I call it wienie-ville.
Mychal Massie, my latest wonderful discovery in the blogosphere (how in heavens did I miss him out there for so long???), states an issue against which I have spent innumerable hours yelling at the TV screen extremely well.
We tend to have Fox on the tube pretty much every day in our household, when we're not watching NCIS marathons, or Jeopardy or HGTV, or ID-TV, but very often, I find their intensity in trying to present a "balanced" view of things quite tiresome. At those times, I find myself screaming at the screen, telling them to "get a grip," and "don't you see what they're doing??" Mr. Massie makes an excellent case about how Fox's intent to be "balanced" seems to give so much (too much?) leeway to the worst type of liberal talking heads.
Sure, I get what they're trying to do: theoretically show both sides of the issues "equally," . . . but there are times (especially on Shep's and Megyn's shows) they appear to be looking more for the sensationalistic action piece rather than the truly newsworthy segments they tend to tease.
Even though Megyn's is not really and truly a "news" program (as far as I'm concerned), say in the same vein as Brett's 6pm slot, there are often stories about "breaking news" and supposed important issues that must be reported during her time slot. I like Megyn, in general, as a broadcaster: easy on the eyes, engaging, self-deprecating, funny, and pretty smart. Actually, she and Shepard Smith both remind me of that great ole song "Dirty Laundry" which wonderfully epitomizes broadcast news in general.
A personal aside: I happened to be working as the secretary in the news department of a major network affiliate in Miami at the time the song came out. It typifies the reasons I quit the job before having a new one waiting -- it was a matter of self-preservation to get out of that atmosphere. That experience also represented that last period of my life during which I "believed" what was "reported" without question on "the news."
One would hope, regardless, that a station of the level of Fox (at least of the level most of their programs attempt to maintain) would try harder to keep a better quality in those they choose to interview to represent "the other side."
My husband's theory is that they select folks like Jehmu Greene and Bob Beckel certainly not only to show the "other side," but to also liven things up. True, imagine how completely boring the shows would be overall if all we had were folks who agreed with each other non-stop? (Even though that's the kind of Kumbaya-esque nirvana liberals claim to hope for.) On a certain level, maybe that would not be all that bad (everyone agreeing with the Conservative perspective); on another level, I think it is quite important to keep showing both sides right from the horses' mouths.
If one was just merely told of the level of ugliness and disgusting commentary to which so many liberals do not hesitate to sink just to try to make a point, most logical, honest people would never believe it. When we see and hear the examples, however, it is undeniable.
One must be a liberal -- at least unthinking -- one's self in order to find anything stated by most liberal talking heads to be in the least acceptable.
However, it does get pretty difficult to accept when the disgusting blather is not only given a very wide audience and encouraged by the very hosts who are supposed to maintain a modicum of decorum and "balance."
O'Reilly’s another one who sometimes appears to go overboard with the so-called "even-handedness" of FNC. There are countless opportunities to respond strongly to outrageous comments made by liberals he interviews which he seems to let "pass" in the name of "fairness."
Personally, I call it wienie-ness. If one holds to certain beliefs, they must be defended, no matter where or by whom those beliefs are attacked. Megyn should respond as strongly to Greene as Hannity responds to Bob Beckel, even though Hannity makes no bones as to his friendship with the man. (I guess personal knowledge provides an aspect of the man's personality unseen on TV.) Even O'Reilly has been known to get "strong-voiced" when the liberal blather goes over the line. I just wish he would do it more often and not let so many inappropriate, ugly, inaccurate and just plain lies go unchallenged.
As far as Mr. Massie's perspective, however, I would not say Megyn's lack of demand for accountability from the likes of Greene is really "racist." (That's one word that has been drained of all meaning and intensity from overuse these past 5+ years!)
I sincerely think Megyn and Shepard (even though I think he's perfect example of the so-called "undecideds") are really just trying to make an effect and keep their ratings going . . . playing to their audience demographic, I would expect, pretty much as described by Mr. Henley in that really, really good ole song.