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HORIST: Thank God for FOX News

HORIST: Thank God for FOX News

I am a voracious consumer of news of all kinds – and have been such for more than (arrrgh) 50 years.  My obsession is not the result of mental illness, although at times I think it could lead to that.  As a lifelong civic and political activist and consultant, it is my professional requirement.  Every job has its downside.

That long experience allows me to say with some authority that the leftward pro-Democrat lean of most of the east coast elitist press is not new.  In fact, conservative viewpoints were almost non-existent in the days when the three major networks – ABC, CBS and NBC – had a virtual monopoly on national news coverage.  While the port-side lean of the media was significant in those days, it was not the complete surrender to partisan propaganda that we see today.

I am fully aware that the headline on this commentary will result in reactions as sharply divided as is the nation itself.  Liberals – including no few close friends – will see it as an uncritical surrender to conservative orthodoxy.  My conservative friends will be praising my devotion to truth.

Those who know me the best, however, will see me for what I have tried to be throughout my life – an objective observer who can make a pretty good case for what I believe.  So, I guess it is incumbent upon me to make the case for the headline that brought you into this commentary.

The question to be answered is:  Is FOX News fair and balanced as their motto claims, or are they some marginal right-wing propaganda outlet, as the Democrats, the left and CNN/MSNBC accuse on a regular basis?

To determine the answer to that question, we do not – and should not – have to rely solely on our opinions or political biases.  We can be objective.  And you can even conduct your own empirical research.

In the 24/7 cycle, count the number of anchors and hosts who consistently report anti-Trump stories and pro-Trump stories.  (You can do the same analysis for anti and pro reports on Republicans, conservatives and supporters of the President).  On FOX, the lineup is mostly pro-Trump – with Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson and Judge Judy consistently proffering the case for Trump. But the  anti-Trump standard is held up by such mainstays Shepard Smith and Juan Williams.  It is rare to find a program that does not include alternative viewpoints.  And even Carlson and Ingraham will have guests on their shows to argue the alternative opinion – even if it is just to verbally browbeat them.

On its website, CNN lists the names and photos of 370 staffers – from hosts, to reporters, to who knows who they are.  Most would not be known to the public, but it can be said that it is not even possible to find one recognizable conservative in that panoply of personalities. The closest thing to some objectivity on CNN is the once-a-week Michael Smerconnish – but that’s it.

In  promoting their cast, MSNBC offers up a list of their programs.  Every one of them represents a strident radical left viewpoint.  The network once pointed to conservative talk show host Hugh Hewett as evidence of balance – even though his program had been relegated to 8:00 a.m. on Saturday mornings.  Just this week – June 30, 2018, to be exact – MSNBC quietly canceled that one minuscule example of journalistic integrity.

What about panelists and guests?

FOX, by far, features more analysts representing both viewpoints, creating lively dialogue.   In more of a debate style, FOX will often present two spokespersons from each side of the issue – both knowledgeable and articulate.

MSNBC, on the other hand, engages in pure partisan propaganda and almost never presents panelists with a genuine alternative viewpoint.  They will routinely offer up six to ten panelists – all of whom regurgitate the same perspective – and usually with the most outrageous emotional intensity.

In a faux attempt at balance, MSNBC will feature a number of false flag panelists – usually identified as “Republican strategists” or some has-been holdover from the Bush administration.  However, these apostates never offer a counterpoint, but parrot the same anti-Trump narratives as their hardcore liberal counterparts.  CNN also uses some of the same false flaggers, but they do occasionally present guests with a legitimate counterpoint – but rather than setting up a one-on-one debate, they often pit the Republican against a panel of opponents (including the hosts) in what might be called a verbal gang rape.

Now take up your stopwatch and actually time the anti-Trump reports and the pro-Trump reports.  Because FOX offers up real counterpoints, it wins hands down in this category.  CNN comes in a distant second with about a 75 to 20 ratio of negative-to-positive reports or analyses on Trump, Republicans and conservatives.

The actual figures across the industry, as reported by research organizations, is 88 percent negative on Trump & Co. and only 12 percent positive or neutral.  The overall figure is driven up by MSNBC’s almost 100 percent negative rating.  Those folks at the NBC Tower in New York have a lock on last place for fairness and objectivity – not only with virtually zero positive coverage of Trump, Republicans and conservatives, but also with the extremeness and mendaciousness of their negative coverage.

It is not only a matter of the number of negative stories presented by CNN, MSNBC and the big three broadcast networks, but how much time they dwell – obsess — on the individual stories.  FOX clearly wins in the number of stories reported – and they present more stories that do not directly or indirectly involve Trump – or even politics. That is also true of OAN and Newsy – which provide fairly balanced news coverage apart from their philosophic editorial leans but were not included in my analysis. Yes, there is more to this world than Trump, politics and left-wing orthodoxy.

While FOX may present 15 different stories in a half hour, MSNBC will present 15 talking heads obsessively dwelling on the same story and the same spin – the anti-Trump story of the day.  CNN does only slightly better than MSNBC in covering the world of non-Trump news.  If your remote is stuck on CNN or MSNBC, you will miss a lot of other important stories.  Basically, you will have formed uninformed opinions.

We should also address the claim made repeatedly on CNN and MSNBC that FOX is some outlier right-wing extremist broadcast outlet.  That is an odd claim when you consider that FOX pulls an audience larger than CNN and MSNBC combined.  For more than 12 years, it has been the top rated cable show – not just in the news category, the overall number one.

In the most recent report, FOX was up 25 percent.  The network is number one with 2.8 million prime time viewers, while rival MSNBC takes fourth place with 1.6 million and CNN, with a paltry 930,000, holds ninth place in cable ratings.

Imagine that, ESPN and TBS beat out MSNBC to take second and third place, respectively and poor old CNN is even beat out by the mushy Hallmark Channel.  When you look at total daytime viewers, FOX again dominates with 1.7 million viewers to MSNBC’s 909,000 and CNN’s 689,000.

All those personalities that the left hates – Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson – have all reached all time highs in recent month.  On the other hand, MSNBC’s top-rated Rachel Maddow has dropped out of the top five.

So, which cable network is really out of the mainstream?

We are a right-of-center nation and it is understandable that the public wants their viewpoints represented in the news – not maligned as the viewpoints of deplorable people, as CNN and MSNBC would have it.

Yes, left-leaning media has been an American tradition throughout my lifetime, but never so biased, so partisan, so vicious and so dishonest as it is today.  To find anything comparable you would have to go back to those southern Democrat newspapers during the campaigns of Abraham Lincoln.

Trump is not wrong for calling out major elements of the press for their dereliction of duty and abrogation of their constitutional and moral responsibilities – although he would be better served by making his argument in less bombastic terms.

That is why I say thank God for FOX News (and AON and Newsy) because they bring balance to the overall news coverage.  If our news media is to live up to its constitutional responsibility, it must be free of bias.  It must give facts apart from opinion – and offer an opinion based on facts.  It must not align itself as a partisan communications vehicle for one party or one philosophy.  It must live up to its professional ethical responsibility.  If such fairness and balance cannot be found in individual news agencies, then we should be thankful that there are others who can provide that ever-present and all-important “other side” of the story.  In that, FOX News provides the nation a great service, whether you agree with their conservative leanings or not.  By all measures, they are the mainstream of cable news.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.

46 Comments

  1. Hurley Henson

    Of course Fox News is the only truly fair and balanced network news. If CNN, CBS, ABC, CBS, NBC and MSNBC doesn’t think they are completely biased then I would recommend them making an appointment with a mental professional immediately.

    Reply
    • Thekid

      One American News channel is better then all news channels including Fox News. It’s channel 347 on Direct Tv.

      Reply
    • G syck

      Hurley, your head is screwed on upside down and backwards.
      Fox News (NOT) is the republican party’s propaganda office.
      Fox News (NOT) is the least reliable “news” outlet.

      Reply
      • PATTY

        I LOVE FOX NEWS & I WOULD NOT WATCH ANOTHER CHANNEL, I DO HAVE ONE PROBLEM JUAN WILLIAMS I BELIEVE SHOWS RACISM AT TIMES ON THE FIVE. IF HE DOESN’T LIKE THE WAY FOX IS, WITH THE PRESIDENT & OTHER REPUBLICANS MAYBE HE SHOULD GO SOMEWHERE ELSE.

        Reply
      • joe

        G syck, It is your head that is screwed up. Fox News is by far more balanced than CNN , MSNBC, NBC. If you want more of world news
        than ” One America News is the network for you. Trump is the best thing that has happened to this country. That is why he is hated. He was not a member of the club of do nothing politicians. He is trying to get their asses moving in a positive way. Look at all the tuff that the politicians have given away over the past years.

        Reply
    • James Carr

      You and rhe author are morons. Faux Newz? You mean the Trumpee Network. Mindless……

      Reply
    • rufusvondufus

      Once Fox news gets rid of Ed Henry, Shep Smith, that younger guy with the hair combed straight up and a couple of the nitwits they have on Outnumered who are pure liberal dem’s they will be ok. That dumb blond that was Obama’s mouthpiece should just jump in front of a bus.

      Reply
    • Jo

      Hurley: you forgot to include PBS in your liberal bunch!

      Reply
  2. William Berthoud

    What are your opinions on Newsmax and the Blaze?

    Reply
    • K2l0UpnEUh

      I used to work for Newsmax. Still like it, although it is not as conservative as it used to be.

      Reply
    • G syck

      Both are about the same as Fox News (NOT).
      All three are republican propaganda outlets.

      Reply
  3. James Simpson

    Larry, please keep up your great editorials and unbiased approach to real news distribution. I have shared more times than I can count your words and impressions with all of my friends. Most of witch now follow you directly. You are a true voice of wisdom in a very broad ocean of lies and deceit.
    Bravo my friend!

    Reply
    • DAV

      I agree.

      Reply
  4. Elaine & John D'Angelo

    The use of freedom of speech and Freedom of the press has been and is so misused today. The Democrats believe these freedoms are to lie, abused people, harass, threaten, misinform, change Real History, do what whatever it takes to change our Government to a Socialist Communist Fascist Racist Degressive Democrat Party. The press is to print the truth to inform American citizens what is happening in our Government and freedom of speech a way to voice our concerns to elected officials. Just like separation of Church and State was and is misused. The concern was the government would not established a government controlled church like the Church of England. Never was it meant separation of God and State. The atheist have used this to remove God and prayer from our schools and society since the 50s to today. Sadly this tactic used by Stalin and Hitler too conquer a Nation has been used effectively in America by the Socialist Communist Fascist Racist Degressive Democrat Party. First take over education then removing God, Accountability, and replace it with alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex and complete demoralizing and remove morality in America using the news media, social media and the so called entertainment industry. History does and has repeated itself from ancient times to today. The Jewish and Christian faith is under attack and will get worse. Why because we are under a Spiritual war. The ungodly blame all their problems on people who believe in God instead of themselves. The Socialist Communist Fascist Racist Degressive Democrat Party has learned well from Hitler and Stalin, God help us we of faith know what’s coming.

    Reply
    • Tom Green

      You are correct to a point. But God is not done just yet. I am a writer of prophetic Christian poetry. I wrote three poems about 9-11 before it happened. I have eyewitnesses or the copyright office to back this claim. It is a revivalist message. I have been sharing this message with fellow believers for seventeen years as an encouragement. Happy to share them with you? I can email them if you wish to read them.

      Reply
    • andre

      Well, Elaine, you are certainly a ray of sunshine. (Not) For your information, there is no Socialist Communist Fascist Racist Degressive (what? Democrat party. The Dems do not lie, abuse, harass, misinform, threaten and change Real History. And the ungodly certainly don’t blame their problems on people who believe in God. Where are you getting all this nonsense?

      Reply
  5. L. Ray Sharer

    AN EXCELLENT ARTICLE ON HOW OUR NEWS IS PRESENTED.
    I TRY TO WATCH TWO OR THREE OF THOSE MENTIONED, BUT IT SEEMS I ALWAYS TRIGULATE BACK TO FOX NEWS.***

    Reply
  6. Randolph Lawrence

    Contemptible dishonesty has no place in a news service, but FOX News institutinalizes mendacity. I have NO respect for the Right Wing Conspiracy — Clear Channel’s line-up ( oh sorry, the non-race-baiting IHeartMedia) of Beck, Limbaugh, Hannity, Cunningham et alia; Sinclair’s propagandistic edicts to its peon-status farmbelt media stations, the oligarchy of neofascists who fund you all. And on and on — so many, so deep.

    We know, we’re on to you, and we will fight for freedom in our lives and in our heads.

    Reply
  7. George Schuler

    This is one of the finest and fairest article I have read in a mighty long time, and I wholeheartedly agree. I have many conversations with people in my community, and when I make a point, the remark from them is usually, “where did you hear that, Fox. My reply is yes, have you ever watched it? Usually no is their reply, I watch CNN, or MSNBC is what they say. I mostly watch Fox, but to keep them honest I will turn to other channels to see how they are covering different stories.
    Trump may not be perfect but he has mad good on all his promises except two, and those are not for the lack of trying. He has had to fight the Dems and those of his own party on the wall and Obama Care repeal and replace. Next Tuesday is vital, we MUST win so that he can continue the WINNING STREAK.

    You started your article out by saying thank God for Donald Trump…well I totally agree. Remember, God chose a murderer and adulterer be the bloodline to have Christ to be born. He said David is a man after His own heart, because he repented. We are all flawed, and Mr Trump is as well. We must all pray for him and that God gives him guidance.

    Reply
    • G syck

      George Schulerur,
      What have you been smoking. You are delusional. This was a totally biased, messed up article.
      Fox News (NOT) is one of the worst news outlets out there.
      Fox News (NOT) is nothing but the propaganda outlet for the republican party.

      Reply
  8. Jason D Ouellette

    I hate you pubs. You all have everything and us liberals really only have our free health care for now. Why can’t you rich bastards leave our health care alone. It really is the only benefit I have. Also why can’t you pubs feel like you should pay more taxes then us? Most of you have millions in your ira s and have your hand in all kinds of money making schemes. You have the Money! That’s why you should pay more taxes. Duh!

    Reply
    • Bob Pegram

      Voting for politicians to forcibly take money from others and give it to you in the form of benefits is stealing even if it is de facto legal. Why should somebody who has worked hard to have a healthy lifestyle pay the healthcare costs of somebody who has abused his/her body with smoking, drugs, etc.? That isn’t moral nor fair.

      Reply
    • Peter Sloan

      Most Conservatives have millions in our IRAs!!! Haaaaaaaaahahahahaha!!!!! Good one! No, friend, most of us live paycheck to paycheck because liberals have so badly crippled the US economy for so long and have expected us working class grunts to pay through the nose to provide rent, food and services to millions who don’t want to work! Why do you think we’re striving so hard to fix the mess liberals have made so those of us who carry the load can finally have enough to live decent lives! And I assume you’re getting your health care free, since you praise its virtues. Those of us who pay for ours have seen our premiums double or triple and our quality of care drop so low that our healthcare is now a total joke. I just had an ultra-sound guided biopsy. Our full-priced, “Full Coverage” insurance paid $170.00 and the hospital and the miscellaneous other medical professionals involved have billed us, so far, for nearly $3000.00. And we’re supposed to be okay with this? But it seems YOU are okay with yours, and that is all that matters, right?

      Reply
      • Leighane

        Oh my god…talk about an alternative reality. You people stop smoking or drinking. The biggest lier and racist and hypocritic is your fake president who couldnt even win on his own.I don’t have a horse n this race as I don’t live in the USA and most of the world sees what’s going on.Its better than watching any soap.

