Center left Mediaite on far left Media Matters:
Last Thursday, Media Matters published an extensive (and somewhat breathless) account from an anonymously sourced individual that was only identified as a former Fox News Insider. The report included lots of detail that alleged Fox News’ bias, with pithy quotes like “they’re a propaganda outfit but they call themselves news” and “stuff is just made up,” and was clearly intended as a scathing indictment of Media Matters’ mortal enemy, Fox News.
* * *
Why would such a provocative and interesting piece get lost in shuffle? Perhaps because, in the current hyper-partisan landscape of opinion media (and watchdogs) it’s difficult to take seriously a post that alleges that “stuff is just made up” from a story that is unwilling to identify its source. Boehlert’s lack of a primary focus on journalism (versus agenda) undercuts the story as well as the fact that his sourcing narrative is often confusing (at one point, it seems as though he’s referencing two different sources), and he fails to negotiate an attribution that would help the reader judge its credibility. Was this an on-air personality? An intern? A producer? Did this source leave Fox recently? Based on Boehlert’s attribution, the source could be Keith Olbermann as far as the reader knows.
Boehlert also misses an opportunity to strongly highlight the connection between his source’s allegations, and the internal documents that Media Matters has published, which would have lent his source added credibility and helped to “sell” the story.
That is not to suggest in anyway that this story is made up.
Elsewhere, the Rhetorican dubs this “A Pot and Kettle Moment For ‘Media Matters.’” And Fox News producer Jesse Watters has a little fun with a would-be ambush interview courtesy of a “Think Progress” staffer armed with a cell phone camera — its tiny distorted lens, a nice metaphor for TPM’s myopic worldview. “This is not how you do an ambush — you’ve got to have a real camera, first of all,” Watters tells TPM: