As I noted earlier, I spent today at a conference put on by right-winger Cliff Kincaid’s organization, America’s Survival. It was titled “The Crisis in American Journalism and the Conservative Response.” It was predominantly a red meat event. Kincaid narrated five different Powerpoint presentations himself throughout the day with various other journalists also speaking.
Combatting the apparent liberal media bias was a major topic of conversation amongst all the speakers. Crime blogger Tina Trent lamented the rise in college-educated journalists while author Paul Kengor released his new book titled “All the Dupes Fit to Print: Journalists Who Have Served as Tools of Communist Propaganda.” Needless to say, the crowd ate all of this up.
The most interesting part of the event was the repeated anger directed towards Fox News. There was plenty of lambasting of liberal media outlets, but Kincaid went after Fox News in particular, devoting an entire Powerpoint presentation to it. While his grievances varied, Kincaid focused on the network’s increasing acceptance of gay marriage stance. He criticized Megyn Kelly for her support of it and directly told Shep Smith that it’s time he came out of the closet. “Fox News postures as a conservative voice.” he said.
Other conservative voices are posing as well, Kincaid noted. Former MSNBC host and a new host for CNN’s Crossfire, S.E. Cupp took the most heat for her being an atheist and a libertarian. Instead of earning her new position, Kincaid suggested not so subtly that her body may have had something to do with it. “What do you think they hired her for?” he said as he pointed to a picture of Cupp with her feet on top of the desk. “Think those legs have anything to do with it?” The crowd laughed.
Kincaid continued on to mock Fox for hiring Mark Sanford after his extramarital affair cost him his Governorship.* Even Sean Hannity, who Kincaid described as the most conservative voice at the network, didn’t escape criticism. Hannity did an interview with Playboy Magazine in June, something Kincaid was very disappointed with.
At the end of the segment, Kincaid’s anger changed from being directed at the actions of different hosts to the content those hosts put on air. “Fox News made us believe that Romney was going to win the presidency,” he said. He then listed through a number of hosts who had made poor predictions, starting with Karl Rove. But Kincaid made no mention of the numerous “biased” journalists who compiled the polling and predicted an Obama victory. Outside of the Fox bubble, that was the popular prediction. That fact may not gel with Kincaid’s assumption that all mainstream media is heavily slanted towards the left, but it’s true. In November 2014, maybe he’ll pay more attention to the polls and those dissecting them than to the Fox News reporters who got 2012 so badly wrong. I won’t hold my breath.
*Sanford is back in Congress, of course, having won a special election earlier this year.