Ideas and Impressions: CNN and Fox News are worlds apart

By Jason Moscovitz

As an avid news watcher, I recently discovered something I should have known a long time ago. To really understand the straight-out insanity in the country to the south of us, it is essential to watch Fox News – the ‘state broadcaster’ for the Donald Trump regime.

When people talk about divisions in the United States the depth of it can be seen every quarter-hour by switching between CNN and Fox. It is two worlds apart – and how incomprehensible it is to see a once great country people admired around the world tear itself apart.

It is astonishing to see Fox News follow Trump’s script by ignoring COVID-19. You hardly hear anything about it, and when you do, the coverage is focussed either on its negative impact on the economy, or on how most of the 200,000 American dead died because they were old or because they had other ailments which was the real cause of death. There is never a question or a hint that maybe the president blew it with his preoccupying priority of getting re-elected.

In an overt effort to help Trump get re-elected Fox News programming concentrates on the violence on the streets rather than on COVID-19. They show the same video of fires and looting night after night claiming the rioters are the people Joe Biden and the Democrats are beholden to. It reminds me of an early lesson in journalism school so many years ago. The lesson began with a question. Can the camera tell the truth?

The example was a small group of people on one side of the street acting violently at a demonstration while 100 people on the other side of the street demonstrating peacefully. The camera will gravitate to the trouble, and the more trouble there is, the more that will be seen on television for days on end. In Fox News’ case it is for weeks on end – certainly until Election Day on November 3.

What is disconcerting is seeing and hearing all kinds of things on Fox you would never see or hear on CNN. By the same token there is all kinds of information on CNN you would never hear or see on Fox. Take the police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota. There was a police bodycam video that was held back by the state’s attorney general for a month-and-a-half because he said he didn’t want it to influence the legal case to come. When released, it showed 10 minutes of the policemen trying to detain Floyd, who was driving a car, as the autopsy indicated, with a “fatal level of fentanyl” in his system. The 10-minute video of his resisting police despite their repeated attempts to be reasonable with him, as well as the autopsy report, were never seen or reported on CNN.

In no way does that justify choking George Floyd to death on the pavement under a police officer’s knee, but was Floyd really the martyr CNN and other mainstream media outlets made him out to be? The point being, when someone, anyone, is made a martyr, the whole story is hidden. To deliberately hold back information on a major societal-influencing story because it doesn’t fit the narrative, is just plain wrong.

Jacob Blake should not have been shot in the back seven times by a policeman in Kenosha, Wisconsin and while it makes no sense to any thinking person who saw the video, there is a piece of the fallout that is worth noting. Jacob Blake Sr., the father of the victim, became a spokesperson for racial justice. Would it be of interest that he is a follower of Louis Farrakhan and that his Facebook page contains the worst type of antisemitic slurs, like Jews control American minds through their dominance of the media, and how Jews control everything else because of their dominance in the banking industry? Good to know about a man who is fighting racial bias. I wouldn’t have known that by following the mainstream media.

If it sounds like I am a fan of Fox News, let me assure you I’m not. I couldn’t be a fan of any media outlet that was a fan of Donald Trump, but when serious mind-bending events happen, I have learned Fox News provides a service of selectively providing facts that support another point of view. It cost me $4 extra per month – $48 per year on my cable bill – to make me more aware. It is well worth it.

I must admit, though, there are countless times I have to hold my nose watching it.