Tags: media | bias | tea | party

Fox's Cavuto: Media Bias Downplays Tea Parties

Wednesday, 15 Apr 2009 01:18 PM

By David A. Patten

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Fox News host Neil Cavuto suggests bias is keeping mainstream media from covering anti-tax “tea party” rallies with the same enthusiasm they devote to civil rights protests and anti-war rallies.

Fox News is offering extensive coverage of the nationwide rallies, dispatching Cavuto and three other top anchors to various cities.

Today, Cavuto was reporting from Sacramento, Greta Van Susteren was in Washington, Sean Hannity was stationed in Atlanta, and Glenn Beck was appearing at the Alamo in San Antonio. Tens of thousands of participants are expected in each city.

“I know why we are there,” Cavuto told listeners. “I’m not quite sure why they are not,” he said, speaking of other media outlets.

“Apparently these populist protests don’t count that much for them. Millions concerned they’re being taxed to death counts even less for them,” he said.

Cavuto, senior vice president of Fox Business News and host of "Your World With Neil Cavuto," pointed out that Fox has given extensive coverage to demonstrations for a variety of causes, including protests against the Iraq war.

“We’re going to be right in the middle of these [tea party] protests because at FOX, we do not pick and choose these rallies and protests,” he said.

Some mainstream media outlets went beyond merely downplaying the protests to criticizing them.

Newsbusters.org reports that NBC political analyst Chuck Todd dismissed the tea parties on Tuesday, saying they haven’t caught on. It also reports that ABC correspondent Dan Harris said Wednesday morning President Obama is “unaware” the tea party rallies are taking place.

Some mainstream media pundits, such as James Rainey of the Los Angeles Times, are criticizing Fox for its coverage.

“The Fox promotions people have been pumping up the volume, with ads celebrating hundreds of rallies and citizens who are ‘demanding real economic solutions.’ That's in contrast, you see, to the fake solutions President Obama wants to foist on the American people,” Rainey wrote in his Wednesday column.

Rainey also dished some brickbats to Fox rival MSNBC, however.

He observes that “some liberal media voices seem just as intent on squelching the protesters before they've shoveled a single bag of Lipton into a single pond. At MSNBC, commentators Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, and Chris Matthews wrote off the demonstrations as the work of nothing more than crackpots or political stooges.”

Rainey suggests that the networks simply cover the rallies and report what occurs.

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