Only someone at the New York Times would claim that their paper was not “anywhere close” to Fox News on bias. What was surprising was the source of this trashing. Clark Hoyt, the just retired ombudsman of the New York Times, supposedly served as the conscience of the paper, mediating questions of whether the paper fairly and unbiasedly covered the news. If anyone at the Times is going to warn the paper that they have gone too far, it is the ombudsman.
Yet, when Mr. Hoyt recently appeared on C-SPAN’s Q&A with Brian Lamb, he held little back.
I watch Fox News from time to time, and I’m always fascinated by its view of the world compared to the view of the world you see in other media outlets that I would not consider partisan. The stories they choose to highlight, the way they are described, and I’m not even getting to [Bill] O’Reilly or some of the unabashedly opinionated parts of Fox News. I do not believe the New York Times is anywhere close to that.
Even worse, Mr. Hoyt attacked Fox News for poising a real danger to society:
There are many, many more voices today. In many respects, I think that’s healthy. But the one thing, the danger for any society, is if you don’t have some sort of core of shared facts and values, I think ultimately, there’s a great danger for the society. And I do worry about that.
So how biased is Fox News compared to the New York Times? Why don’t we ask Democrats whom they trust more for news: Fox News or the New York Times? With all the vitriol directed against Fox News, one would think that it is a no-brainer. But a recent Pew Research Center for the People & the Press poll shows that it is Fox News. While 43 percent of Democrats have a positive view of Fox News, 39 percent of Democrats feel the same way about the New York Times.
Of course among Republicans or Independents it isn’t even a close contest. Seventy-two percent of Republicans have a favorable view of Fox News compared to only 16 percent who have a favorable view of the New York Times. Almost twice as many independents have a favorable view of Fox than the Times.
There are surely other ways of measuring whether Fox News is biased, but it is a bit much for the man the New York Times hired to investigate bias at the Times to use such inflammatory language, claiming that what Fox News does represents “a great danger for the society.”