Friday, November 21, 2008

The O’Reilly Fracture

My ISP had an outage a couple of days ago and being an unapologetic news junkie I had cause to flick through the cable TV news programs in search of a hit. In so doing I chanced upon The O’Reilly Factor on Fox with Big Bill O’Reilly at the helm. Never having actually watched TORF, although having had heard rumors I stopped for a look see and I must say the rumors only have the half of it, this show is really desperate. For a news magazine type program its grasp of what is news, let alone any in depth examination, is incredibly tenuous.

Their lead story was about the comparison of coverage for two New York centric stories with racist overtones. Big Bill was bemoaning the fact that a driving under the influence (DUI) accident that caused the death of two innocent victims wasn’t getting the same level of coverage as a hate crime that led to the murder of an Hispanic American. I kid you not.

From Bill’s perspective that the driver in the DUI accident was an illegal immigrant from Afghanistan means it should be getting as much indignant outraged, if not more, news coverage as the seven teenagers who went out with the intention of giving grief to an Hispanic, any Hispanic, and were so successful in their quest that their randomly chosen victim died at their hands.

Not only does the spin stop at The O’Rielly factor but also rational thought. Should my ISP derail my news addiction again and I am forced back to cable TV I will not be stopping at TORF. I expect news programs, even of the magazine style, to at least have a nodding acquaintance with journalism 101.

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