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Open season on Fox?

October 31, 2009

Re "Obama's misguided Fox hunt," Opinion, Oct. 24

In his attempt to wryly savage Fox News, Tim Rutten misses the main point completely.

Fox follows the old President Truman saw: You don't have to give 'em hell, just tell the truth; they'll think it's hell.

Robert Bartow

Calabasas

::

I strongly disagree with Rutten regarding the Obama administration's showing some backbone by correcting the record that is severely, maliciously and daily distorted by the deliberately ignorant and mean-spirited empty heads at Fox News.

The problem that intelligent, forward-thinking people have with the ultra-conservatives at Fox News is not that we have a difference of opinion, but that Fox News is intentionally reckless in spreading outright falsehoods, mistruths and half-truths; in other words -- straight talk, if you will -- bold-faced lies.

If the TV news media did a better job of reporting the truth and insisting on high standards, they would have called out Fox News long ago. But because they aren't doing their jobs, this administration is placed in the awkward position of drawing a line in the sand between news and infotainment by insisting on dealing only with news organizations that do not lie about serious issues.

I applaud the Obama administration for its courage and commitment to truth.

M. Irene Daniel

Los Angeles

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There is a difference between bias (MSNBC) and lies (Fox News, Rush Limbaugh et al). Bias is considered unfair in that it favors one side almost exclusively. Lies are unfair because, well, they're lies.

The mainstream media's job is to accurately inform the public by researching and exposing the lies -- not by treating both faults as though they're equal.

What bona fide news outlets fail to see and warn against is the great harm that can come to a country when one political party has its own media outlet, especially when that party's president is in power.

While we are laughing at or tolerating the hate-filled, false ranting of Fox News and its ilk, they're making dangerous inroads into our democracy.

If this administration doesn't sound the alarm, who will?

Bette Balliet

Mission Viejo

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The Obama administration is right to marginalize the extreme, ugly and untrue voices of Fox "news."

In its haste to delegitimize Obama, it is creating a racially toxic environment in which the unthinkable becomes possible. This hatred is spreading across the country like a virus.

For those of us African Americans who remember living through the racial terror during Jim Crow, we view what is happening with fear and anger.

While many claim their freedom to say what they want, I do not believe that freedom extends to impairing my safety.

Responsible people should be trying to set civility and civil debate as the standards for TV news. All journalists should decry those whose screaming voices feed the hatred of the racists.

Mary Ann Greene

Culver City

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Rutten comments that Keith Olbermann's and Rachel Maddow's work is every bit as "histrionic" as Bill O'Reilly's. Really? A comparison cannot be made.

Pundits such as Glenn Beck, O'Reilly and Limbaugh utilize fear-mongering, innuendo and flat-out lies. Maddow and Olbermann simply point this out.

Obama and the White House are to be applauded for their actions. While O'Reilly and his cohorts fan the irrational flames of "tea baggers" proudly defending their right to be taken advantage of by big insurance, thank heavens for Maddow and Olbermann, who at least back their assertions with facts.

Nicholas Kadi

Tujunga

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How about a little something called the 1st Amendment as a compelling reason for the Obama administration to stop its Nixonian war on Fox News, not to mention the likes of Limbaugh and "right-wing" bloggers?

Yes, Barack Obama won an election. No, that did not mean the country agreed to repeal the Constitution or end political debate.

When an administration wages war on such a fundamental and well-established right as the 1st Amendment, that alone should raise a giant red flag to all Americans -- regardless of the supposed characterization of the speech or how many people are supposedly listening to it.

David S. Olson

Tarzana

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