        Reply
    • Peter Sloan

      And by the way, addressing your first sentence: The one that says you HATE us pubs. Hmmm, seems to me that you leftists keep saying WE are the haters! Here’s sending you a big hug, Jason, and hoping and praying that whatever is crippling you economically will let go and leave you prosperous enough to afford the things you need.

      Reply
  9. Jumnjak

    Thank you
    I just wish more people read this article

    Reply
    • Leighane

      Ya me to, so they can have a good laugh! Cause it’s hilarious.

      Reply
      • Wildflower

        Nobody with any brain cells cares what you think

        Reply
  10. Nayda

    Thank you for your analysis. AON is a great competitor for FOX news. However, I do enjoy Tucker, Hamburg, Ingraham Angle and Shannon Bream. I usually change channels to AON or other show when Sheppard Smith is up ( we have too much from the left side, including newspapers and news irganizations) or when Juan ( The Five) starts with his out of the blue analyses and commentaries. That’s just too much craziness as well as toxic swampy environment and talk to be allowed at home. Thanks for the opportunity to express my opinion freely, without fear of retaliation, i.e. Twitter, Facebook, et al. Have a great day, and please VOTE!

    Reply
  11. Kenneth wetzel

    The only thing I can say is that their shareholders must be just as warped as the people running these news circuses. I always thought it was about the profit line, but these people have taken it to the twilight zone. What a joke, now you see why I watch Netflix so much or record so I can fast forward past the asinine commercials. My wife and I both look at each other and wonder do people really get paid to produce this crap. We joke around just to see if either one of us even understand what we had just seen. Tv and Hollywood have gone by way of wrestling, people know it is fake, poorly produced and just a joke.

    Reply
  12. Linda Hall

    Thank you Elaine and John, you expressed my sentiments precisely! My husband and I tolerated Obama for 8 straight long years and you never saw one conservative blocking roadways, getting in peoples faces, spiting or burning a business or school property. During that time, Obama sent a plane full of cash to Iran ( no congress or Senate approval), cancelled a prayer breakfast but had a Muslim celebration at the Whitehouse, wrote exectuvive orders for doca and his own pet projects, sat back and watched 4 military heros die trying to save our ambassador, and “lose” millions of dollars that has never been found.. Why can”t the Demopucks give us the respect for our president that we gave their president? If the circumstances were reversed in the “Russia collusion” Pres.Trump and 10 others would be in prison now and the key would be thrown away,,Linda H,

    Reply
  13. Linda Hall

    I spent about an hour writing my comments and I wrote my name and Email and it was not printed
    WHY???????

    Reply
    • K2l0UpnEUh

      This is a moderated comments section, which means we don’t print your comment unless you send us $359 dollars in cash…

      Reply
  14. Gilbert

    Thank God for Conservative news. I am a Devote Christian and Republican. We need to pray for Our Country and Our President and V.P. I believe the democrats are lost and not honest at all. Stay in prayer. People. Trump is keeping his promises from the campaign trail. He is a good man. God put him in office.

    Reply
  15. Brenda Thomas

    I Can Only Trust Fox News…The Others Are FAKE NEWS!!!

    Reply
  16. Joanne

    FOX NEWS the worst news ever. So slanted.

    Reply
  17. TRUTH WINS

    hiLlARy //// hiKup°

    Reply
  18. TRUTH WINS

    won’t post my comment
    //////// ? ////////
    GO TRUMP!

    Reply
  19. TRUTH WINS

    True that!

    Reply
  20. John

    What an array of weak minded Democrats.

    Reply
  21. Jacquot Lequang

    OANN One America News Network the best and Fox sometimes!

    Reply
  22. PATTY

    I forgot one thing which is very important to me and I am sure many others who love Judge Jeanine, she should never had been suspended for what she said!! It was the truth. If they can say terrible things about THE FOX TEAMS & Our PRESIDENT, Then I feel we should be able to defend our country & President, Fox .

    Reply
  23. Rhoda Vicari

    I Love Fox news.I watch it all the time. I also feel Juan Williams is very Racist. I realize he is the only Democrat on the 5 but he’s very Racist.

    Reply
  24. Scottawags

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