Unfair and unhinged
Most people have recognized for quite some time that Fox News' claim to be a "fair and balanced" television news operation is one of the bigger jokes in journalism. The latest assaults on dignity and whatever reputation they had left came recently in the form of attacks on Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle. The Obamas are public figures and are certainly open for inspection when it comes to their beliefs and public statements, but Fox News went so far over the line of good taste and journalistic integrity as to be laughable. According to Associated Press TV writer David Bauder, Fox contributor Liz Trotta had to apologize for making a joke about an Obama assassination, while also calling the Democratic candidate "Osama." Then E.D. Hill, who until a recent cancellation had a show called "America's Pulse," suggested that some people viewed a fist bump between the Obamas as a "terrorist fist jab." Then, as if that weren't enough, Fox News used a graphic that referred to Michelle Obama as "Obama's baby mama." For God's sake. Joan Walsh, a Salon.com columnist, wondered, "Are they racist, or just clueless?" Both, maybe? Some of you will remember E.D. Hill, shown above, as the former Edye Tarbox, who had a less-than-illustrious career as a news anchor at WPXI in Pittsburgh in the late '80s. She hasn't been all that easy to keep track of since then, because she keeps changing her name, sometimes as the result of her marriages, which are about as numerous as President Bush's rationales for going to war in Iraq. Maybe she's trying to outrun the stench that follows her journalism career. According to Bauder's story, Hill said she appropriated the "terrorist fist jab" from something she read on the Internet. That's just great. Take something incredibly stupid that was said by some wingnut on the Web and put it on a national TV news show. What a jackass. Maybe it's time for Fox News to issue a new mission statement, something that sums up their approach to the news. Maybe something like this: "We at Fox News will be unashamed apologists for anything done by conservative Republicans and other right-minded, Christian right-wingers, even if it's to the detriment of the United States of America. At the same time, we will excoriate Democrats and other commie liberals, even if we have to resort to vicious, untruthful smears." That about sums it up.