Last night on Bill O’Reilly’s show, the Fester aired a segment on whether or not the media can be trusted. You have to wonder whether O’Reilly was looking in a mirror when he came up with this subject.
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However, it wasn’t O’Reilly who went completely off the rails this time. His guest was Charles Krauthammer, widely considered to be the “brainy” Fox fact distorter. Krauthammer was brought in specifically to offer his expertise in media analysis culled from decades of observation and study. Even O’Reilly realized that in order to make informed judgments about something you need to be immersed in it and continually reinforcing your knowledge. It was in that vein that O’Reilly asked Krauthammer…
O’Reilly: You as a commentator…you have to watch the media reports come in. You have to be well informed. You have to be up to date, as do I. Is there anybody that you trust?
Kruathammer: Well, again, apart from Fox, no, of course not.
So the only media outlet that Krauthammer regards as trustworthy is Fox News. That’s a pretty limited range of media sources. Surely he must have reasons for why no other source has any credibility in his view. O’Reilly pressed him (softly) on this to ascertain what he finds lacking at other networks like, for instance, CNN. O’Reilly presumed that “You must watch it.” To which Krauthammer replied…
“I don’t watch it. The only place I watch it is when I’m waiting for an airplane in some lounge somewhere. […] I have not watched a network newscast on any of the three networks in 20 years.”
Well then. No wonder he is considered an expert in media. His opinion is informed by having never seen any of it since Clinton was in his first term in the White House. Krauthammer is the model of the Fox News pundit. He has absolutely no knowledge of, or expertise in, the subjects he is called upon to pontificate about. What’s more, he has no interest in becoming knowledgeable. That’s how we get people like Sean Hannity talking about military operations; or Neil Cavuto talking about climate change; or Steve Doocy talking about the economy; or Sarah Palin talking about anything. It is also how we get O’Reilly talking about race and poverty.
This does, however, explain why Fox News viewers are less informed than viewers of other media – or even people who watch no news media at all. It is a network devoted to mis/disinformation and ignorance. And to their credit, they are quite good at it.