I suggested Olberman may have a future with Fox... since such conduct appears to be OK with them. After all, if they can remain fair and balanced while still making partisan contributions... the Olberman must be able to do the same.
Discussion is locked
The OP makes no mention of Olberman - the dominating subject of the other thread. Several folks, on the other thread have already claimed that Olberman's case is governed by the demands an employer can make upon their employees. Are you suggesting the Olberman's case is more nuanced than those people will admit?
The OP asked if the actions of Sean Hannity donating money to the GOP is a demonstration of bias. This goes to the question of ethics and the impartiality of the reporting Hannity may give, when it deals with the party he donated money to.
I won't comment further about Olberman in this thread, since it has already been established by folks on the other thread that Olberman's case is just a willful disregard of the requirements set forth for employment by the company he works for. Thus, it is not an ethical question of bias, but only a failure to abide by his business contract.
Now if Olberman's case and Hanity, Murdoch, etc. are indeed similar... then if Olberman has definitely shown bias by his actions then it surely shows that Hannity et al are biased too.
Is that what you are saying James? That Olberman's actions and Hannity, et al. are the same thing?
I am serious when I suggest this.
If one can objectively consider the "ideal" of journalistic presentations, then one would expect news broadcasts to be concerned about simply reporting news events. Consider the fact most cable "news" content is actually panels of "experts" brought together to analyze and give opinion. Very little cable news time is spent actually reporting the news.
Cable news is pure and simple entertainment now. Careful thought is given to target particular demographics. Content is content, news events are news events... but the way it is presented can be crafted to appeal to a particular audience. Face it... cable news is about audience and advertising dollars.
I don't expect an entertainer to be unbiased. Of course, I also don't expect an entertainer who plays a surgeon on TV... to actually perform surgery. Hannity, and Fox should be taken with a grain of salt. Just like watching a good play, the viewer must maintain a suspension of disbelief when watching cable news today. It is the gullible who think the play is real, after it is over.
I quit watching cable news YEARS ago. If everyone else would follow my lead maybe it will die and go away.
I don't trust any of the major networks to just report the news anymore either. I'd wager that most, if not all, democratic reporters are biased against Republicans and that all republican reporters are biased against Democrats. They all report their stories the way THEY want you to hear them.
...then I would expect Sean Hannity to be disciplined in the same way. If the policy is the same and Mr. Hannity is not so disciplined, then and only then would you have cause to complain.
As for News Corp.'s contributions: Since Jeffery Immelt, the CEO of General Electric (the parent company of NBC/MSNBC) gives regularly to political campaigns/PACs (go to www.fec.gov and in the search field inquire yourself), it seems that your outrage is equally misplaced.
the News Corp contributions are red herring. General Electric and almost all big corporations make such donations. It's perfectly legal and acceptable. Corporations are not required to be fair or objective. Really no one's business to whom they contribute.
Olbermann's issue is that he broke the rules. Apparently Hannity, Kudlow, Scarborogh and others who made contributions did not break any rules. I personally think that "journalists" should not be supporting candidates, but I don't make the rules.
I can't pretend to be fair about this... any time a creep like Olberman gets his comeuppance it warms my heart.
I don't watch Fox so I cannot comment on their coverage. From what I've heard they lean to the right.
There are 2 separate issues here:
(1) Hannity made political contributions to conservative groups. I do not know whether that violated Fox policy. My understanding is that Hannity is a talking head paid to entertain viewers by serving up obviously biased content, not a news reporter. In that case, there is no question of objective commentary/reporting. I would LIKE to think that broadcasters maintain a neutral stance but I have no illusion that they even attempt neutrality in their talk shows and commentary. If Hannity violated Fox's standards he should be disciplined. If he didn't then I'm not sure what you point is? FWIW: Those are the same issues related to Olberman. If he is a reporter then he is obviously biased and not worth paying attention to. If he is an entertainer then overt bias is worth noting but does not inherently pose ethical problems. I commented previously on the assumption he was a reporter. I don't know. I've never watched the show. Either way, though, Olberman violated his employer's ethics standards and it is legitimate to discipline him for that.
(2) News Corp made political contributions to Republican organizations. Whether that is important depends on whether Fox News has editorial control over its material. It seems that some news organizations have maintained more-or-less objective reporting despite the fairly obvious political views of management by insulating their news departments from their management. I do not know whether News Corp/Fox do this or not.
The position of the employer OR your own interpretation of "bias"?
Olberman contributes to a political party. His employer has a policy that employees can't contribute to political parties. Olberman is "biased".
Hannity contributes to a political party. His employer doesn't have a policy that employees can't contribute to political parties. Hannity is NOT "biased".
So this means that an employers position on political contributions determines YOUR position on whether a person is "biased".
Well, It doesn't determine mine...they're ALL biased.
I didn't contribute in the other thread because I don't care what any news bobble-head does concerning his own money and contributions. I also don't think it's any employer's business, and is an attempt by any employer to deprive his employee of his rights as a citizen. I neither know nor care what Olberman, Hannity, Rush, Larry King, Letterman or any other TV personality does concerning contributions to charities or political parties, unless such activity is against the law. Trying to deprive employees of contributing their own money to whatever organizations they choose to, is the same to me as forcing them to work overtime on Election Day without time off to go vote.
Since you OBVIOUSLY didn't read the post very carefully I'll just observe that I did NOT say that either Olberman OR Hannity was unbiased.
I did say that potentially relevant questions regarding the handling of the contributions were: (1) Did Fox have a rule against Hannity's behavior; and (2) Was Olberman a reporter or an entertainer or both? I don't think Hannity's reportedly obvious bias is compromised by the further evidence provided by the donation.
IMO the question of bias is MUCH more important regarding people who report news events. As to entertainers paid to stir up controversy, I don't know that pretending to be unbiased is an issue.
Of course the other undisputed question is that Olberman violated the employer's ethics policy. That is more relevant than the questions of bias when it comes to the employer's disciplinary procedure.