A writer of political books from the UK appeared on the "Charlie Rose Show" last evening and was quite surprised about the lack of trustworthiness and the inadequacy of the news media in the U.S. Here are some excerpts from what guest Bertrand Russell said:
"I watch the BBC at home and they seem to be about as even-handed as you can get. They have guests on from a wide variety of political perspectives giving commentary."
"But I come to the States and turn on MSNBC and watch Chris Matthews and it's a screaming match where you can not really learn anything. The same is true for 'Fox and Friends,' and 'The McLaughlin Group.' That bunch even has Pat Buchanan a neo-confederate racist whose been kicked off of other cable shows."
"Of course MSNBC is a centrist bunch of Obama supporters. They don't have someone like Noam Chomsky or Chris Hedges on who could really tell you what's wrong with him. The U.S. is so right wing as a country MSNBC looks liberal but they're not really. "
"Chomsky or Hedges would never appear on MSNBC, CNN, or network news , let alone FOX - these guys are way to the left. I mean most news watchers in the U.S. wouldn't know that Noam Chomsky is their leading political intellectual. How could they? They're probably never heard of Norman Solomon either."
"CNN is obsessed with having the so-called two sides of every question. I mean if they had a discussion about rape, they'd have a rapist on to give his side of the story."
'But what's most interesting is Fox News. They tell you things like 'Muslims want to make your children gay,' that 'the founding fathers were Christians' - when every should know they were mostly deists who thought of God as a sort of clock winder, and that Thomas Paine was an atheist. "
"Fox guests say that corporations are persons who should be able to have a say so in whether their employees get protected sex. It almost like the bosses should have the right to examine a female employees vagina while a priest looks on."
" Fox says that if we have cold weather we're having global cooling, that climate change doesn't exist -I mean, these are intellectual bottom feeders - they don't know that climate change means extreme variations in the weather."
"And you hear supposedly serious people on Fox - people who are quite obviously insane - say that if everyone had a gun in the U.S., even children in school, gun violence would go down."
I look at Fox on TV and say to myself "any moment now they're going to say 'we're only joking, this is just satire. "We really don't think that conversion therapy works or that Muslims want your kids to be gay.'"
"And, in my fantasy, Rupert Murdoch will come on every program, look into the camera smiling and say, "We hope you didn't take us seriously. You know, it was all just a Spoof!"