Fox News, Hypocrisy, And “Politically Correct” Journalism
My earlier post about Megyn Kelly’s absurd equation of illegal immigration and rape in a discussion about changes to the Associated Press Style Guide reminded me of this little piece of news from earlier this month:
As Congress took up health care reform last year, considering a “public option” to give insurers competition, marching orders went down to the troops from Bill Salmon, Washington, D.C., managing editor at Fox News.
The memo is a roadmap on how to subtly slant news, and get the right wing’s “amen corner” fired up and ready to go.
“Subject: friendly reminder: lets not slip back into calling the ‘public option’,” wrote Salmon.
“1) Please use the term ‘government-run health insurance’ or, when brevity is a concern, ‘government option’ whenever possible; 2) When it is necessary to use the term ‘public option’ (which is, after all, firmly ensconced in the nation’s lexicon) use the qualifier ‘so-called’ as in “the so-called public option’.”
The timely advice came soon after Republican pollster Frank Luntz had offered on-air counsel to Fox host Sean Hannity.
“If you call it a public option, the American people are split,” Luntz said. “If you call it a government option, the public is overwhelmingly against it.”
“A grat point, and from now on, I’m going to call it the government option because that is what it is,” replied Hannity, getting the message. Soon, his boss did to
If that’s not evidence of a news organization deliberately using language to influence public debate, I don’t know what is.
So, in addition to being rather dumb, Kelly’s criticism of the Associated Press is rather hypocritical.