Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Web civility again

Nothing anyone here has said recently, but the WSJ’s Daniel Henninger, taking up the issue that Peter Lawler raised in a previous post. A snippet from Henninger, discussing the recent flap over the CBC-Fox News debate:

The censorship claim is often made by political Web players who want to be "free" to use whatever means will achieve the end of driving their opponents over the cliff. Consider the Congressional Black Caucus. Its affiliation with Fox News to conduct presidential debates was fire-bombed recently on "progressive" Web sites. Example: "Guess it takes a whole lot of grease to fry CBC’s chicken." Scared, the three major Democratic presidential candidates pulled out. Censorship? Try doublespeak. The strategy of deploying charged and hyper-aggressive language is now evident: First intimidate one’s targets, then coerce them--into conformity or silence. And do it always under the banner of free speech and democracy.

Discussions - 9 Comments

I don't think those candidates were scared off of FoxNews by the blogosphere. I think they were scared off by FoxNews.

good editorial--I used it to explain to my students what Tocqueville means by the use of "forms"(i.e., formalities) in politics. Philippe Beneton is the best on that subject.

I think they were scared off by FoxNews.

It's a slow day, so I'll play along. Why do you think they were scared off by Fox News. Bear in mind that these same people continue to appear on Fox News on a regular basis in framing your answer.

I have a side bet going as to how many comments you can post on this or any topic before you start railing about Bushitlerburton.

I never invoke Hitler - you may be confusing me with Tom DeLay. Or possibly Bill O Reilly on this very subject.

Fox News has a firm, obvious bias against Democratic guests. It is a foregone conclusion that the network would do anything it could to frame the debate in a negative way, from sinister subtitles under the candidates to some unappealing set to cutting in during the debate for "important" news about a missing child or a celebrity divorce.

Lets put it this way - for Barack Obama to go on the network where there are standing orders to refer to him by his middle name would be unwise at best.

Lets put it this way - for Barack Obama to go on the network where there are standing orders to refer to him by his middle name would be unwise at best.

Then it looks like Obama needs to hire you as a consultant, because he appeared on Fox News for an interview AFTER he withdrew from the Fox sponsored debates. And the VRWC at Fox needs to hire you also, because they do not seem to have gotten the memo about refering to him by his middle name.

Fox News has a firm, obvious bias against Democratic guests.

As manifested by what, Mr Impartial and Objective Viewer?

If it is unwise for a Democrat to appear on Fox News, what would you call a Republican who appeared on CBS or gave an interview to the NYT or WaPo?

Joseph: piker62 is right: Democrats pulled out of the Fox debate because Fox is not a neutral news organization, but a media outlet founded on an explicitly partisan business model. It doesn't have anything to do with web civility. If Henninger thinks that a web comment caused the pullout, he's not paying attention.

Web civility is an interesting topic, though, particularly if you are interested in models of governance (according to some thinking, one form that appears to work is light but firm and opaque leadership under conditions of almost total openness; codes of civility probably don't work well).

I think it would be more entertainting to hear from you on this John, because you are the only person in American who believes that Fox News is NOT biased towards the right.

Let's look at it the other way - should the Republican debate be hosted by Air America?

"...you are the only person in American who believes that Fox News is NOT biased towards the right."

Oh, I highly doubt that, Daniel.

Yeah, I know; but if you graph the believers, the bulge is at the far right.

No examples because I know that proving bias is impossible unless you are already inclined to believe that it is there.

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