The controversy surrounding Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly is actually a bit humorous to me. While I understand why some people care (Brian Williams just got suspended for lying in a similar way), to really act “outraged” because someone on Fox News might have been lying about something that happened 30 years ago isn’t exactly what I would call “breaking news” – it’s pretty much par for the course every day about current events. The conservative entertainment network is well known for pushing lies and misinformation. It’s why I don’t even considering them a “news network,” they’re just Republican entertainment.
So, while I’ve covered some of the events surrounding O’Reilly’s fairly sketchy accounts of his wartime reporting, forgive me if I’m not really “shocked” or “outraged” at the fact that someone on Fox News might be lying.
Those are basically the same sentiments Jon Stewart expressed when he addressed the entire ordeal last night.
“Misreprenting the zone he’s in is kind of his hook,” Stewart said. “‘You’re in the No-Spin Zone’ are the words he utters right before throwing to some jackass who disproves global warming by wandering around Boston pointing at snow, on a network whose slogan is a textbook case of trolling.”
“Why don’t we just agree that a good amount of the personal anecdotes from our media figures are seasoned with bullsh*t, and let’s just move on?” he asked.
Oh, Jon Stewart, how you put things so eloquently – so perfectly. We’re going to miss you when you’re gone.
Next he brought up the fact that Israel has been seemingly caught lying about Iran’s nuclear capabilities, prompting him to encourage people to care more about who starts the wars rather than the reporters who lie about what happens to them when they’re there.
“It seems to me, you know, we might all be just a little better off if the exaggerations about covering a war get less attention than the exaggerations that got us into so many of them,” Stewart said.
And he’s absolutely right.
While I understand why so much attention has been paid to the Williams and O’Reilly stories, at the end of the day, they’re essentially meaningless. While credibility is an important factor in the news, nowadays our news is filled with so much partisan nonsense and “we need this to boost ratings” stories that quality journalism is almost all but dead anyway.
In reality, all of this has been a testament to more credible journalism. The fact that the Brian Williams controversy brought about such swift reaction, and in turn punishment, whereas the scandal surrounding O’Reilly has been met with mostly a “meh” from much of the media shows that most people don’t seem to find it all that “shocking” that someone from the conservative media would embellish or just flat-out lie about something. Whereas a person like Williams, someone who people saw as an actual credible journalist, has clearly been held to a much higher standard than one of his Fox News counterparts.
Watch the segment below via Comedy Central:
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