That little mini-rant I kept talking about the other day was about my inability to watch Fox News anymore. I never finished the little rant, and then I broke my personal boycott of FNC when they had the South Carolina debate, because hey, I wanted all the commentary I could get afterward, and I just didn’t have the guts to go stare at Wolf Blitzer’s smug face. Not that it matters any more, but here’s what it all boiled down to (for that half day that I refused to watch Fox).
I wrote most of this the day before the South Carolina debate, or the day of, or something like that.
That whole “we report, you decide” bit isn’t exactly how they’re operating these days, even if I put my Fred Thompson bias aside and look at their reporting objectively. After the election results came in from New Hampshire, I just couldn’t stomach them anymore, and I even had a hard time stomaching the exclusionary New Hampshire debate that they ran. We’ll get to that in a minute. Anyway, I actually switched to CNN the night of the NH election results and was pleased to find that they were covering *all* of the election results rather than only the top two candidates in each race (novel concept). Note: I will probably watch CNN when the Michigan results start to come in tonight and every night that there are election results to see. Of course, as the number of candidates whittles down, it won’t be as important, but for now, if I want the *whole* story on primary or caucus nights, I’ll have to switch to another channel for results. I’m sure I will find any worthwhile-ish Fox clips (which I expect will be few) floating around the interwebs the same night or next day anyway.
First, regarding Iowa. No secret that Thompson is my candidate and will be until he’s either elected or out of the race or found to be a fraud of Huckabee magnitude. In Iowa, Fred came in with 13% of the corn-sucking vote, barely edging out McCain, but edging him out nonetheless. They get the same number of delegates, yes. Now, if McCain had placed third, this was going to be considered a gigantic success — the FNC pundits all said so in the week leading up to the public-voting caucuses (the stupidest way to hold elections, BTW), so it must be true! But Fred finished third, and it went something like this: “Huckabee! Wow, look how he won! And Romney! In second! No one expected that, but hey, second isn’t bad, and he’ll surely take a lot of early states! Wow! And look, McCain with 13% of the vote!” Fred who? Or they would say something like, “Huckabee with a huge win over second-place Mitt Romney! And then there’s Fred Thompson in third, and WOW! John McCain finished barely behind that third-place guy, whoever he is! McCain almost in third!” And Fred Thompson isn’t the only person who was brushed aside. Believe me, I am NO Ron Paul fan and would never ever vote for him (he’s a freaking nutburger on foreign policy, which is the second most important issue to me, right after illegal immigration), but he got 10% of the vote in Iowa, and Fox completely ignored it. They had one mention of him in about three hours of coverage that we watched that night. And that was just a screen flash of places four through six. They did make sure to point out that Giuliani only received 4% of the vote, but they also made sure to tell you that Giuliani isn’t paying much attention to the early states and is counting on Florida and Super Mega Amazing Ultra Tuesday, so it’s no biggie that he didn’t fare well. Remember that, it’ll be important in a minute. In case you want to know and have only Fox News to tell you how to vote, here are the full returns for the Republicans in Iowa:
Huckabee (seriously) 34%
Oh, another thing about Iowa. Chris Wallace, of all people, was talking the other day about John McCain’s chances. This was before the South Carolina debate. Anyway, I was shocked when Wallace was talking about McCain, “who came in third in Iowa.” No he didn’t! He came in a very close fourth and receives the same number of delegate votes, but Fred had a few hundred votes more than McCain. I don’t know how after weeks of everyone knowing that Thompson got third, Wallace just decided he would revise the results like that.
