March 20, 2013

Jumping off of a Pew Research Center study finding that 85 percent of MSNBC programming is opinion-based, Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer went to town on “The O’Reilly Factor” last night: “That study tells me that the sun rises in the east. Everybody knows that MSNBC is all opinion,” said Krauthammer. “Even the slogan leans forward. Is this their way of saying, lean left. Those short ads they do just announce that they’re — they’re now, basically, an ideological entity.”

Krauthammer and host Bill O’Reilly agreed on the skewing of the MSNBC programming, as well as on the sturdy news values of their home, Fox News.

They parted ways, however, on the state of the media, with Krauthammer proving to be something of a new-media convert, and O’Reilly pining for the days of yore:

O’REILLY: But I think that, they call them now low information voters, are becoming the majority in this country. Because there isn’t information out there anymore.

KRAUTHAMMER: Oh, it is. It’s on the Internet.

O’REILLY: It’s very difficult to get objective information.

KRAUTHAMMER: Well, no, it’s not.

O’REILLY: No, not on the Internet. It’s all skewed, you know, objective, hard-hitting, uncovering things if you don’t know information, much rarer than it used to be.

KRAUTHAMMER: Do you think that Times or The Post or The Globe or the L.A. Times 30 years ago was objective?

What you had then was a liberal monopoly on the networks, on the major papers, on the news magazines, on the colleges and universities, on Hollywood.

It was — they had all of what Levin would call the commanding heights of the culture. The difference is that, now, we have a few dissenting independent sources, Fox News, one page of the Wall Street Journal, and talk radio.

And that creates an atmosphere, and the Internet, where you have real ideological competition. So, I think it’s an advance over where we were 30, 40, 50 years ago.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.