcast 24/7.

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Your Name

posted June 10, 2009 at 5:40 pm

It is not illegal to falsify the news. This is the reason Faux exists.

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