Balancing Things Out

A Republican attacks Fox News’ slanted take on the news while President Obama takes steps to make the country a little safer.

By Harrison Barron

Last week a Republican did a wonderful thing. Senator Tom Coburn, a staunch Republican from Oklahoma, spoke out against Fox News and defended Speaker Pelosi.

You should probably read that paragraph one more time because such an event may never happen again. In a town hall meeting Coburn turned back a statement from a woman who claimed that a person could be put in jail for not getting health insurance under the new bill. According to CBS News, Coburn said, “The intention is not to put anybody in jail. That makes for good TV news on Fox but that isn’t the intention.” He then went on to call Speaker Pelosi a good person, which was received less than favorably.

It’s about time we hear this from someone on the Right. Fox News has, for too long, gotten away with its facade of “Fair and Balanced.” Fox News is “Fair and Balanced” like Shaquille O’Neal and Gary Coleman on a teeter-totter. They have lost all right to claim fairness since Hannity and Colmes split, which provided the network with at least some sort of leftist point-of-view.

Earlier this year, when the Obama administration claimed they would treat Fox News like an opposition opinion network rather than a normal news network, I was surprised that anybody came to the defense of Fox News. They clearly have no intention of providing both sides of the argument with hosts like Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck providing their audience with political punditry.

Let me be clear: I don’t have a problem with what Fox News is doing. They have every right, regardless of ethical and moral journalism, to provide their audience with any point-of-view that they please.

My problem with Fox News is the falsehood of its slogan. Don’t tell me you are “Fair and Balanced” when you clearly aren’t. It would be stupid to provide both sides of the coin if you are Fox News because its audience is tuning in to have their opinions validated. To do otherwise would be to lose viewers and, therefore, dollars.

I’m just glad that finally some on the right, like Tom Coburn, are beginning to catch on.

Moving on, I certainly agree that the control of and possible use of nuclear weapons is key to the health of this country and, possibly, to the legacy of the Obama presidency. But I don’t think that Obama’s new policy on nuclear weaponry makes us significantly less safe.

As republican Peter D. Feaver wrote in the New York Times this week, “We will not threaten to use nuclear weapons against a state that launches a non-nuclear attack against us unless we deem it to be in violation of Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty obligations.” Although at first glance it appears we are giving up aspects of our national safety, a second glance reveals that this does not necessarily rule out an attack on Al-Qaeda or Iran should the war escalate to such a point.

I hope I never have to see such a day, but for the time being, we as Americans should still feel safe, despite what this new policy may sound like.


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