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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Fox Picks "Lie to Me" over President

Another reason the corporate media are inimical to democracy: the President of the United States calls a press conference in the midst of two wars, an economic recession, and a swine flu outbreak, and the broadcast networks grumble about losing ad revenue heading into sweeps month. Fox is actually bailing on this news conference, sticking with its scheduled broadcast of "Lie to Me," a show I've never heard of (but whose title will give my anti-Obama commenters fodder for amusing snarkification).

I ascribe no political motives here, nor do the analysts in the AP story. Fox will run the President's show on Fox News and Fox Business. Fox also bailed on a prime-time speech from President Bush in November 2001.

But I do note how the corporate media find themselves highly tempted to put profit over civic duty. Sometimes being a good corporate citizen—and a leader—means giving the people not what they want, but what they need. Civic affairs and politics need to be highlighted. We need to pay attention and have more conversations about the direction of our communities and our country.

Of course, one could argue that with the White House and our other elected officials able to reach us through YouTube and other wonderful Web widgets, and with 57 channels with nothing on that we can switch to, the broadcast networks are mostly irrelevant to real civic discourse. Still, for now, the TV networks command a significant portion of the public's attention with their use of our airwaves. They therefore have an obligation to focus our attention on important civic events. Sure, the economy's tough for everyone, but the networks can all afford an hour from the White House before returning to our regularly scheduled commercials.

vaguely related: Above this AP story, I see the following non-headline: "Elton John, Paul McCartney Hit Hard by Recession." Right.


  1. Way to go Fox! People resisted Hitler in Nazi Germany. I'm glad some people (and television networks) still have a little common sense!

  2. I'm glad too that Fox chose not to broadcast a further speech by the O, the flip flopper, the apologist, the ignorer of the Constitution, the self-proclaimed Messiah, the socialist. Maybe we are just tired of hearing that the US is bad, the US is arrogant, the US needs to pay more taxes, the US needs to pay more to the UN and its globalism, the US needs to buy into the global warming rhetoric. If you want to watch it, there are plenty of stations carrying it.

    Kudos to Fox for not. Actually "Lie to Me" could refer to Obama, not the other program. Where is the transparency he promised? The 'no new taxes?' The "I don't want gun control." The "I will make bills available for all to see for several days before signing." I could go on, but that's a good start. Looks to me like Fox had the choice of two "Lie to Me" shows and they chose the better one!

  3. Speaking of TV, it sounds like Anon 1:13 is living on Fantasy Island. The original article (read, people!) said there's no political motive; it's all money. Fox doesn't want to lose the prime-time ad revenue. Not exactly Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

  4. Considering it's the middle of Sweeps Week, the Fox broadcast network doesn't have an established news presence on broadcast TV (Cable is different) and that most networks are hurting for ad revenue, I can see Fox's rationale for saying "No Thanks" to President Obama's broadcast.

    And it's not FOX that is the only network bypassing Obama. The CW also passed up on carrying the speech.

    No political basis behind it... rather its about the bottom line. As for the show "Lie to Me"... I'm pretty sure that's pure coincidence.


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