Sunday, October 20, 2013

Fox News Is Even Worse Than We May Have Thought

Sean Hannity interviewed two people on his Fox show to demonstrate how the pubic is being damaged by Obamacare.  A small businessman claimed that he would have to lay workers off because of Obamacare.  This supports one of the conservative claims about Obamacare.  Another person claimed that she had to pay higher premiums at the exchanges made available by Obamacare.  That also supports the conservative claim that Obamacare will cause insurance premiums to rise.

It turns out, however, that the small businessman employed only four workers.  Obamacare only requires businesses with 50 or more workers to provide healthcare insurance.  The poor businessman who claimed damages from Obamacare lied and Fox News broadcasted the lie.  Similarly, the woman who claimed that her insurance premiums were higher under Obamacare lied and Fox News broadcasted the lie.  This is what Fox News means by its claim that it provides fair and balanced news.  It is fair and balanced if that is what its audience wants to hear.  After all, this is what a business should be aiming to achieve.  Its important to provide the consumer with what the consumer demands.  Economists call this consumer sovereignty.  The consumer is the king.  Rupert Murdoch, who owns Fox along with other media outlets, understands that very well.  He was asked to explain the popularity of conservative talk radio and the unpopularity of liberal talk radio.  He answered by arguing that the free market was providing the answer.  Apparently, reporting is fair and balanced when the public is told what it wants to hear.  On the other hand,  the mainstream media have a liberal bias because they strive to provide more than one side of the issues on which they report.  What a boring idea.  Why bother to offer the consumer a news product that fails to confirm their biases?

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