“Far From Fair and Balanced”

Fox News will know its tag line has jumped the shark (or is that set the standard?) when Mikhail Gorbachev, the former president of the Soviet Union, invokes it in an op-ed in the New York Times criticizing “the American news media” for having “mounted a propaganda attack against Russia” in its coverage of the conflict between Russia and Georgia:

The news coverage has been far from fair and balanced, especially during the first days of the crisis. Tskhinvali was in smoking ruins and thousands of people were fleeing — before any Russian troops arrived. Yet Russia was already being accused of aggression; news reports were often an embarrassing recitation of the Georgian leader’s deceptive statements.

Gorbachev was also critical of news coverage when he took to the Washington Post opinion pages last week (“the humanitarian catastrophe, regretfully, received very little coverage in Western media this weekend.”)

But about that Fox News tag line: I hear “Who are we to say it’s not the truth?” is still available

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.