It’s a good thing that Brit Hume has already announced his retirement. When the primary anchor and managing editor of the Washington bureau for Fox News has such a total misconception of modern media, it is well past time for him to leave the scene. On the December 11 broadcast of the Fox News Special Report, Hume led off his Political Grapevine segment with this:
“The Obama-Biden transition team has launched a new feature on its Web site called “Open for Questions” which is designed to be an open forum for users to ask policy and issue questions. However, it is subject to what amounts to censorship by other users because the more votes an entry gets the higher it moves on the overall list. But some questions are being downplayed by Obama supporters who are trying to remove the entries entirely.”
Someone needs to explain to the old feller what “community moderation” is on social networks. They could start by telling Grandpa Hume that it is sort of like Democracy. He may remember what that is.
The whole point of the Open For Questions project is to solicit the public’s views on what issues the new administration should pursue. By allowing people to vote on the suggestions submitted, it presents a community consensus of what ought to take priority. But Hume is complaining that some comments were poorly received, or even flagged as inappropriate. He cites as an example this question:
“Is Barack Obama aware of any communications in the last six weeks between Rod Blagojevich or anyone representing Rod Blagojevich and any of Obama’s top aides?”
That may be interesting question if you’re a Republican toady trying to smear Obama, but it is not a policy suggestion for the President-elect. So it should come as no surprise that it would not rate highly, and that it might even be deemed inappropriate. It is certainly irrelevant and a distraction from the topic at hand.
Nevertheless, Hume’s assertion that the results of the public’s voting amounts to censorship is both ridiculous and utterly false. While some instances of the Blagojevich question were removed as inappropriate, many more remain on the site – just farther down the list. What’s more, commentary that went even further off topic, and could only be characterized as intentionally disruptive (not to mention immature), was also available for all to read. For instance…
- Will Rev. Wright sing God (bleep) America at your inauguration?
- Besides Rezko, the governor, and Bill Ayers, are there any other crooks you associated yourself with that we need to know about?
- Are you a Muslim Terrorist in disguise? I do not believe you are American, prove it to us!
- Is Michelle proud of America now that you are the president-elect?
- Did you beat Clinton ’cause for the Dems it’s Bros befo’ Hos?
- Are you a natural born citizen and if so will you show an authentic birth certificate?
- Is it hard to be such a fucking phony all the time?
The fact that none of these items were removed proves that there is no censorship being practiced on the web site. It also proves that there are a lot of childish Republican smart asses clogging up the blogosphere. More to the point, it proves that Brit Hume is a lousy reporter and a flagrant promoter of disinformation. It took me all of fifteen minutes to compile this list. What kind of reporter is Hume if he cannot even use the search function provided on the web page to look for any information except that which affirms his predetermined view?
The transparency of Hume’s agenda driven ravings is testimony to the lie that Fox News is fair and balanced. It is further confirmation that Hume and his colleagues are dishonest and brazen purveyors of propaganda. And it is evidence that Hume is past his prime and unable to keep up with advances in new media. The sooner he trades in his anchor’s chair for a rocking chair the better. Buh bye, Brit.
Update: It appears that Hume’s source for his non-reporting is Ben Smith at Politico. Smith made the same inane accusation of censorship a day before Hume.