Jimmy Carter is clearly correct in accusing Fox commentators of deliberately distorting the news:
Jimmy Carter said Sunday that Fox News commentators including Glenn Beck have “deliberately distorted” the news.
Speaking on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” Sunday, the former Democratic president took aim at the cable news channel climate, often a target for President Obama as well who says he tries to avoid the cable chatter.
“The talk shows with Glenn Beck and others on Fox News, I think, have deliberately distorted the news. And it’s become highly competitive,” Carter said. “And my Republican friends say that MSNBC might be just as biased on the other side in supporting the Democratic Party, the liberal element.”
Discussing only the commentators misses the real problem. The problem is not only that Fox commentators such as Glenn Beck distort the news but that the the shows billed as news as opposed to commentary repeat the same distortions.
The situation at MSNBC is quite different even if the evening commentators may be as biased in the opposite direction. One difference is that, while they have a clear liberal ideological bias, MSNBC’s commentators do not see their job as promoting the Democratic Party as Fox promotes Republican candidates. MSNBC’s liberal commentators are often critical of the Democratic Party.
While MSNBC’s opinion shows are biased, the information the opinions are based upon and information discussed is far more accurate than the supposedly equivalent shows on Fox. MSNBC does not deliberatly promote deliberate misinformation as Fox does.
Another key difference is that the bias of the evening commentators is not carried around the clock. MSNBC has a conservative host during the morning hours. During most of the day they have legitimate news shows which do not repeat the views of the evening commentators the way Fox repeats distortions in their news.
The difference comes from how the stations were established. Fox was deliberately founded by Republican supporters with the intention of using the channel to distort the news to move the country towards the right. MSNBC is run by Republican supporters who found they can make more money by putting on liberals in the evening.