Thursday, February 11, 2010

Fox Puts Spin First

Fox made an interesting point of focus among their front-page headlines today.

Like its online counterparts at and, Fox included a prominent headline about the advancement of Iran's nuclear program. However, unlike the others they don't give the nukes story a photograph - which would signal greater emphasis on the story.

Instead, Fox devotes it's sole headlines picture to a piece of faux wit: "Worst(cossed-out) Best Week Ever?" is emblazoned atop an image of the Capitol burried in snow, a lone skier treking past. With a wink, this line suggests to the reader that the heavy snow now burying Washington, D.C. and shutting-down the federal gov't is a blessing in disguise: When not in session, Congress can't spend money - and this is "Best".

The image links to a Wall Street Journal (a member of the Fox-media family) story about the reactions of Congress to the blizzard-induced government shut-down. Headlined "Snowball Fight on the Hill Over Gov't Shutdown", Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn is quoted first, calling the shutdown a "dream". He refers not just to enjoying a bit of leisure time, but the money he says gov't inactivity saves. The story then quotes Nevada Senator Harry Reid joking that the snow-closure is still no match for Republican obstruction of legislation. No real news is included, just snarky pol quotes.

By placing unwarrented emphasis on this short, purely political non-news exchange of jabs, Fox glorifies terms of spin rather than constructive policy discussion.

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