The Instigator
Danielle
Con (against)
Losing
39 Points
The Contender
Vi_Veri
Pro (for)
Winning
47 Points

Obama's decision to not appear on Fox News was the beneficial decision to his presidency.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 14 votes the winner is...
Vi_Veri
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/13/2009 Category: News
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,703 times Debate No: 9675
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (35)
Votes (14)

 

Danielle

Con

President Obama has decided not to appear on Fox News or give them any interviews for the time being. His reasons include the fact that Fox News is a right-wing, manipulative and biased news source, and one that frequently insults him by flat out calling him a racist amongst other lies. Many people agree with Obama in his decision not to appear on Fox News; they don't see how it could possibly do him or the public any good, since he will be straw manned anyway. However, I posit that it was a bad decision in terms of political strategy, damaging to his reputation, a biased and unfair decision in itself, and a decision that ultimately does more harm for his candidacy than good. My opponent who accepts this debate will be defending the view that Obama's decision in this regard was the right one. I welcome any questions/clarifications from my opponent in the first round, and will begin listing my contentions in R2. Good luck.
Vi_Veri

Pro

I agree to negate my opponent, and have no need for clarifications on the matter. This will be a good debate : ) Good luck, L, honey! I await your premises.
Debate Round No. 1
Danielle

Con

Obama's reasoning for not appearing on Fox news is as follows:

"I've got one television station that is entirely devoted to attacking my administration... That's a pretty big megaphone. You'd be hard pressed if you watched the entire day to find a positive story about me on that front," Obama said.

There's no doubt about it -- Fox News is an incredibly biased, right-wing network that devotes itself almost entirely to discrediting liberals. As such, they often misrepresent politicians (such as Obama), and make him appear more leftist than he actually is. The only way to combat that type of misrepresentation is to address it head-on, by agreeing to appear on said network and work to clear the air. By ignoring the network, Obama is only successful at accomplishing the following:

1) Making himself look too scared to own up to Conservative newscasters
2) Not refuting false claims made about him and his policies, thus implying a verification of their legitimacy

Additionally, Obama is essentially pushing away millions of Americans who are devoted fans of the Fox network. Indeed Fox News has more viewers then the rest of the networks combined [1]. As such, his politics and point of view are not being heard by a majority of Americans who rely on these news networks to obtain information about politics and other characterizations. The reality is that President Obama represents ALL Americans, including those who watch Fox News. Most Fox viewers are loyal to the network because they represent a more Conservative ideology than is usually found in the media, and as such, Obama is essentially giving the message that he will only address those who are liberal or who support his leftist policies. A good politician would work toward bridging the gap of bipartisanship.

Another argument against Obama in this regard is that whilst choosing not to appear on Fox News, the president DID agree to appear on a Spanish-language network called "Univision!" This again can be completely misconstrued as Obama favoring minorities over the bulk amount of Conservatives in this country. Moreover, Fox News would surely indicate (at least indirectly) that this was an attempt of Obama's to appeal to illegal immigrants. As ridiculous as this might seem, it's not completely out of the question for such a manipulative network such as Fox. Again, this is why Obama should have chosen to seem steadfast, strong and willing to challenge these accusations head-on. Now Fox is free to interpret his decision any way they see fit (beneficial to them and negative against him), which they have been more than happy to do in making claims such as this proving that they are the only Fair and Balanced network (lol) and calling Obama and his administration a bunch of cry babies [2].

Surely my beautiful and esteemed opponent will raise the issue that it's not Fox viewers who undermine the president, but rather Fox news themselves (they're known to take things out of context, and cut people's microphones when guests make them look silly). However, some guests on the Fox News network have been able to make the anchors themselves look absolutely foolish, such as Jeremy Glick who made Bill O'Reilly look like a giant douche upon being interviewed. As such, I maintain that Obama - who won the presidency largely in part due to his excellent speaking skills - could have easily held his own in a political debate, and made it clear to the audience that he was being manipulated if in fact that was the case. Moreover, if Fox had taken things out of context or continued to misrepresent the president, he could have easily made a public statement about it or let MSNBC do the talking for him in that regard. My point here is that it's not sufficient to say that Obama would have likely been manipulated; I maintain that he could have prepared accordingly to ensure a fair and as unbiased interview as possible.

Also, regardless of whether or not Fox makes outlandish claims such as labeling Obama as a racist, the fact of the matter is that we have such a thing in this country called Free Speech, which Obama - and all presidents - should be trying to defend. If in fact some sort of libel or slander was issued against President Obama causing detrimental effects to his character or office, he could easily exercise his right to prosecute the accused, or at the very least make it publicly known that Fox has once again caused unnecessary damage to Obama's career.

