Well, well, well. The Fourth Estate has its undies in a bundle because the Obama administration has finally called out one of the networks for being lying, denigrating, vicious twisters of the truth.
This entity, which frequently feeds stories to the mainstream media or bashes them until they will cover such a story, hates anyone to the left of John Birch. Its parade of hate has been consistent and consistently laden with derision for the elected president, Barack Obama.
And to accurately portray Fox, this happens throughout the day, NOT just in commentary, as John Nichols' Oct. 21 commentary in the Cap Times implies.
That Fox hates anyone "liberal" enough to challenge invading other nations illegally, spying on citizens without warrants, torturing prisoners, and challenging the hubris and greed of Wall Street is commonly known to everyone with a brain bigger than a bean.
That Fox typically invites discredited commentators like Dick Morris to lay the foundation for a complete national decline under Obama is not a surprise. If this were the end of the story, one might agree with the pundits from the left that trying to fight Fox is wrong.
But Fox is not being called to task solely because of the lunacy of Sean Hannity or Bill O'Reilly or Glenn Beck. It is being called out for deliberately trying to create questionable or false stories or distort the angles on stories during its so-called "news" presentations. And were the damage limited to those who demand only the perspective that satisfies their minuscule minds, as Nichols and others point out, one needn't pursue it.
However, the gutless and profit-driven Fourth Estate is not what it used to be. Far too many of these distorted stories (ACORN is a perfect example) find their way into or are jammed down the throat of the mainstream media.
The press, and close on their heels the Congress, run willy-nilly trying to ensure they can't be accused of being liberal, picking up nonsense as if it were gold. CNN finds time to take Fox stories at face value while fact-checking "Saturday Night Live"!
The truly salient fact is the way the media, including the lefties like Nichols, circle the wagons anytime someone calls them out on their perfidy. Attack one, you attack all! The freedom of the press must go unchallenged! A president who points out even the most outrageous liars in the media will be branded a whiner.
So I say to the media: You are no longer deserving of the title "Fourth Estate." You are so corporatized as to have abandoned virtually all of the principles that gave you that vaunted status. Your quest is now the bottom line, not a Jeffersonian ideal. You cut staffs to bare bones and limit your investigative reporting to who's screwing who and balloon boy stories.
You don't search for truth but rather seek two contrasting opinions, no matter how crazy one of them might be. You seek controversy over insight. And you do it in a world that depends on you to get it right now more than ever before.
If the media want to see the true whiners, the fearful, the abdicators of a vaunted role, they need to take a long, hard look in the mirror. That is, if they can get their heads out of the sand long enough to do so.
Thomas E. Dixon Jr. is a Madison resident.