The University of Maine student newspaper since 1875
Tuesday, Sept. 29, 1:12 p.m.

Fox News continues disregard for unbiased opinions

I watch the news. I’m sure many people do. Watching television is a common practice, and there are “news” channels aplenty. From watching these many different stations, I’ve come to realize that, yes, certain programs have a slight political bias. I am not at all surprised by this. The networks are owned, generally speaking, by private entities. Thus, they are entitled to air whatever they so choose — within reason, of course.

However, what I am unable to understand is how Fox News Channel is allowed to continue as a “news” station. There is a fine line between news and propaganda, and Fox News blatantly crosses it.

I am obviously left leaning. I very well notice that anchors like Rachel Maddow are also obviously left leaning. This is not speculation; this is fact. However, Maddow has a tactfulness that allows her to report stories, liberal as they may be, without blatantly disrespecting the conservative populace. I do not anticipate that many self-labeled conservatives would watch Rachel Maddow. She’s openly gay, she supports liberal politicians and she makes sure not to hide it.

But Maddow, like other MSNBC anchors and pundits from other liberal-leaning news outlets, generally respects the views of others. Her takedown of opposing arguments is respectful and intelligent. She is well liked because she does not yell, nor does she cut off her guests. Instead, she listens and formulates intelligent responses.

Fox News supports people like Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly — angry men who yell and scream until everyone else gives up. Their arguments, even the better ones, are washed away by the sound of their voices as they scream at those whom they interview. It is quite true that I do not agree with the points they try to make, but that is not why I find them unbearable. It is not what they are trying to say but how they say it.

When they interview people whose beliefs differ from theirs, they are quick to cut them off. And the saddest part is that men like O’Reilly build a following doing this. That is why Fox News is not news. They don’t allow room for differing viewpoints, and they don’t allow room for an intelligent perspective from the “other side.” Unlike Maddow, who invites criticism and opposing views, Fox News anchors drown out their opponents and refuse to have an intellectual conversation. It is no wonder we have such a partisan political problem in our government.

In order to be a news station, you must report the news. No event can be seen through any one, guaranteed lens. You can pick your side, and you can argue that side. But, in order for you to be reporting real news, you must understand that another opinion may exist, and you must welcome it. Fox News does the opposite by brandishing its rhetoric as “the only right way.” That is not news; it is simply propaganda.

Jeri Cosgrove is a third-year English student with a concentration in creative writing.