Fox (So-Called) News

Posted: December 21, 2005 in Miscellaneous

I was watching the emergency landing of Midwest Airlines Flight 210 on CNN this evening. The reporting on CNN was not stellar but it was fair and reasonably accurate. I switched to Fox News after CNN switched to one of their regular news programs and I was almost immediately shocked and disgusted by what I heard.

The anchor person, “Catherine,” was interviewing a spokesperson from Midwest Airlines and was discussing aircraft safety systems (a technical topic of which I have some first-hand experience). She noted that some modern airliners have video cameras in the wheel wells of the aircraft so that the aircrew could better evaluate an emergency situation. She asked the spokesperson if the Boeing 717s in Midwest Airline’s inventory had this kind of system. The spokesperson said that he was not a technical or maintenance person so that he could not answer the question with certainty, but he did not think that the aircraft had that capability. Immediately, Catherine asked if Midwest Airlines had considered such a system or would consider such a system given the evening’s events. The spokesperson gave a bit of a non-answer, noting that these types of failures were rare but if there was a significant safety issue they would consider it.

Catherine, at this point, put words into the Midwest Airlines spokesperson’s mouth saying that he thought that such a system wasn’t cost effective. She immediately went to a former airline pilot and again said that Midwest Airlines thought that the video system wasn’t cost effective and whether or not the pilot thought the same. The pilot replied very diplomatically and indicated that Midwest Airlines, to his knowledge, had a great safety record.

If this is Fox News’ example of fair and balanced reporting then their definitions of those words is far different than mine.

BTW, Catherine kept calling the airline Midwest Express instead of its proper name, Midwest Airlines.

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