The Daily Caller headline of "Liberal journalists suggest government shut down Fox News," is definitely eye catching but it does not accurately describe all of the leaked excerpts from Journolist, a liberal list-serv created by Erza Klein and having approximately 400 members.
What it does show, very clearly, is that Fox News has those liberal journalists who wrote the leaked excerpts the Daily Caller is publishing, panties in a twisted bunch over Fox News.
“I am genuinely scared” of Fox, wrote Guardian columnist Daniel Davies, because it “shows you that a genuinely shameless and unethical media organisation *cannot* be controlled by any form of peer pressure or self-regulation, and nor can it be successfully cold-shouldered or ostracised. In order to have even a semblance of control, you need a tough legal framework.” Davies, a Brit, frequently argued the United States needed stricter libel laws.
“I agree,” said Michael Scherer of Time Magazine. Roger “Ailes understands that his job is to build a tribal identity, not a news organization. You can’t hurt Fox by saying it gets it wrong, if Ailes just uses the criticism to deepen the tribal identity.”
Jonathan Zasloff, a law professor at UCLA, suggested that the federal government simply yank Fox off the air. “I hate to open this can of worms,” he wrote, “but is there any reason why the FCC couldn’t simply pull their broadcasting permit once it expires?”
And so a debate ensued. Time’s Scherer, who had seemed to express support for increased regulation of Fox, suddenly appeared to have qualms: “Do you really want the political parties/white house picking which media operations are news operations and which are a less respectable hybrid of news and political advocacy?”
But Zasloff stuck to his position. “I think that they are doing that anyway; they leak to whom they want to for political purposes,” he wrote. “If this means that some White House reporters don’t get a press pass for the press secretary’s daily briefing and that this means that they actually have to, you know, do some reporting and analysis instead of repeating press releases, then I’ll take that risk.”
No grand conspiracy to shut Fox News down or regulate it, even though some on the list would have liked to, but certainly a look into the mind of today's liberal journalists, their own bias and their intolerance of any media organization that is not liberally biased.
Hence Fox News twisting their little panties all up.
Let me explain.
In September of 2009, Pew Research did an in-depth review spanning from 1985- 2009 and the results show that the public believes the press is biased by numbers "greater than two-to-one (60% to 26%).
60 percent say the press is politically biased.
74 percent say the press tends to favor one side
50 percent says press favors liberals
22 percent say the press favors conservatives
27 percent says the no answer/don't know
Notably, the balance of opinion about whether news organizations are liberal or conservative has changed little since 1985. At that time, about twice as many said the press was liberal than conservative (40% vs. 19%). That continues to be the case today (50% vs. 22%), although somewhat more people offer an opinion about this issue than did so then.
In January 2010, Public Policy Polling (PPP), a Democratic leaning pollster, found that Fox News was trusted by more people than ABC News, CBS News, CNN, and NBC News.
Our newest survey looking at perceptions of ABC News, CBS News, CNN, Fox News, and NBC News finds Fox as the only one that more people say they trust than distrust. 49% say they trust it to 37% who do not.
CNN does next best at a 39/41 spread, followed by NBC at 35/44, CBS at 32/46, and ABC at 31/46.
What this data tells us is that while the mainstream media is seen by two-to-one as more liberally biased than conservatively biased (Pew), even Democratic pollsters find that Fox News is trusted more than other news stations (PPP) by 10 percentage points.
The emails listed were dated March 2010 and a look at TV Newsers Scoreboard showing viewership for the top cable news networks, for March 10, 2010, just a couple days earlier than some of those emails, and we see the salt that was being poured into the wounds.
That is enough to get any progressive liberal's panties in a twisted bunch, but especially a liberal that considers themselves part of the news media.
(This post has been updated and corrected)
[Update] Next Daily Caller leaked Journolist emails Post- Daily Caller Provides More JournoList Fodder: Today- List-Serv Members Coordinate To Destroy Sarah Palin
Read all about it.