Fox, You Ignorant Slut!

Janet Daley, columnist for Britain’s Telegraph newspaper, reveals what is really behind the News of the World scandal and also defines the nature of left wing self-righteousness:

… the power of the BBC – and its historical hatred for the “Murdoch empire” – is just one aspect of a larger battle which has now leapt across the Atlantic, where the target is not newspapers which can be legitimately charged with having committed unconscionable acts, but Fox News. Its offence is to have filled such a huge gap in the market for television news and current affairs that it has swept all before it. Its raucous Right-wing orientation is, in fact, matched by an equally raucous Left-wing equivalent in the cable news channel MSNBC, so why should anyone who believes in open and free debate among news providers object to this?
The problem is that Fox’s audience share is enormous, by far the largest of any cable news channel, whereas MSNBC’s is tiny, the smallest of any cable news channel. People are voting with their remotes for the kind of opinions they want to hear and the result is infuriating for the Left-liberal axis – and particularly for the Obama White House, which has made no secret of its desire to shut Fox News down.

There is, incidentally – contrary to the conjectures of some excitable commentators – no possibility of the “Murdoch empire” spawning a British version of Fox News. By law, broadcast news in Britain must be impartial. That is why all television news organisations in this country subscribe to pretty much the same soft-Left rendition of neutral reporting (in which Euroscepticism was, until very recently, treated as a lunatic fringe irrelevance, etc). And just the sort of liberal received opinion that now dominates television news because the tight regulation of licensed broadcasters demands it, could prevail in newspapers if the press were regulated (which is to say, licensed to operate) “in the same way that broadcasting is” – a suggestion which is being uttered in precisely those words even by Conservative politicians.

In fact, a similar rule of enforced neutrality applies in the US on network news programming: all news which is transmitted “over the airwaves” must be impartial (which there, too, means Left-liberal). It is only by the technical fluke of their being relayed by cable that the newer news channels such as Fox and MSNBC can show partisanship. Result: network news in the US is haemorrhaging viewers and cable news is hugely influential.

The cable news channels now play roughly the role in American politics that politically aligned newspapers do in Britain. To start regulating (licensing) the press would mean that we would have no frankly, vividly, politically potent news medium to counter whatever conventional wisdom was ordained by the self-appointed “enlightened” class of the day.

It is worth asking in both the British and American contexts why people who regard themselves as believers in free speech and liberal democracy can be so openly eager to close off – silence, kill, extinguish – different political views from their own. This is the question that is at the heart of the matter and which will remain long after every News International executive who may possibly be incriminated in the current scandal has been purged.

There is scarcely any outfit on the Right – be it political party, or media outlet – which demands the outright abolition of a Left-wing voice, as opposed to simply recommending restraint on its dominance (as I am with the BBC). That is because those of us on the Right are inclined to believe that our antagonists on the Left are simply wrong-headed – sometimes well-intentioned, sometimes malevolent but basically just mistaken. Whereas the Left believes that we are evil incarnate. Their demonic view of people who express even mildly Right-of-centre opinions (that lower taxes or less state control might be desirable, for example) would be risible if it were not so pernicious.

The Left does not want a debate or an open market in ideas. It wants to extirpate its opponents – to remove them from the field. It actually seems to believe that it is justified in snuffing out any possibility of our arguments reaching the impressionable masses – and bizarrely, it defends this stance in the name of fairness.

Advertisements
Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: