Re "Fox News' Patriotic Fervor Sets It Apart in Ratings Race," April 11: Fox News Channel fails to show an accurate picture. During the last three weeks, hundred of civilians were killed in Baghdad, Basra and other Iraqi cities. Hospitals stopped counting their wounded and dead. Many had their limbs cut off by U.S weaponry and bombs. Families were buried in mass graves.
Fox only shows a couple hundred Iraqis cheering for the Marines. It does not show those who were crying in despair and having their homes accidentally bombed by American missiles. If we were to watch only Fox, we would think that we were liberating the Iraqi people by targeting only governmental and military bases. We would believe we were the Santa Claus of the Middle East, giving children gifts.
Fox News Channel's recent ratings success is not because there are more conservative-leaning viewers or that its anchors make "no bones about their patriotic fervor." FNC is ahead in the ratings because of what it is showing, not what its anchors are saying. While CNN's Aaron Brown is pontificating Ernest Hemingway-style about the day's events, FNC has the video, and it's often footage that the other cable networks don't have. And while its competitors are using the pool feed supplied by Abu Dhabi TV -- or worse, going to a commercial -- FNC is first to show images such as seized weapons caches or much-talked-about, extensive underground bunkers.
FNC may also be more "entertaining," a description disguised as a swipe when used by some journalists, yet the channel is still seemingly more often first and right than its competitors. Those are two tenets of good journalism embraced by both liberals and conservatives.
Thank you for your peek into Fox News Channel. Its mantra of "we let you decide" is a joke, as is the entire lie of the "liberal media." The radio airwaves are now filled with shrill, bombastic conservative voices who are not interested in ideas or discussion but in bullying. News Corp. brokers no independent thought as it crams its viewpoint down our throats in print and on television. General Electric (owner of NBC) is a huge defense contractor. The owners of the other networks -- Walt Disney, Viacom, AOL Time Warner -- are extremely conservative corporations that are working not for some liberal ideal of bettering the human condition but for the bottom line.
And yet we have bumper stickers that say "sick and tired of the liberal media." But if by "liberal" they mean objectivity, thoughtfulness, looking at both sides and the questioning of conventional wisdom, they needn't worry. In radio and television especially, "liberal" is dead.