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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Selective Editing Provides Ample Spin For O'Reilly

Recently, Fox"News" has been editing their b-roll footage in order to suppliment their primary message.

Media Matters has documented three examples of the editing process that not only skews the original message into an angle that they can work from, but completely removes the notion that they are a "fair and blanaced" - and apparently now "accurate" - news source.

As I was watching The O'Reilly Factor last night, I noticed that he was setting up a piece in order to call NBC some sort of sophomoric name that means little to anyone but himself.

In early march reports out of Sacramento California set a homeless camp featuring hundreds of people damaged by the recession. Was a very important situation

We all know that O'Reilly cares nothing about the homeless in America. And when there are reports on many of them being from the military, then there's room for multiple segments on the program for him to insist that this simly isn't true. More to the point, in O'Reilly's world, there is no homeless "problem, but the people are in a specific situation from their own poor choices. After showing footage from the Today show - as well as playing audio from NPR's Steve Inskeep - Bill offered this as his rationale that the media at large are "corrupt":

Guess what. [ The story's bogus. ] The Economist Magazine a British publication writes quote. The tent city had actually been around for close to a decade. There may have been out foreclosed home order to among its denizens but almost all the people there are problems that mental health drug abuse from both unquote.

After finding the Economist article online, I began to wonder exactly how O'Reilly determined that there were no homeless people moving into the pre-existing tent-city.

Kevin Johnson, a former basketball star and now Sacramento’s first black mayor, found himself on CNN speaking to national audiences, secure in the knowledge that he could not be blamed: in Sacramento, it is the city manager, not the mayor, who wields the main administrative power. Even the governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger himself, dropped in for a surprise walk-through. After all this attention, action became inevitable.

The funny thing, though, is that the tent city had actually been around for close to a decade. There may have been a foreclosed homeowner or two among its denizens, but Justin Wandro, the office manager at nearby Loaves and Fishes, a food bank where the homeless can eat and shower, says that almost all of the people there have problems with mental health, drug abuse or both. Sacramento has about 1,400 homeless people in shelters, and another 1,200 or so on the streets, he says. For some reason, America notices only when they’re on Oprah, or from the middle class.

The Economist writer' intent appears to be to invalidate any claims made by any other media outlet that the tent city in Sacramento is a problem related to the economy. And by extention, the article invalidates all claims surrounding other shanty-towns across America.

So, how does this prove that the story is "bogus"? There is, in point of fact, a tent city in Sacramento that is growing. And in other parts of the nation, tent-cities are popping up.

David Neiwert @ Crooks & Liars examined the Economist article and O'Reilly's use of it:

if the writer was only able to find "one or two" foreclosed homeowners among the tent city residents, he wasn't trying very hard. Indeed, he likely wasn't looking at all; MSNBC's Chris Jansing (in the piece O'Reilly clips) was able to interview three of them for her piece. Indeed, a more honest journalistic effort -- such as that from the Los Angeles Times a couple of weeks ago -- makes clear that it's a complex story, but there's no question that the recession is a major driver in the very real expansion of California's homeless population.

Indeed, O'Reilly ( and his producers ) chose the Economist story in order to validate their reasoning that Fox"News" is the only source of credible information available.

O'Reilly's personl vendetta against NBC aside, various other Fox"News" programs have used editing in order to give their intended audience misinformation.

More from Media Matters

As the primary focus of this post was O'Reilly' blatant disregard for honesty, is should be pointed out that this has more to do with his unwillingness to admit that homelessness is a problem directly related to more than just the "drug and mental problems" that O'Reilly likes to pretend any and all people suffer from that he is intend on smearing.

He, as well as Fox"News", are more than willing to villify and denegrate the less-fortunate in America for their monthly salary. They choose not to address the issues of poverty, sexism, racism, bigotry, hate-crimes, corporate greed, and the struggle of the lower classes because they think if they demphasize them - or ignore them completely - that they simply won't exist.

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