Then there is Wyoming, which has more delegates than New Hampshire but was completely ignored because of this farcical notion the old media has instilled in most Americans that the people of Iowa and New Hampshire are the most politically educated and therefore the most important in the whole entire election process (hahahahaha — how many of them were still undecided when they woke up on election day? Voting by feeling, anyone?). I heard in a solitary mention on FNC, during a ten-second break from their reporting on the New Hampshire campaigning, that oh, by the way, Mitt Romney won Wyoming. That’s it. Nothing about the fact that even if he lost New Hampshire, he would still be out ahead of McCain as far as delegate count. And I would be
remiss Fox if I didn’t bother to tell you that Fred Thompson also received 25% of the Republican vote in Wyoming and that Duncan Hunter received 8% of the vote. But you know, no big whoop, because Wyoming isn’t an elite coastal state or a corn-subsidy-loving state. So it doesn’t count (those silly conservatives). The Wyoming returns, since FNC didn’t report them:
And then there was New Hampshire, which may be an indicator of how wishy-washies are going to vote but does nothing more than tell other wishy-washies in future voting states who the wishy-washies in that state think should be president. Yeah, it’s important because of all the media hype that makes it so, but good grief, NH only has twelve delegates! So everyone knew for weeks that Fred was spending zero time in New Hampshire. It was common knowledge to anyone willing to pay actual attention to politics. If there hadn’t been a debate there, I’m sure he wouldn’t have shown up at all. Because New Hampshire is a liberal state, and its independents tend to not vote for actual conservatives, and it was widely expected that they would swing to the Democrats anyway. Fred had no chance there, and he didn’t have the resources of Romney and Paul, so no point wasting money. It made sense to everyone. So the results came in, and this time, since Fred had none of the vote in New Hampshire, Fox made sure to point it out. “McCain wins New Hampshire! What does this say about conservatives? [Nothing.] Romney got second! He’s in real trouble now! Look at this, Fred Thompson with only 1% of the vote! When will he get out of the race?!” ARGH. Everyone who has paid attention to Thompson’s campaign knows he’s working hard on South Carolina and other southern states.
Oh, and let me just take a little second to disagree with Fox’s decision to not allow Ron Paul to participate in the New Hampshire debate. I mean, I kind of did a little cheer when I saw that he wasn’t going to be included, because his supporters drive me absolutely *nuts* spamming all the (admittedly always ridiculously inaccurate) online polls and those stupid text message polls that Fox does and cheering at the most ridiculous things he says (let’s trade with Cuba!). Ronulans notwithstanding, he had received 10% of the vote in Iowa, which is force-fed to us as super-important, mind you, yet they left Giuliani (at 4%) in and shut out Ron Paul. I think it was a bad decision, and they showed that they’re no different from the rest of the old media. We report (part of the story), you decide (between the candidates we tell you are okay). New Hampshire results:
I do have to give credit to Fox for allowing Ron Paul to participate in the South Carolina debate. It was the right thing to do. However, Frank Luntz appealed to the Ronulans yesterday with basically the thoughts of everyone who isn’t one (I wish I could find the video), and if they do care about their candidate, they should consider following his advice for future debates and just when they’re out in the general population. I’m not pleased that Fox keeps leaving out Duncan Hunter, because he is still running. On the other hand, I’m happy to have debates with fewer candidates. Fred is already having to interrupt and push his way in for anyone to give him a question.
Also, until the South Carolina debate, Fox basically ignored Fred when they talked about the Republican candidates. They would mention Giuliani, McCain, Romney, Huckabee, Paul… no Thompson.
Of course, now it’s just me ranting, no personal boycott anymore. I will tune to CNN for results tonight, because as boring as their commentators are, and as much as I would prefer Brit Hume and Chris Wallace over the stale suits at CNN, they actually show *all* of the results every few minutes, not just the top two finishers. Or I can utilize my PIP and watch results *and* get commentary.
And then tomorrow, I’m sure Fox will be back to saying that Fred’s surge in the South Carolina polls must have been a fluke, because after all, look how well Mike Huckabee (who loves Jesus, in case you hadn’t heard) did in Michigan! They’ll fail to mention that Fred has been parked in South Carolina for almost two weeks. If you hear someone yelling at the TV tomorrow, that’ll be me.
Ok, this is long and rambly, and I don’t feel like proofreading. I’m just going to stop now.
UPDATE: Tonight’s problem solved! I’ll be watching Idol (and liveblogging it at SRM!) and checking Michigan results on the interwebz, yo.