Reason Why I Dislike Fox News

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I like some of the programs and people on Fox News, especially Brit Hume's Special Report and Fox News Sunday.

But I dislike most of Fox News, and this story is a great example of why.

On The Big Story With John Gibson, they show a poll taken April 18-19, 2006. According to the graphic, the poll asks: "The U.S. should have" either "Right to restrict immigration," or "Open, unrestricted borders."

Of course, the poll finds overwhelmingly for the first option 91 percent to seven percent: it's only extremists in any country who thinks that a country should not have the right to restrict its borders. Frankly, I am surprised it was seven percent who disagreed, and I'll chalk it up to confusion over what "open borders" means in light of the recent immigration debate.

So the question is stupid and useless. We will never have open borders, not in our lifetimes. But then the graphic on the next screen is incredible. It says, "FOX POLL: 91%, U.S. SHOULD RESTRICT IMMIGRATION."

But that's false. Ninety-one percent said the U.S. should have the right to restrict immigration, not that it should do so.

Every news outlet does this sort of sloppy work. For example, I remember way back in 1998 there was a CNN story about a poll they did that claimed Bush and Gore were the frontrunners for the 2000 election. I looked at the actual poll: the very first question asked who you would vote for between Bush and Gore. Gee, you think that might have skewed the results when they later asked "which of those candidates you would be most likely to support for the Democratic nomination for president?"

That was obviously a really bad poll. But the idea wasn't terrible, and the article about it was accurate (modulo the fact that it did not note that the poll was skewed). Here, however, the whole idea of the Fox poll is wrong-headed, and the reporting about it misrepresents what the poll actually says.

And that happens on Fox News a lot. They'll quote someone saying something they didn't, they'll misrepresent a poll or press release, and so on.

Politics and bias completely aside, I simply dislike Fox News because it is generally poor journalism.

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<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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