tirsdag 13. oktober 2009

Barack Obama vs Fox News

Det er ikke akkurat nytt at Demokratene og Fox News Channel ikke er verdens beste venner, men de siste dagene har konflikten toppet seg. New York Times skrev en artikkel i helgen om hvordan Barack Obamas kommunikasjonsdirektør Anita Dunn har gått til det oppsiktsvekkende skritt å utrope Fox News Channel til en politisk motstander:

We’re going to treat them the way we would treat an opponent,” said Anita Dunn, the White House communications director, in a telephone interview on Sunday. “As they are undertaking a war against Barack Obama and the White House, we don’t need to pretend that this is the way that legitimate news organizations behave.”

Det er ganske kraftig språkbruk i striden mellom Fox News og det hvite hus for tiden. Og Fox er ingen ubetydelig motstander. For tiden er de USAs desidert største "cable news network", større enn CNN og MSNBC til sammen:

"In primetime (Monday-Friday) the numbers are even more impressive: up 35% in total viewers and up 54% in younger viewers. FNC is on-track to have the highest rated year in the network's 13 year history. In primetime, Fox News has more total viewers and younger viewers than MSNBC and CNN combined. Fox News occupies the Top 10 spots on cable news among total viewers".

Tabellen over viser hvordan polariseringen preger amerikanske medier. Det er Pew Research som har undersøkt folks holdninger til nyhetsmedier fra 1985-2009. Konklusjonen er ikke spesielt oppmuntrende:

"The public's assessment of the accuracy of news stories is now at its lowest level in more than two decades of Pew Research surveys, and Americans' views of media bias and independence now match previous lows. Just 29% of Americans say that news organizations generally get the facts straight, while 63% say that news stories are often inaccurate."

Og mens Republikanerne har vært generelt veldig skeptiske til amerikanske medier lenge, har skepsisen blant Demokratene økt kraftig de to siste årene. Republikanere og Demokrater liker dessuten ulike medier, og forskjellene i preferanser er kraftig forsterket de siste to årene. Og på ytterfløyene finner man, kanskje ikke helt overraskende, Fox News og New York Times:

"Partisan differences in views of Fox News have increased substantially since 2007. Today, a large majority of Republicans view Fox News positively (72%), compared with just 43% of Democrats. In 2007, 73% of Republicans and 61% of Democrats viewed Fox News favorably. Three-quarters (75%) of Democrats assess CNN favorably, while just 44% of Republicans do so, which is little changed from two years ago. (...) But the starkest partisan division is seen in assessments of The New York Times. Although most Americans are not familiar enough with the Times to express an opinion, Republicans view The New York Times negatively by a margin of nearly two-to-one (31% to 16%), while Democrats view it positively by an almost five-to-one margin (39% to 8%)."