spin" a report
On The O'Reilly Factor today, according to Bill, the new survey from Journalism.org suggests that FNC is fair and balanced.
However, O'Reilly only reported to his viewers the segment titled Tone of Coverage about the Iraq War"
Fox again looked different from the others by being distinctly more positive than negative. Fully 38% of Fox segments were overwhelmingly positive in tone, more than double the 14% of segments that were negative. Still, stories were as likely to be neutral as positive (39%) and another 9% were multi-subject stories for which tone did not apply.
On CNN, in contrast, 41% of stories were neutral in tone on the 20 days studied, and positive and negative stories were almost equally likely -- 20% positive, 23% negative. Some 15% were multi-faceted and not coded for tone.
MSNBC's stories about the war were most likely to include several issues or subjects, so that no one area could be coded for tone. Fully four in ten stories were of this nature. Otherwise, the network's coverage, like CNN's, was more neutral (28%) with positive and negative stories almost equally prevalent, (16% positive and 17%
What the report actually also says Differences Among Cable Channels
Fox was measurably more one-sided than the other networks, and Fox journalists were more opinionated on the air...
In the degree to which journalists are allowed to offer their own opinions, Fox stands out. Across the programs studied, nearly seven out of ten stories (68%) included personal opinions from Fox's reporters -- the highest of any outlet studied by far.
Just 4% of CNN segments included journalistic opinion, and 27% on MSNBC.
Fox journalists were even more prone to offer their own opinions in the channel's coverage of the war in Iraq. There 73% of the stories included such personal judgments. On CNN the figure was 2%, and on MSNBC, 29%.
The same was true in coverage of the Presidential election, where 82% of Fox stories included journalist opinions, compared to 7% on CNN and 27% on MSNBC.
Those findings seem to challenge Fox's promotional marketing, particularly its slogan, "We Report. You Decide."
Also : Nearly every story on Fox's O'Reilly Factor (97%) contained O'Reilly's opinions, even his quick news briefs. CNN's Larry King was nearly the reverse, with only 2% of segments including his opinions. And despite to his reputation for dominating the guests, Chris Matthews on Hardball offered his opinion just 24% of the time.
In O'Reilly's mind the fact that FOX had 38% positive stories about Iraq when everyone one else had almost half that amount seems to justify that FNC is fair and balanced. One could argue that the problem with the Iraq war coverage was that there weren't actuallty 38% worth of positive stories at all.