Fox News once again shows its hypocrisy in praising Senate Republicans for refusing to vote on Chuck Hagel’s confirmation. This is the first time in history a nominee for Secretary of Defense has been blocked by the Senate.
According to Media Matters, the only time Democrats have come close to doing this is when some expressed concern over Condoleezza Rice’s nomination in 2005, and they only held the vote up for a day. At the time however, Fox News called the move petty and full of sour grapes, and averred, “The president is entitled to his Cabinet.” This time, however, it doesn’t appear to matter as they themselves called on their viewers to contact their senators and request that they filibuster the vote.
Sean Hannity even called this “a victory for Republicans.” GOP obstructionism is nothing new over the last four years, and has gotten significantly worse since 2010, when many Tea Partiers were elected to Congress. Fox News calling such obstruction of a Cabinet nominee a victory for the party is a testament to their propaganda machine, despite their tagline saying they are “fair and balanced” news.
However, Fox likes to call out hypocrisy in others, whether it’s there or not. They called out Obama on his recent calls for more gun control, and tried to make it appear that this was at odds with his objection to an Illinois state bill that would have automatically tried juveniles aged 15 and over as adults for firing guns in school zones. Media Matters reports that Obama’s statement regarding that objection was that he took issue with expanding reasons for trying juveniles as adults when the general assembly had just overhauled the law to limit how often children were tried as adults.
Of course, Fox News isn’t really a bastion of truth and fact, so contradiction and hypocrisy aren’t unexpected with them. They’ve been part of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. empire since their founding in 1996, and have been the voice of conservatism the entire time. They were seen as the lone counter to what was dubbed the “liberally-biased media,” and their ratings appeared to confirm that most Americans are conservative, when the truth of that matter was that most Americans who did not watch Fox News divided their attention between multiple other networks, keeping those ratings from skyrocketing the same way.
Fox’s problem, however, is not their right-wing bias. Bias, whether we like it or not, appears all over the news. It’s in every newspaper, on every network, in new media and traditional media. But bias and propaganda are two different things; Fox’s problem is with their decision to be the voice of outrage over increasing progressivism, and to report propaganda to that effect (as opposed to news, biased or not).
A Jan. 24 article on Media Matters discusses the outrage model that is Fox News and Breitbart, and how that lends credence to the GOP’s current image of being a bunch of whiny, entitled white guys suffering the distress of the privileged. “Phony outrage,” as author Eric Boehlert calls it, focuses on the trivial and ignores the substantial, and calls out liberals in general and Obama in specific for being horribly partisan, refusing to work with anyone who disagrees with them.
Which brings us back to the point: Fox News’ hypocrisy as they predictably praise the GOP for refusing to cooperate on something as comparatively trivial as a Cabinet nomination, but scream, cry and whine in outrage about virtually everything Democrats do.