Ashley Pierce is a political science freshman and Mustang Daily conservative columnist.
After a long day of classes I always try to make it to the gym — that, or I eat my feelings. On the days I do make it to the gym, I spend my time flipping through the three major news outlets: CNN, MSNBC and Fox News.
Being conservative, yes, Fox News is usually my main choice (that Greg Gutfeld is hilarious) and during commercial breaks I flip to CNN and MSNBC. CNN, I admit, I only ever catch during the Piers Morgan block and all I’ve learned from him is that he hates guns. He really, really hates guns. I think that’s the only thing I’ve seen him speak on besides an interview with a woman who escaped the Westboro Baptist Church (which I was genuinely intrigued to hear about).
While I generally agree with Fox News’ points on issues, I can get just as agitated watching a Fox show as when watching MSNBC. Fox almost always has a liberal and a conservative commentator to present the two sides to each argument, giving conservatives another side to hear out. While their anchors may generally have Republican beliefs, both sides are almost always presented and there are independent and liberal anchors such as Bill O’Reilly and Shepard Smith.
The Pew Research Center did a study that found Fox News is 55 percent opinion and 45 percent factual reporting. CNN is 46 percent opinion and 54 percent factual reporting (good for them — though their opinions can lean left). Last but not least, MSNBC came in with 85 percent opinion and 15 percent factual reporting.
Eighty-five percent opinion. That would be like Mustang Daily running almost entirely opinion columns and then pretending it was actual news. If MSNBC was openly honest with the public that its station was mostly opinion — and a liberal leaning one at that — there wouldn’t even be a problem.
MSNBC, however, continues to consider themselves a “news” station, even when less than a quarter of its output actually contains factual information. The station’s anchors deny their bias repeatedly even with a slogan of “Lean Forward” which hints of progressiveness: a common liberal ideal.
Political commentators can surely lean any which way they please, but that certainly is not the case with the news anchors or reporters.
I acknowledge that Fox News has an inclination to lean conservative and has its own bias, but at least its entire programming isn’t opinion-based. When opinions are given, Fox almost always has a liberal and a conservative expert on screen who give their arguments for both sides of the issue being discussed. Not to mention, Fox remains one of the only news networks that isn’t leaning left. I don’t blame Fox for making up for the other channels by leaning a little bit to the right.
Normally I wouldn’t consider this particularly worthy of an article, but considering the blatant attacks I see on Fox News every single day, I couldn’t quite resist the chance to share the findings of this study — as I bet they will be reported on very little by anyone other than Fox.
Know what you’re watching folks, understand that sometimes news stations aren’t giving you the full story. CNN did the best in the study with only 46 percent of its programming being opinion (though with Piers Morgan as its primetime host, viewers may be gaining more left-leaning bias than MSNBC programming).
I encourage avid news watchers out there to flip through the channels, at least. If MSNBC is your cup of tea, more power to you. But during the commercial break, try to take in some O’Reilly, Gutfeld or Morgan.
Some of you will take nothing from this and forever find Fox News or Faux News (as people lovingly like to call it) the most vile, polarized, brain washing news station out there. But just know — the facts are showing otherwise.