Will the Media Ever Call Out Fox News On Their Partisan URLs?
Written by John Allen Tuesday, 31 July 2012 23:13
Whatâ€™s a URL? Simply put, itâ€™s the address to a web page. It contains a and domain and the page name. For example, the domain here is revrob.com, and the page name is typically the title of the article. Thatâ€™s important for something called SEO (search engine optimization). We want people searching for something that one of our articles is about to be able to find it on Google. We want you to read our work.
Fox News, however, though it officially masquerades as a nonpartisan source for news and information, it is a well-known pusher of, and this is putting it delicately, a center right agenda.
But weâ€™ve found that the go one step further in their partisanship.
Theyâ€™ve been giving their webpages misleading URLs in addition to reporting
news, in many cases, that is blatantly one-sided and poorly fact-checked.
For example, Fox News is a reputable polling firm. They pair with professional pollsters to release polling data on political races and the state of the country. Nate Silverâ€™s pollster ratings ranks Fox has having an average margin of error of only 2.36%, which is only a little worse than the average of 1.97%.
In short, Fox News polling data is professionally done, is unbiased, and should generally be trusted to reflect the mood of the country.
The latest Fox News Poll, conducted from July 15-17, 2012, contained some good news for President Barack Obama.
In the poll Obama leads Romney 45-41. His trustworthy rating is 51 to Romneyâ€™s 48. When asked if Obama deserves to be reelected, 50 percent of respondents said yes, and 48 percent said no. The presidentâ€™s favorability rating is at 52 percent.
Despite all of that, the URL says, â€ś37 voters say they're better off than four years ago.â€ť
In the poll, when asked, â€śThinking about your situation today compared to what it was four years ago, are you better off than you were four years ago, or not?â€ť 37 percent did, indeed respond yes, while 48 percent responded no, with 13 percent saying they are just as well off as before, and one percent apparently not being able to make up their own minds. (Theyâ€™ll probably vote for Ralph Nader.)
Out of eight pages of polling data, itâ€™s telling which statistic that Fox News went with when crafting their URL to post it online. They picked the worst possible statistic to reflect Obamaâ€™s job performance. A more appropriate URL headline might have been â€śObama Leads Romney 45 to 41.â€ť But it wasnâ€™t.
This isnâ€™t the first time, and wonâ€™t be the last, that Fox News has pulled a stunt this outlandish.
In 2011, in coverage of President Obamaâ€™s birthday party, Fox News ran an article under their Fox Nation moniker called â€śObamaâ€™s Hip-Hop BBQ Didn't Create Jobs.â€ť You know, as if the partyâ€™s mission was to create jobs.
Fox took a lot of heat for this, justly so, but the URL for the article was even worse. â€śObama Parties Chris Rock Jay Z and Whoopi While Rome Burns.â€ť Translation, Obama is hanging out with his black celebrity Hollywood-type friends and doesnâ€™t give a shit about Americaâ€¦ on his birthday.
For a â€śnews organizationâ€ť that swings so far to the right itâ€™s hard to see the center, we think mainstream news agencies should be calling Fox News out on their subliminal URL-twisting tactics.