Howell Raines on Fox: “unfair, unbalanced, unchecked”

Why don’t honest journalists take on Roger Ailes and Fox News?

By Howell Raines
The Washington Post
Sunday, March 14, 2010; B05

One question has tugged at my professional conscience throughout the year-long congressional debate over health-care reform, and it has nothing to do with the public option, portability or medical malpractice. It is this: Why haven’t America’s old-school news organizations blown the whistle on Roger Ailes, chief of Fox News, for using the network to conduct a propaganda campaign against the Obama administration — a campaign without precedent in our modern political history? READ MORE at



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3 responses to “Howell Raines on Fox: “unfair, unbalanced, unchecked”

  1. Timjbd

    Raines should ask the same question of Fred Hiatt.

  2. DanM


    Raines infuriated me. Below is my comment from the Post article:

    “Whew, do you feel better now? Got that off your chest? You, Sir, are a whiner. Sour grapes.

    You are so disingenuous because you try to melt Fox News commentators with it’s news gathering business. I get tired of the commentary sometimes too, but when I want real news, it’s the only game in town. Have you watched CNN? MSNBC? They are mouthpieces for the Democratic party and their policies. I guaranty you many Republicans HATE Glenn Beck. I don’t listen or watch him often. He often gets his facts wrong, but I accept that it’s commentary.

    You whine. I can’t say much more. You whine. Fox News broke the code. They present the news and make money.”

    Now CNN does do some so-so news gathering and reporting. It was much better when you were there. That is true.

    I’m frustrated a bit to be honest. I wish Fox had a version of “Headline News” devoid of commentary, and yet showed both sides to each story. Perhaps this would have been better than Fox Business.

  3. “Fox News” is an oxymoron, but they really don’t pretend to be what-they’re-not. Continuing coverage of big breaking stories is thin.

    The genius of Roger Ailes is marketing. By the time Fox News came along, there were already more news channels than news stories. News had become a commodity, like Aquafina bottling water. So he came up with the-news-version-of Aquafina Splash…water-with-a-splash-of-flavor.

    And like a well-imaged radio station, he packaged his product in statements like “Fair and Balanced,” which: (a) allowed him to do-the-opposite, while (b) giving comfort to the like-minded that it was (fair and balanced). Brilliant.

    No question, MSNBC offers a counterpoint, and DON’T they preach-it-out, eh? And, by dispatching Lou Dobbs, CNN sent the message that they’ll play-it-down-the-middle.

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