Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Yellow Journalism Makes Me Ill

Yellow journalism or the yellow press is a type of journalism  that presents little or no legitimate well-researched news and instead uses eye-catching headlines to sell more newspapers. Techniques may include exaggerations of news events, scandal-mongering, or sensationalism. By extension "Yellow Journalism" is used today as a pejorative to decry any journalism that treats news in an unprofessional or unethical fashion. ~ WikipediA

Yellow Journalism makes me physically ill. It also angers me, which is the reason that I avoid FOX News at all costs. I do not like to be angry.

I know that Yellow Journalism has been around for more than a hundred years: it began in the late 19th Century with the rivalry between Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst. Most Americans are probably not aware of it and how it shapes Americans' options with sensationalism, prejudice and untruths.

OK, my yellow journalism target is FOX News. It isn't only because the "news" reported by FOX is unbalanced, false, and reflects the extreme right-wing prejudice of its owner, Rupert Murdock...

This tirade against yellow journalism and FOX News wasn't fueled by FOX's absurd and politically motivated lies about President Obama. It could have been:

Such FOX absurdities as the above should not fool any thinking American; however, they have and do. That may be because some folks depend on uncritical viewing of FOX for all of their news. Or, because Republicans and right-wing fanatics want t believe the crap that FOX outs out as "new."

What brought about this tirade is the religious and ethnic prejudice FOX created over the Muslim education center in New York City. See Doug Bandow's post, America, Home of the Free -- Except for Muslims? for the best discussion I have found of the issues.

That the whole damned thing began with FOX News calling the Muslim Center "the mosque at Ground Zero" was horrendous  yellow journalism. Then, the Republicans used FOX's untruth to attack the administration, while even some Democrats jumped on the untruth band wagon to protect their own asses seats:

Republican Congressional candidates on Monday intensified efforts to inject the divide over construction of an Islamic center near ground zero into the midterm campaigns while the Senate’s top Democrat said he objected to the mosque being built there. ~ New York Times, 16 August 2010

I am ending this post with something you'll not see of FOX News: the Truth, as spoken by Keith Olbermann of of MSNBC's Countdown


  1. I can't be in the room with Fox News, either. I feel your pain, right to my toes.

  2. Very well said, Rev. Nick.

  3. The only TV news I trust is the BBC.

  4. I don't know whether Fox News is creating stupid people or merely pandering to them. Neither one is exactly honorable.

  5. I was shocked by TIME magazines recent poll that 1 in 5 Americans believe Obama is Muslim. Seriously. My uncle still believes that Osama Bin Laden is RELATED to Obama.

    I think it comes down to too much information. There is so much information out there (much of it unchecked and untrue) that a person can always find at least one idiot saying what he or she wants to hear.

  6. I couldn’t agree more. The constant unrelenting lies, half truths and just outrageous falsehoods are just tiresome. When did it get okay in the country to carry on this sort of journalism? Journalism isn’t even the right word as it carries a higher concept. I know a lot of people who get their only information from Fox News and I’m amazed at some of the things they say with all sincerity and belief. If people don’t like a party or a politician, that’s okay. There is nothing new in that. But the personal attacks are sad at best.

    I think too many people have just forgotten how to feel shame.

  7. Oh Nick, I totally agree with you. When I heard about how some rednecks reacted to the mosque at Ground Zero, I was appalled. How can we ever hope to achieve world peace with this sort of scurrilous journalism around?

    Actually, I won't get started...this is your blog after all. Let's just say again, I agree with you wholeheartedly.

  8. Awesome website, I had not come across previously during my searches!
    Carry on the good work!

  9. I agree with you 100%, Pastor Nick. I have found that it is not just FOX that cannot be trusted, but also some small town newspapers and even some large city papers seem to have picked up on the ways of FOX news.

  10. Nick, I'm with you. I won't watch it, I value my health too much. Also, there is enough stupidity in the world without purposefully subjecting myself to it, right?

  11. Freedom of Religion is one of the great freedoms we as Americans have; However, common sense should prevail. It was Muslin terroist that flew planes into the twin towers. A mosque should not be built so close to a site.
    If you wish to rant about stupid maybe you should include being insensitive.
    I remember what Mother taught me "Believe only half what you see and none of what you hear." That includes all news as true journalism is DEAD.

  12. Wow, so let me get this straight Lady Di Tn... the next time an abortion clinic gets blown up by christian radicals we shouldn't let a church be built in that town? Do you realize how ignorant that sounds? It wasn't "Muslims" that killed "non-Muslims," it was "terrorists" who killed "innocent people." A mosque at the site can actually symbolize an understanding between these two religions and a desire for mutual respect. The entire Muslim nation didn't do this, just as Native
    Americans and African Americans don't run around killing white Americans because we stole their lands and enslaved their ancestors. Think before you type.