FoxNews takes credibility hit after disclosure on anti-ODF commentary

FoxNews takes credibility hit after disclosure on anti-ODF commentary

Summary: By way of one of IBM's Bob Sutor's blog entries that came through my RSS firehose this morning comes this damning report on FoxNews.com regarding Massachusetts' adoption of the OpenDocument Format (ODF).

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TOPICS: Microsoft
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By way of one of IBM's Bob Sutor's blog entries that came through my RSS firehose this morning comes this damning report on FoxNews.com regarding Massachusetts' adoption of the OpenDocument Format (ODF). Some how, I missed it when it was first published two weeks ago.  The report (Massachusetts Should Close Down OpenDocument), which takes Massachusetts officials out to the woodshed for a spanking because of its decision (and quotes ZDNet blogger George Ou in the process!), was contributed to FoxNews by Americans for Technology Leadership executive director Jim Prendergast. By their very nature, just about any commentary that takes an anti-ODF position is inherently pro-Microsoft since it's file formats are pretty much the only alternative.  In response, the column drew a torrent of commentary from the digerati.  Since Prendergast's contributed commentary was published however, the following disclosure was added Prendergast's bio at the bottom of the page:

An earlier version of this column failed to disclose that Microsoft Corporation is a founding member of ATL. Other founding members include Staples, Inc., CompUSA and Citizens Against Government Waste.

Oops.   

Topic: Microsoft

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23 comments
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  • Serously Fox

    Come on Fox i am a fan of your news, but dont go agianst opensource it really is for the people not just for the people who make money selling software, those people arent the mom and pop shops any more they are large corps. that make a load of $, particularly microsoft, M$ makes a pretty product that is full convience, however they use thier size money and influnce to stiffel compedition. We need OS that can work together not simply work into on companies pocket.
    BuckRogers_z
    • A republican news station....

      is going to be pro business, and anti communism. what else did you expect?

      TV news is nothing but infotainment, and fox is nothing but a republican bullhorn.
      JoeMama_z
      • Interesting...

        ...given that the President of News Corp., which owns Fox News, supported John Kerry for president in 2004. I remember it distinctly because he gave his public endorsement of Kerry at his economic summit during the campaign.
        Mark Miller
        • Interesting dichotomy...

          That seems to be possible. Especially in light of the irony of Bill O'Reilly complaining about the kind of mind-numbing televised garbage that Fox practically invented (it's amusing to think about his criticism of various "bad things" in the culture when he works for the people who brought you "Man vs. Beast" and "The Swan").

          That said, I believe I read somewhere that Roger Ailes, the man in the driver's seat at Fox News (and apparently also Fox TV), worked on several Republican campaigns before he started on Fox News. Seeing a guy work on political campaigns, and then seeing him in charge of a network that's sympathetic towards the kinds of guys he worked with, doesn't look too kosher.
          Third of Five
        • Not what you think...like a lot of "news."

          Peter Chernin, President but mostly Chief Operating Officer (COO), endorsed Kerry. He's 4th on the list at News Corp. You might have heard of el numero uno:

          Rupert Murdoch. Chairman of the Board. Chief Executive Officer. THE Man w/ THE Power?

          SEE:
          http://www.newscorp.com/corp_gov/bod.html

          QUICK FORBES BIO:
          http://www.forbes.com/finance/mktguideapps/personinfo/FromPersonIdPersonTearsheet.jhtml?passedPersonId=221246

          Chernin heads up Fox ENTERTAINMENT. Not "News." You just know how liberal those film/Hollywood types are. Of course, he's a number-cruncher, an accountant. Literally.

          Not really the guy running the political show at News Corp AT ALL....but you won't see THAT on the news, just that FOX MUST not be biased because their laissez-faire parent company has a high-level accountant who said he likes Kerry...

          Question Reality, or They'll Just
          Make It Up for You.
          manicirishwriter
          • Yes, but Rupert is supposed to be the big bad Republican

            Why would he have someone with such liberal leanings on his staff then? We haven't heard of Chernin being fired, have we?

            The inside baseball is interesting. If that's the case then I see your point, though I doubt that someone who is the head of Fox Entertainment is merely "a high-level accountant".

            I just don't buy the notion that Fox News is merely an organ of the Republican Party. Besides, even though there are plenty who don't believe this, Bill Gates is a Democrat. Last I heard that's just the truth.

            Yes, Fox News has a different slant to the news from the other channels. I appreciate that, actually. A difference in emphasis can be a healthy thing, because they'll find stories that other news outlets ignore. They have people of the liberal persuasion on frequently, and they've aired stories that make Bush look bad. I doubt this would happen if the Republican Party was calling the shots.

            The place where I've found fault with Fox News is that their on-the-spot live reporting is weak compared to the other channels. I've been disappointed that in these situations that they don't fact check too well, airing rumors almost as if they were facts. I think they do well in the interview/analysis reporting when they have time to prepare and get some background on the subject.
            Mark Miller
  • Like anything said on fox is credible

    Honestly these days you have to go out and check everything, because most things said on the news are based on it's value not it's truth. Will it make ratings go up, will it support a big money advertiser, will it support some political view of the owner of the station.

    Open formats are bad for Microsoft, thus bad for FOX because of the money Microsoft pays FOX for advertising.
    Arrg
    • microsoft pays fox?

      honestly i so seldom watch tv i dont know. I just figured Fox would hit on ODF cause its a Nationalist station and MS is big american business.
      JoeMama_z
      • Sure they do

        Have you not seen all the advertisements lately.
        Arrg
  • FoxNews loses credibility?

    How can they lose what they never really had to begin with?

    I don't particularly mind the bias at play on the network; it's the intellectual dishonesty in their tagline "fair and balanced" that gets me.

