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Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Newspapers vs. cable news: Roger Ailes of Fox News disputes LA Times editor's accusation of "pseudojournalism"

Bertrand called Los Angeles Times editor John S. Carroll a "hero" last month for his critique of the "pseudojournalism" - reporting laced with opinion - practiced by Fox News and other outlets. Now, Fox News chairman Roger Ailes has struck back on the pages of the Wall Street Journal, claiming that Carroll's paper is less relevant to today's consumers than cable television and that his critique's of Fox News failed to take into consideration the difference between the network's "hard news" with Brit Hume and its analysis-oriented shows with personalities like Bill O'Reilly. Ailes' critique of Carroll and his paper echo a typical refrain in American political discourse: to be concerned with the printed word over television is to be intellectual, and to be intellectual is to be liberal, and to be liberal is to be elitist, meaning cut-off from the "real" America. Here's an excerpt from Ailes' comments:

"Mr. Carroll's pathetic attempt to smear Fox News Channel will only drive his paper's circulation down, as it should. Fox News Channel's audience in Los Angeles is increasing daily. The Los Angeles Times is becoming less relevant in people's lives, so Mr. Carroll is trying to flog health back to a newspaper by attacking television news. Most Americans, of course, get their news from television. In fact, the Fox News Channel today has 53% of the audience share of cable news. CNN and MSNBC divide up the rest. According to Mr. Carroll, that proves most Americans are therefore stupid and gullible. It's that elite, arrogant, condescending, self-serving, self-righteous, biased and wrongheaded view of Americans that causes viewers and readers to distrust media people like John Carroll."

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Posted by Dana Goldstein on June 2, 2004 at 05:06 PM in i. Future of print, m. Improving editorial quality, o. Ethics and Press Freedom | Permalink

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