What Does the Fox Say? Don’t Ask The Daily Beast–They Don’t Have a Clue

UnknownThe Cable Game isn’t familiar with Jack Holmes. He writes for The Daily Beast and his usual beat appears to be Justin Bieber, Amy Winehouse, and Madonna. But he got the urge to do some Fox-bashing and at The Beast there’s always space for more of that. So steel yourself for this:

Fox News Blames Al Sharpton for Baltimore Unrest Whether He’s There Or Not. The network finds fault with the reverend whether he gets involved in a race issue or stays out of it.

Can you see the fallacious ignorance in those two sentences? Here’s more vintage Jack Holmes:

…the network’s intrepid reporters: conjuring language, like Benghazi, to stir up their devoted viewers. When protests turn ugly, they invariably call–loudly and often–for civil rights leaders to condemn the violence…

The Cable Game is going out a limb here to suggest that Jack Holmes cannot name any Fox News reporter, intrepid or not, who invariably calls for civil rights leaders to do anything. Have you heard Bret Baier do so? Peter Doocy? Has Catherine Herridge demanded Al Sharpton say anything? It seems Mr. Holmes, who fancies himself some sort of journalist, doesn’t even know what a reporter is! And as we read on we see his example of a “Fox News reporter” criticizing Al Sharpton:

Eric Bolling, a treasured voice on race issues and expert on the socioeconomic challenges of inner-city life, loudly calls for civil rights leaders to come out against the violence, citing Sharpton and Jesse Jackson.

Did somebody mention “ignorance?” Eric Bolling is a commentator, an opinionizer, the broadcast equivalent of an op-ed columnist. He’s not a reporter. Watching The Five for two minutes makes that clear to anyone who knows the first thing about cable news. But Holmes has more, and it gets even better:

The difference this time is that Shepard Smith is around to serve as the voice of reason…

Holmes goes on to rhapsodize about Shep countering the awful Bolling by focusing on “economic and criminal justice issues”—apparently areas of discussion approved by Jack Holmes. In a bit of delicious irony Shepard Smith is one of Fox’s “intrepid reporters,” and yet Holmes quotes him saying the exact opposite of what he just insisted Fox’s reporters “invariably” say! Not only is Jack Holmes clueless about cable news, and Fox in particular, he can’t even keep his story straight from one paragraph to the next.

In fact Shep is more than just a Fox News reporter. As the Washington Post noted when writing up this same “compelling” bit of television, Shepard Smith is the network’s “managing editor and chief news anchor.” And that brings us back to the inaccurate, disingenuous headline and sub-head that led Jack Holmes’ hit piece:

Fox News Blames Al Sharpton for Baltimore Unrest Whether He’s There Or Not. The network finds fault with the reverend whether he gets involved in a race issue or stays out of it.

“Fox News” blames Sharpton? “The network” finds fault? Given that Shepard Smith is the managing editor at Fox News and its chief anchor, while Bolling is a guy on the panel who expressed an opinion, how is it Holmes makes Eric Bolling some sort of official spokesman for Fox News? Isn’t that headline rankly dishonest? Why doesn’t it read like this?

Fox News Rejects Criticism of Al Sharpton. The network sticks up for the reverend.

The whole business of claiming “Fox News” says something every time a person on a panel show expresses an opinion is lazy journalism, and in this case transparently phony. Jack Holmes demonstrates how it can be mendacious as well.


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