As much as you might value BuzzFlash, a picture, or in this case a videotape, is worth a thousand words.
BuzzFlash has launched "a get America to Turn Off FOX" campaign -- and other online sites have gathered tens of thousands of names opposed to FOX. And several sites, including Media Matters, have regularly documented FOX's deceitful and dishonest coverage.
But, as I noted a short time ago, it takes Jon Stewart, with his visual images proving his case, to really erode FOX's credibility and undercut the influence of the FOX brand, which we all know is unfair and unbalanced but for some reason the corporate mainstream media defends. In fact, the MSM scurried to FOX's defense when the White House correctly noted that the very same corporate "journalists" in D.C. and NY often take their cues from phony FOX coverage.
So, it was with hearfelt thanks that we saw Stewart bring FOX to their knees, actually forcing them to admit that they had used footage from a spring Teabagger rally to make Michele Bachmann's latest freak show gathering in D.C. appear much, much larger than it was.
What allows Stewart to be so devastating to FOX is that he assembles clips that would be damning in court, as they are in the court of public opinion. And these are reports aired on FOX, so how can they accuse their own reporting of being manipulative, incendiary and false?
So it was that after Stewart aired the kind of old Soviet Union style FOX propaganda "news" clip to pump up Bachmann and the Teabaggers, Hannity was forced into the rarest of FOX admissions: Stewart was right -- he had caught them in the act that they so often commit and rolled the tape to prove it.
According to a late November 11th New York Times Internet story, Hannity confessed on Wednesday night to "an inadvertent mistake":
On his show on the Fox News Channel Wednesday night, Sean Hannity admitted to using scenes from a different rally to illustrate a report on a health care protest last week....
Wednesday night Mr. Hannity admitted that "we screwed up" in using the "incorrect video." He called it "an inadvertent mistake."
Mr. Hannity did not address specifically how the mistake came to be made but he said somewhat ruefully: "It pains me to say: Jon Stewart was right."
The cumulative, well-documented charges of FOX's manipulation and creation of partisan stories -- even promoting, sponsoring, and covering Teabagger events as if FOX were one and the same with the barbarians at the gates -- has started to take a toll on the FOX brand.
I've never seen them this defensive before. Even right wing media baron Rupert Murdoch found himself condoning Glenn Beck calling President Obama a racist, while denying that anyone on FOX News compared Obama to Stalin, which they are documented as doing. That ended up with a Murdoch spokesperson forced to "clarify" that Murdoch really didn't say what he said. Got it?
American corporations depend on what is called "brand identity." FOX has --by being ubiquitous, using flashy television techology and graphics, and reinforcing a warped world view to a small segment of the American population -- has managed to get the mainstream media to regard it as a legitimate news channel.
Time will tell, but it appears the cumulative exposures of the fraud that is FOX News are starting to impact the "brand identity" of "fair and balanced." And if it loses its luster of credibility among corporate news networks, its influence will be considerably diminished.
And while others have laid the groundwork (don't forget to join the BuzzFlash "Get America to Turn Off FOX Brigade") Jon Stewart has the most impact because he airs the video proof, and some 70% of Americans get their news from television.
Jon Stewart, as Will Bunch of the Philadelphia Daily News notes, is doing the investigating and exposing that the corporate media should be doing. And you have to add that Stewart has growing stature as a debunker of media charlatans -- and the mainstream media watches him.