[...] “I am not interested in discussing O’Reilly’s politics here. That would open a hornet’s nest. I am more concerned about the danger he and others like him represent to a civil and peaceful society. He sets a harmful example of acceptable public behavior. He has been an influence on the most worrying trend in the field of news: The polarization of opinion, the elevation of emotional temperature, the predictability of two of the leading cable news channels. A majority of cable news viewers now get their news slanted one way or the other by angry men. O’Reilly is not the worst offender. That would be Glenn Beck. Keith Olbermann is gaining ground. Rachel Maddow provides an admirable example for the boys of firm, passionate outrage, and is more effective for nogt shouting.” [...]
I used to watch his show before he began calling those who don’t support Bush’s invasion into Iraq as “anti-American.” Hence, the name calling that Ebert mentions. When I did watch it, he began a campaign against Pepsi for having rap artist Ludacris as one of their ad pitchers. He told his audience to go to his website and sign the petition to send to Pepsi and the company backed down and released Ludacris from his endorsement deal.
So yeah, O’Reilly does influence.
The medias give people what they want, that’s how they make money. What brought on the onslaught of all these “angry news men”? The population is mostly angry but too afraid of sharing their views and opinions? Are we all angrier today than we were 10 or 20 years ago?
I think public anger is more acceptable to day than in the past. Not sure why that is the case. Even 10 years ago the BO types were rare. I take issue with clumping Obermann and Maddow with the Fox crew. Yes, Keith is edgy but he is factual. He and Maddow cover stories that other networks tend to ignore. They both have very qualified people on their shows expressing opinions and critiques. Prof Jonathan Turley is one example who is a constitutional lawyer that has a lot of expertise. I can learn something of value from a guest like him.
BO and Beck are not of the same caliber by any stretch of the imagination. Overall, I would say most of their views are based on ignorance.
When you have a lot of 24-hour news channels, you have a lot of competition and a lot of airtime to fill. Outrage makes great TV; sober analysis and a even-handed presentation of the facts does not make great TV.
I take issue with clumping Obermann and Maddow with the Fox crew. Yes, Keith is edgy but he is factual. He and Maddow cover stories that other networks tend to ignore. They both have very qualified people on their shows expressing opinions and critiques.
I take issue with not clumping Keith with the Fox crew. He is emotional and biased. He clearly has an agenda, and doesn’t hide it. That is the definition of Fox journalism.
The stories that Fox and Keith don’t ignore are those that support a predetermined point of view. Reputable journalism ignores those stories because they are only relevant to those looking for support for their preconceived notions.
I also invite you to question how qualified the guests that appear on these shows really are. In this age of polarized news, the essence of fairness is to balance your expert analysis by inviting one member of each camp to the show and let them spout at one another.
“Expert” analysis used to mean that the journalist sought out an actual expert and then let them explain the issue. It was the journalist’s job to make sure that the expert knew what the hell he or she was talking about, and was not biased.