Eric Boehlert of Media Matters has a long piece on the development of Fox News from quasi-news outlet with strong partisan bend to full-time political opposition outlet, with no distinction between the opposition put forth by Fox News pundits and Fox News “reporters.” I’ll be honest – a lot of the content Media Matters produces goes straight into my “Tell Me What I Don’t Know” file. Right wing pundits are smearing Democrats? Yep.Fox News reporters consistently get the facts wrong? Still! They do yeoman’s work, but a lot of the time it feels like Media Matters is just shooting fish in a barrel.
But Boehlert’s piece today documents an incredibly important phenomenon — the development as Fox News as the political leader of the American right, as seen in particular by the Tea Party protests and Glenn Beck’s 9-12 Project. Boehlert brings together a similar analysis put forth by Glenn Greenwald, Jonathan Alter and Hendrik Hertzberg. These voices are important, for as Boehlert notes, the reason Fox News has been able to devolve into the leader of the Republican Party is because other members of the press — outlets like Politico and the New York Times — continue to white wash Fox’s abject partisanship. It’s “the façade of journalism” that has let Fox take its aggressive role. At some point, that façade must come down.