Mail August 18 2004 


In recent weeks, many have argued Fox News is shilling for the Bush Republicans under the guise of fair and balanced journalism. Fox's disappointing coverage of the Democratic convention couldn't have proven the point any better.

Fox News only showed the first 45 seconds of Al Gore's speech before Bill O'Reilly interrupted to attack him. Fox did the same during speeches by Jimmy Carter and Ted Kennedy.

A new study from watch group Media Matters for America finds Fox News covered far less of the convention than CNN or MSNBC. How they cover the Republican convention remains to be seen.

Real journalism is too vital for democracy to let partisans hijack it. Whatever our political affiliation, we'll have to go elsewhere for election coverage.

--Bart Davis,



Fox News has again broken new ground in the field of glaring partisanship disguised as objective journalism.

Rather than presenting its viewers with a "fair and balanced" perspective on proceedings at the Democratic National Convention (e.g. letting the cameras roll during speeches), Fox took endless time out in order to let Americans know why everything they were missing was worthless anyway.

One laughable example is the mere seconds Al Gore was allowed to speak before Fox cut to a typically condescending Bill O'Reilly. Gore needed only introduce himself for the cable network to assure its audience that he was, indeed, still wrong.

I still have trouble believing the threshold for outrage, in light of such a flagrant insult to their intelligence, has not been reached nor even sighted for millions of loyal Fox watchers.

--Mark Runsvold,



Fox News says they'll give you the news and let you decide. But during the Democratic convention, Fox shut out many of the speeches to show their own pundits instead.

Watching Fox is like listening to a baseball game where the announcer only tells you when one team scores. Whatever team you're rooting for, that's not how the game is played. CNN and MSNBC gave a lot more coverage to the convention, allowing voters to decide who's plan for America they prefer.

Serious news outlets give viewers every opportunity to decide for themselves how to vote. Anything less is unfit for democracy.

I know now after watching Fox News coverage of the Democratic Convention, that if I truly want fair and unbiased news, if I truly want all the news so I can make a rational fact-based decision by myself, I'll have to switch the channel from Fox News. Maybe they should call themselves the "unfair and biased" news.

--Randy Donath,

Mountain Home


For anyone who saw John Kerry's speech at the Democratic convention it should be clear that he is ready to be president and restore integrity and credibility to the White House.

One of the most important issues Kerry talked about was his plan to move America toward clean renewable energy. Accomplishing this goal would create jobs in America, help the environment and improve our national security by redirecting oil dollars that fund repressive regimes and breed terrorism in the Middle East. Energy independence for America is an idea whose time has come and Kerry is the man to lead us there.

--Chris Struble,


DUBIOUS honors

As a transplant to Boise from the U.S. Army, Oregon and (dare I say it?) California, I have long appreciated the many qualities of living in this fine city. I've also been amused at the development antics that permeate our town.

Recently I read one of those "Top 50 Cities to Live in The U.S." articles. Boise was not included on this list, probably because all the other cities mentioned were more populous. I'd be interested in a piece on "The Best Capitol Cities in the U.S. to Live." I'm sure Boise would be first in several categories. We would win for "Capitol City with the Nearest Ski Resort."

A more dubious honor would be a first-place finish in another category that Boise seems to lead in: "The Most Unattractive Unused Lots in the Downtown Area Featuring Billboards that Advertise Soon-To-Be-Built Attractions that Never Seem to Materialize." The bottomless pit at 8th and Main, and its accompanying advertisement for the Boise Tower, puts us in the running. And the rubble-pile strewn lot at 13th and Myrtle, arguably the main entrance to the downtown area, with its billboard advertising an upcoming convention center, allows us to take first prize.

Given the tiny billboard they've posted, perhaps the would-be developers of the Boise Convention Center have learned an important lesson from the Boise Tower experience: "Talk softly and advertise quietly, lest your foolishness become apparent to all."

--Jim Horn,


coalition motives

In reference to the Idaho Statesman article in the August 5 Local Section about the Ten Commandments Coalition's signature drive, I have a question: "How many of those signatures were collected on the grounds of Valley View Elementary School on August 2?"

Much to my amazement as I was driving north on Milwaukee I was greeted with large signs asking for my signature. I could simply park my car in the school lot and under the shade tent next to the Valley View School sign with the words "Have a Great Summer," I could sign the petition.

I called the Boise School District office Tuesday and discovered the coalition may have, in fact, misrepresented themselves in this case and in doing so may have given the appearance the Boise Schools had taken sides and given tacit approval of this very hot button issue merely by their presence on school property.

At how many other schools did they set up shop that evening? I am taught in the Episcopal Church that principles like honesty and integrity are embedded in this tablet and are what makes these 10 precepts so fundamental.

I've always wondered what the real motives behind this initiative are. After this incident the picture is much clearer.

--Duncan F. Nims,


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