Media Follies

Washington Post: Bush Cousin Made Florida Vote Call For Fox News. Which is why media circles were buzzing yesterday with the question of why Fox had installed a Bush relative in such a sensitive post.

Eric Mink (NY York Daily News): ‘Fair’? R-i-i-ght. Fox News Channel’s bias is clear

It was bad enough that the big TV networks “called” Florida for Al Gore on Election Night, then withdrew that announcement, then gave the state to George W. Bush and then withdrew that prediction. That sequence will go down in journalism infamy for its sheer arrogance.

The Fox News people were first to award Florida to Bush, and used the announcement to award him — also grossly prematurely — the presidency. The other networks, true to their lemming-like nature, rushed to follow that lead. And Gore has been fighting the possibly false perception that he lost ever since.

Now we learn that Bush’s first cousin, a man who was having regular conversations that night with the Republican candidate and Bush’s brother, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, was partly or even largely responsible for the Fox News decision to declare George Bush the winner.

Does this stink, or what?

Now, Fox News is free to tilt to the political right, or even shill for the GOP and its candidates if it wants to. It should own up to its biases up front, however.

Meanwhile, it develops that Barbara Walters is shilling for Campbell Soup (Wall Street Journal) on an ABC TV program. ABC News doesn’t see the problem. No surprise there, either, sadly.

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