Fox offers fair, balanced news — and nothing’s silly about that 

Sunday’s joint appearance with Arianna Huffington on CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” hosted by the estimable Howard Kurtz, gave me a chance to tell her in person what most people think about her crusade against Fox News: It’s silly.

Her focus on a word here and a phrase there is silly.

The warning that Glenn Beck or others are “inciting” the public and that this is dangerous is silly.

The program also gave me the opportunity to say on television what I often say on radio: If I had it in my power, I’d give Keith Olbermann a 24/7 cable channel because he does more good for the center-right than almost anyone in America.

His wild-eyed craziness combined with obvious lack of knowledge about so many things make him an advertisement for conservatism.

But what I really enjoyed saying the most was the obvious: The Beltway-Manhattan media elite still can’t figure out Fox for the same reason they can’t figure out Rush Limbaugh or Sarah Palin.

They are elitists who long ago lost touch with the center of American opinion, and who have no way of finding their way back because they continue to staff up with a lethal (for ratings) combination of privileged executives, liberal to left-wing writers and producers, and know-nothing teleprompter readers.

What Roger Ailes has figured out that results in the cable-ratings domination is not string theory.

It begins with respect for the audience as opposed to contempt, and then adds in good humor and balance.

Rarely if ever will you find a Fox anchor using the term “tea bagger” because to do so is to insult millions of activists, but also those who know them and those who are interested in what they have to say.

And you will find Fox covering the president’s stumbles and the stories about the administration’s rising tide of failure. The mainstream media has an enormous double standard, and that first astonishes then offends.

The refusal to comprehensively cover President Barack Obama’s year of serial pratfalls and his risible reflex to blame President George W. Bush confirmed for a vast segment of the American audience that mainstream media remains just as in the tank for the president as it was for the candidate.

When networks cease to be infomercials for the president, they might win over some of Fox’s broad and growing audience.

There’s no reason why MSNBC and CNN have to lag so far behind Fox. The audience is up for grabs every single night.

But to compete, you have to at least try to be fair and balanced.

Or you at least have to be talented and smart.

Examiner columnist Hugh Hewitt is a law professor at Chapman University Law School and a nationally syndicated radio talk show host who blogs daily at


About The Author

Hugh Hewitt


Hugh Hewitt is a law professor at Chapman University Law School and a nationally syndicated radio talk show host who blogs daily at

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