Saturday, December 18, 2010

Responding To Critical Study, Fox Attacks The Messenger

Responding to a study (pdf) at the University of Maryland finding that Fox News in particular misinforms its viewers, how did the network respond? Did it refute the methodology or conclusions? Did it cite other studies? Of course not. That would be responding to the substance of the argument, alien to a network whose role is to misinform. Instead, Fox held true to form, attacking the messenger, the University of Maryland. Here's Fox's argumentum ad hominem:

Asked for comment on the study, Fox News seemingly dismissed the findings. In a statement, Michael Clemente, who is the senior vice president of news editorial for the network, said: “The latest Princeton Review ranked the University of Maryland among the top schools for having ‘Students Who Study The Least’ and being the ‘Best Party School’ – given these fine academic distinctions, we’ll regard the study with the same level of veracity it was ‘researched’ with.”

Mr. Clemente oversees every hour of objective news programming on Fox News, which is by far the nation’s most popular cable news channel.

For the record, the Princeton Review says the University of Maryland ranks among the “Best Northeastern Colleges.” It was No. 19 on the Review’s list of “Best Party Schools.”

In addition, U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of Maryland as number 56 in the country. How could a study coming from such a lowly institution have any validity regarding the "fair and balanced" network?

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