    Not to mention that Sean Hannity seems to be a relentless cheerleader for a police state, and Bill O'Reilly seems more interested in "winning" an argument than putting forth any coherent viewpoint. The guy shouts "Shut up" at the slightest provocation, too, but that's a falafel of a different color.
    Third of Five
  • fox news has no credibility (yes, repeated)

    The classic example is of two reporters who not only had their anti-Monsanto story about synthetic hormones in Florida milk censored, but were repeatedly asked to state false and misleading information in its place about the same situation!

    When they took Fox to court they lost because apparently, in the US, ITS NOT ILLEGAL TO TELL LIES ON THE NEWS! Fox News can say whatever the hell it wants, and as long as its not defamation of character, its perfectly legit.

    After losing that court battle Fox News then reported how their integrity had been restored due to their victory over those angry, self-centered reporters.

    Yah, if you watch Fox News (or pretty much any news except Public TV), you're pretty much receiving the Conservative/Republican party line regardless of its truthfulness.
    Feldon
    • You want some cheese to go with that whine? (NT)

      .
      Hallowed are the Ori
      • Why?

        Are you French? Or from Wisconsin.

        Actually he has a point. US media is no longer a valid source of unbiased news. The bias comes from $$$ which has superceeded even the devotion to religion. It has become a religion of it's own and the repulicans seem to be the priests and bishops of the new religion.

        All hail and worship the "mighty" dollar!

        [B]***[U]NOTE[/U]***[/B]: That is sarcasm for your info...
        Linux User 147560
  • Come on, David. This is flamebait

    You want to talk about sponsor-slanted articles? ZDNet published one of these not too long ago:

    "Software lemmings head for the platform cliff", by Greg Gianforte, CEO of RightNow Technologies
    http://news.zdnet.com/2100-3513_22-5886735.html

    Yeah, I'm sure it was REAL objective... If you think Fox lost credibility on Pendergast's commentary, then ZDNet should take a "hit" for essentially being a shill for RightNow since they gave Gianforte space to express his opinion.

    Yes, ZDNet disclosed Gianforte's affiliation up front. Pendergast's column was commentary, not a news story, not unlike Gianforte's column here, or your blog entries. I'm sure Pendergast's opinions never made it to air on the Fox News TV channel. I am also sure that Fox doesn't follow the ins and outs of the IT sector like we do here and so didn't see the significance of Pendergast's affiliation. Typically news channels don't bother disclosing affiliation unless an organization or company they're talking about has an ownership relationship to the news organization itself. For example if NBC does a news story on GE, then the reporter says in the interest of disclosure, "GE owns NBC". It was only several years ago that news channels started making financial disclosure statements about people who come on their shows to talk up stocks. Before then they never did so.

    Even so, the ATL IS a consortium of different interested parties. As they note, there are other founding members in it besides MS, though I think the clear beneficiary of the commentary was MS.
    Mark Miller
  • FoxNews losing credibility?

    Is that possible? I mean, that's almost as funny as saying that "The National Enquirer" took a hit in credibility!
    X Marks The Spot
  • What "credibility" does an opinion have?

    If the commentary is well argued then it's worth considering.

    This wasn't a news story, to be evaluated (in part) on reliability. You can require that the opinion include facts and not untrue or misleading statements, but that's all.

    Yes, affiliation should have been mentioned, but, as hinted in the blog, the fact the writer favored Microsoft's position would have been quickly apparent.

    Is the implied argument that the writer has falsified his position because of his employer?
    What other significance would affiliation have?
    Anton Philidor
    • Affiliation

      The significance of one's affiliation is that it allows the reader some context as to the commentator's opinion. Even when it's an opinion piece, it is helpful for the reader to be able to understand how the commentator came to the documented conclusions.

      That said, sometimes affiliation is not the only reason one feels a given way. Even before his employment with Microsoft, for example, John Carroll always seemed at least sympathetic towards Microsoft. However, he did not come off as a "shill" or a "ringer" for Microsoft, at least not in my eyes, because he seemed (and still seems) to write in such a way as to betray that his opinions are his own.
      Third of Five
  • FOX "News" is a Marketing Machine Only

    Research the creation of FOX "News," and you'll discover what very few people outside the industry realize--that FOX was a corporate entity created solely for the purpose of combating a "liberal press," but even more importantly, to provide (literally) a propaganda network/source for their unaware supporters to tune-in to for their daily "briefing."
    It worked massively well, with massive spending and massive campaigns for or against various policies, and provided superb damage control, which this Administration has been very much over-utilizing, especially as of late. Few people realize, that under BushJR/Rove's Fed'l Communications Commission, now 90% plus of ALL MEDIA IN THE U.S. is controlled by just...SIX mega-comglomerates. It was 42 just 5 years ago. These corps got mega-huge/mega-profitable because of Bush Jr & Co, Inc, so you can imagine their independent nature, which is to say not at all. FOX is the flagship Marketing/Propaganda machine. The RNC spent $250 million in 2004 just on TV ads fighting, well, many times the reality of what was, and is, going on.
    So, FOX knows EXACTLY what it is doing--it is doing EXACTLY what it was designed to do.
    Question your Reality; it depends entirely upon Media...
    manicirishwriter
    • Roger Ailes...

      I remember hearing about how Roger Ailes, the guy in charge of FoxNews, worked on several Republican presidential campaigns (I believe Ford, Reagan, and Bush Sr. in particular) before he got into this business. Also, the New York Post and the Weekly Standard are produced by News Corp., if memory serves.
      Third of Five
      • If this were so taboo though

        Why does ABC News have George Stephanopolous, Bill Clinton's former political aide, host a show on their network every week?
        Mark Miller