Call the waaaaaaaaaaahmbulance! Media Matters Senior Fellow of bogus professional titles Eric Boehlert’s about to asplode with anger at the thought that FOX News chairman Roger Ailes is being given a platform to talk about journalism. After all, Media Matters is the only organization out there that’s truly qualified to discuss journalism and media integrity. Letting in a FOX News fiend who might at the very least plant a non-Media-Matters-approved seed in the heads of students is not only risky, it’s dangerous.
Next week, Fox News chairman Roger Ailes will return to his alma mater, Ohio University, and give a featured lecture. According to a campus flyer, Ailes’ talk will be entitled, “FOX News: Past, Present, Future,” and will be given as part of the school’s George Washington Forum on American Ideas, Politics & Institutions.
But does Roger Ailes really belong in that esteemed group? And more importantly, why do respected universities help perpetuate the myth that Ailes runs a news organization and that he occupies as an esteemed position within the journalism industry?
It’s obvious that Fox News long ago cut the cord with anything resembling traditional journalism, and instead has transformed itself into a partisan attack machine. (i.e. The “voice of the opposition.”) It’s an irresponsible attack machine that, in a nation of 300 million people, consistently draws three millions viewers, which in the niche world of cable news means it’s a success.
And you know what, Fox has every right to be in the partisan attack business. But for prestigious universities to usher Roger Ailes into their lectures halls under the guise of him being a news executive and letting him spin fantastic tales about how Fox is a fair and balanced news organization is a joke.
It’s a joke because places of higher learning shouldn’t help perpetuate the Fox myth while turning a blind eye to the lasting damage Ailes’ enterprise is doing to journalism and to our national discourse. (Flashback: Obama is a “racist” with a “deep seeded hatred for white people.”)
Other whoppers Ailes unfurled in [in a lecture at UNC] included his claim that he’s a non-partisan player, that Fox is a serious, neutral outlet “committed to providing viewers with more factual information and a balanced and fair presentation,” that he employs just “one conservative on Fox News,” and that the channel loves having forceful and articulate liberals on to debate their points of view.
If Ailes wants to pretend that’s what Fox News is about, than that’s his choice. (That’s not what Fox is about, though; see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.) But Ailes shouldn’t be invited to lecture college students and spread his Fox propaganda under the guise of journalism tutelage.
If communications schools and universities are looking for speakers to address partisan politic, or how to misinform large block of viewers, then Roger Ailes makes sense.
But to lecture students about journalism and fair play? No way.
How could any self-respecting college allow someone with legitimate life experience come in to talk to students about his life experience? It’s just appalling. We are appalled!
Poor Eric’s soles must be throbbing, what with all the foot-stomping he’s doing. But we’re thinking this isn’t just about hating FOX News; it’s about jealousy. Why oh why don’t any colleges want him to come and lecture their students? Doesn’t anyone love him? Anyone?