March 24th, 2013
01:21 PM ET

Pew study on cable news

Marisa Guthrie, Joe Concha, Gail Shister and Howard Kurtz on the recently released report from The Project for Excellence in Journalism, which found MSNBC to be the most opinionated network when compared to Fox and CNN.

Filed under: Blog • CNN • Fox News • Media • Media Criticism • MSNBC
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  7. lre

    I agree with jl. I've thought about the Pew Research and what we didn't hear is that msnbc shows both opinions. Yes, they are an opinion network and by the way they even say "The Place for Politics"; the hosts are either left leaning or NOT conservative. At night their hosts are much more partisan but that is certainly true of Fox as well. But during the day they have a Republican and a Democrat, mostly analysts, or they have media types chime in. The media types present their reporting without too much opinion either left or right. Fox News on the other hand may have more News during the day, but their other shows are so partisan and purely leading in their hype and they distort the facts enough that lead the listener to conclude something that is just not true. How is it that Fox News viewers are less informed that people who don't watch the news at all? Is Pew saying that Fox & Friends is News?
    When have you EVER heard someone say something like this about MSNBC: Fox News "rants, raves, bare its fangs and viciously slanders"

    "I sincerely believe that in time, people will lose patience with the petty and poisonous behavior of these bullies..Fux News will be remembered as nothing more than a giant culture fart that no amount of Garlique could cure."

    March 30, 2013 at 9:47 am | Reply
  8. Jeffry Pilcher

    "News?" You can't actually find any news anymore. You can watch CNN for six hours in the morning and maybe catch 20-30 minutes of actual news.

    This is what passes for "news" these days... An anchor (we'll call them what they really are — "talk show host") introduces a single factoid. This is not news, nor does it involve any journalistic effort. This is just some factoid scraped from somewhere on the internet. After relaying (not reporting, relaying) the factoid, the talk show host introduces their "panel of guests" who then comment on the factoid. This is the same formula used by "Reliable Sources," by the way.

    Who are these panelists? Quite often they are the "journalists" and "anchors" from other shows. Back in the old days, you'd have a "political reporter," but now they are called "Senior Political Analyst" — the difference being that a reporter is only qualified to quote people and write facts, whereas an "analyst" is a reporter who is entitled to have an opinion.

    So, here's my guide to building the modern cable news channel:

    1. Hire six talk show hosts. Give them each a two-hour time slot and call them "news anchors."

    2. Fire all your objective and ugly reporters. Hire beautiful people who have lots of opinions, big boobs and low necklines. Give them all the title "Senior Analyst."

    3. Have an intern scour the internet for shocking YouTube videos and the latest celebrity scandal. Once you have 15-20 of these, you have enough to fill an hour time slot. It's best to pick subjects already vetted by Perez Hilton, Drudge and the Huffington Post, so that you know you have the right amount of controversy.

    4. Have each talk show host spend 30 seconds introducing each saucy topic, then spend the next 3 minutes asking their co-workers (aka "Senior Analysts") what they think about the topic.

    5. When the shift for the first talk show host is over, s/he can stick around the set for the next show, where they can then fill the roll as "Senior Analyst," commenting on the "news" they just talked about for the last 2 hours.

    March 27, 2013 at 9:45 am | Reply
  9. izzi

    "News?" ...really? These shows are not journalists reporting news, they are talk-show hosts concerned about ratings.

    March 25, 2013 at 11:46 am | Reply
  10. jl

    While channel surfing this morning I came across the end of your story on cable news and I would like to assert one point which I feel was omitted by the host and the guest of your show Reliable sources. While it is obvious CNN is attempting to draw a distinction between it and Fox and MSNBC by describing the two networks as biased or based on opinion oriented programming CNN cannot make claims to being some source of journalistic integrity this assessment would be far from the truth or being factual.

    I stopped watching CNN some time ago precisely for the reason being discussed here. CNN, while not being as bad as Fox is regarding it's presentation tends to be more of a microphone for the Republicans and less involved with the process of fact finding and getting to the truth. While I previously religeously followed Wolf Blitzer I found his softball questions aimed at his guest assertions make him seem more like a pitch man in a bad comedy.. Seldom is he asking followups. Never does he ask for validation or a source to that points that would make them more credible. He just sets them up with a softball question and then it's ten minutes of an unchallenged Republican assertion.

    The problem comes in in what we expect from an organization which is of the stature of a CNN and calls itself a real news resource. What we expect of our journalist is that they are objective and they are always in pursuit of the truth. They never pick a side and they would never allow themselves to become the process by which propaganda is disseminated. Too often CNN is actually the resource in-which propaganda is disseminated. By never digging to get to the truth and or asking the tough followup question and or just allowing guest to make assertions unchallenged CNN is anything but reliable. This doesn't meet my expectations for a real news source and as such I no longer view CNN.

    March 24, 2013 at 11:56 pm | Reply
  11. gc


    March 24, 2013 at 4:35 pm | Reply
  12. Anita

    Maybe I've missed it but I've heard nothing in any discussion about the need for opinion to be based on fact. The big trouble with Fox is that almost none of the opinion espoused on their network is based on any semblance of fact. I really wish this would be pointed out; otherwise, the discussions are meaningless.

    March 24, 2013 at 1:30 pm | Reply
    • gc

      interesting because studies show Fox more factual and trusted than other nets. maybe your "facts" are opinions.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:36 pm | Reply
      • gerry

        Liberals have a mental block when it comes to their own biases. Factual reporting MUST pass contemporary liberal standards.I watch Fox and CNN. They pursue different issues. We need News media to keep our politicians in check. It would be bad for 1 side to get a free pass. Without Fox that would happen. Our worst politicians are the ones who know they have no chance of being voted out of office.

        March 31, 2013 at 2:19 pm |

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