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The peril of lower standards in the 'new journalism'

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  • How a story that suggested Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes was about to be indicted resonated around the world is a signpost on the road to America's secession from reality.
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  • America Can't Deal With Reality
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Leonard Pitts Jr., Syndicated columnist, Seattle Times | WA

A few words about three words.

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Said words came from one Barry Ritholtz, a financial analyst, author and TV commentator who, according to his website, has contributed commentary on matters monetary to the whole alphabet soup of TV news: CNBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, PBS, Fox, MSNBC and C/SPAN.

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Ritholtz also has a blog and it was there that he recently broke what seemed a major news story: "Roger Ailes to Be Indicted." Ailes, as you may know, is the controversial chairman of Fox News.

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Bill Moyers: America Can't Deal With Reality, AlterNet

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  • Many people inhabit a closed belief system on whose door they have hung the "Do Not Disturb" sign.
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  • We Must Be Exposed to the Truth, Even If It Hurts
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"Fox News Lies" in Wisconsin

The report begins: "Fox News has pushed a litany of falsehoods while reporting on pro-labor protests in Wisconsin, thereby proving right the many Wisconsin protesters who have broken out into chants of 'Fox News lies.'"

Media Matters for America

Pro-Labor Protesters Chant "Fox News Lies"

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Protesters Chant "Fox Lies." On February 18, protesters chanted "Fox lies" during Fox News correspondent Jeff Flock's live report on the labor protests from the Wisconsin Capitol building. [Fox News, Your World with Neil Cavuto, 2/18/11]

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Protesters Chant "Tell The Truth." During Live Fox Segment. On February 21, protesters chanted "tell the truth" throughout Fox News correspondent Mike Tobin's live report on the protests. [Fox News, The Fox Report, 2/21/11]

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Protesters: "Fox News Lies." On February 27, protesters again chanted "Fox News lies" during a Fox News report from the Madison, WI, protests. [Fox News, America's News HQ, 2/27/11]

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Fox Falsely Claims WI Gov. Walker Is "Actually Doing What He Campaigned On"Gingrich: Walker Is "Actually Doing What He Campaigned On." During the February 24 edition of On the Record, Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich said:

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Why Does USA Today Hate Public Workers?

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  • Paper's Dennis Cauchon continues misleading spin
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  • USA Today Targets Government Workers
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  • The Media's Role in the Assault on Working People
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Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)

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On today's front page (3/1/11, USA Today alleges that public workers in Wisconsin earn more than private sector employees--a finding at odds with much of the research on public/private compensation.

Under the headline "In Wisconsin, Private Sector Pays Less," reporter Dennis Cauchon argues that "Wisconsin is one of 41 states where public employees earn higher average pay and benefits than private workers in the same state."

This "USA Today analysis" suffers from the same fundamental error as Cauchon's previous attempts (Extra!, 1/11) to paint public workers as overpaid: the failure to control for factors like the type of work performed, experience and education. The paper does not try to hide this; as Cauchon writes, "The analysis included full and part-time workers and did not adjust for specific jobs, age, education or experience." But this failure to distinguish between different types of work renders the comparison entirely meaningless--unless you think that teachers and fast-food clerks ought to get exactly the same pay.

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USA Today Targets Government Workers, Julie Hollar, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)
Campaigning to cut their pay using bogus statistics

The Media's Role in the Assault on Working People, Russ Baker, WhoWhatWhy.com

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  • A common theme runs through a variety of news stories: there isn’t enough money around, and so working people must take a hit. But is that really the only solution?
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  • The War Against Public Sector Unions
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House Republicans seek to block FCC Internet rules

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  • The rules prohibit phone and cable companies from favoring or discriminating against Internet content and services, including online calling services like Skype and Web video services like Netflix that could compete with their core operations. The FCC's three Democrats voted to adopt the regulations late last year over the opposition of the agency's two Republicans.
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  • Why the FCC can’t protect net neutrality
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  • David Morris: How America lost control of its airwaves
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Associated Press/Google

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House Republicans on Thursday (Feb 17) moved to block the Federal Communications Commission from enforcing new rules that prohibit broadband providers from interfering with Internet traffic on their networks.

With a 244-181 vote, Republican leaders succeeded in attaching an amendment to a sweeping spending bill that would bar the FCC from using government money to implement its new "network neutrality" regulations.

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Why the FCC can’t protect net neutrality, Mike Ingram, World Socialist Web Site

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  • The FCC is incapable of securing the openness of the Internet because such openness is incompatible with a system based on private ownership and the attack on democratic rights necessitated by a massive increase in social inequality. The real defense of net neutrality can only be conducted as part of a struggle for socialism.
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  • Special Report | Fake Net Neutrality
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David Morris: How America lost control of its airwaves, David Morris, Minneapolis Star Tribune | MN

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  • Today, stripped of all rules requiring decency and fairness, talk radio has become hate radio.
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  • Together with a similarly unrestrained Fox News, aided and amplified by the Internet, incivility and hatred has infected the general culture. Public threats of violence are becoming the norm.
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  • Fox News: The No. 1 Name in Murder Fantasies
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