Instead, White House officials said this: "We're going to treat them the way we would treat an opponent... As they are undertaking a war against Barack Obama and the White House, we don't need to pretend that this is the way that legitimate news organizations behave." This makes it seem as if Obama is punishing the network for bad behavior, but really he's punishing the viewers (American voters) and his own reputation. Moreover, when Bush was president, various news networks absolutely slammed him for his low approval ratings, numerous faulty decisions, etc. However Bush didn't outright deny appearing on certain news organizations because of this exercise in free speech, thereby making Bush (and Republicans) look like more thick-skinned candidates. In fact, this is the very aim of Fox News: they go out of their way to make "latte sipping liberals" seem flakey and weak, while upholding the Conservative view-point as being strong and All-American.

Finally, because Fox News is such an abomination to journalism, I posit that Obama's decision was wrong in the sense that it only strengthened the ratings and so-called credibility of the network very undeservingly. "Fox's senior vice president for programming, Bill Shine, says of the criticism from the White House, 'Every time they do it, our ratings go up. Mr. Obama's first year is on track to be the Fox News Channel's highest rated.' One Fox executive said that the jabs by the White House could solidify the network's audience base, and recalled that Mr. Ailes had remarked internally: Don't pick a fight with people who like to fight." [3]

For all of these reasons, I affirm that denying to appear on Fox News not only discredited Obama's presidency, but his entire administration as well. It also provided a great disservice to the American people who rely on Fox (unfortunately) for their news and information, and made other networks subsequently look bad. These perhaps more leftist networks generally support (or at least more fairly represent Obama), and as such, they can play a big part if and when he applies for a second term as President. As a result, a devaluing of these channels also decreases the likelihood that Obama will be favorably or fairly represented by Fox - with its massive audience - in the future.

References:
[1] http://tvbythenumbers.com...
[2] http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
[3] http://www.nytimes.com...
Vi_Veri

Pro

Obama's decision to not appear on Fox News was a beneficial decision to his presidency.

Let us first point out that the reason Obama was making rounds of television networks was to represent his health care plan. All networks showed his health care speech prior to his appearances on the shows to clarify parts of it, except for Fox News.

Yes, there is no doubt about it -- Fox News is an incredibly biased, right-wing network that devotes itself almost entirely to discrediting liberals.

Fox News is a business, like every other News broadcasting network, and it shovels it's money in only by appealing to its viewers. So, this is exactly what Fox News does. The viewers of Fox News are a majority conservative who eat up everything Fox has to offer. Fox News went so far even as to NOT show President Obama's health care plan speech because it was of "no priority." It was much more important to show Dancing With The Stars, instead. And it wasn't even Tom Delay's debut. The president's speech wasn't deemed "newsworthy."

Every other News Network covered President Obama's speech.

Fox News constantly slanders, miss-interprets, and down right negatively represents the President constantly. As Pr. Obama said himself, "I've got one television station that is entirely devoted to attacking my administration... That's a pretty big megaphone. You'd be hard pressed if you watched the entire day to find a positive story about me on that front."

It is by far more respectable that the president display his own right to free speech and decide not to speak to the "news network" instead of having it slander his words or even cut off his mic (my opponent even stated: "they're known to take things out of context, and cut people's microphones when guests make them look silly"). It is also obvious that any speech, as my opponent suggest should be given afterword, would just not be shown to the viewers if even his important health care speech wasn't. The "unwavering" viewers of the Fox News network would be left just as blind.

My opponent claims that the president should be taking steps to bridge the gap of bipartisanship. President Obama has been very GOP friendly: hosted them at the white house, visiting them on capital hill (paying more respect than their fellow republican George W. Bush), going back on his promises to the gay community on issues such as marriage and Don't Ask Don't Tell, nominating Republican Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner (both positions important to the republican party; economics and defense) and nominated Republican Sen. Gregg for a Cabinet position (who unfortunately turned down the offer) - these nominations of three counter party members for cabinet is unmatched - amongst many, many things. So, no, Obama is not giving the message that he will only address liberals and their needs. He has consistently proven so far in his presidency that he is very bipartisan and takes conservatives seriously. The only thing he is doing by not participating in Fox's slander is pointing out that the truth must be told in America, not false garbage that misinforms the masses (especially the conservatives. Now wouldn't that be an aid toward conservative America; the truth?)

My opponent states, "It also provided a great disservice to the American people who rely on Fox (unfortunately) for their news and information, and made other networks subsequently look bad." Obama became the first president to appear on five Sunday network shows in the same morning; an extraordinary effort to build public support for his top domestic priority. He was not trying to "exclude" anyone it quite obviously seems (he would even get late night viewers by appearing on late night talk show #1 by David Letterman).

My opponent brings up that President Obama not appearing on Fox but appearing on Hispanic Univision sends the wrong message. Hispanics were a swing vote in 2008, and as a majority are very conservative voters (as they are on average very religious. It must also be noted that they were one of the George Bush sided demographics.) An appearance on Univision shows that Obama cares for this new rising majority in America, who will be one of main groups affected by his new health care plan.

My opponent brings up that, "Now Fox is free to interpret his decision any way they see fit (beneficial to them and negative against him)" But Fox would have anyway, if he appeared on Fox or not. My own opponent even said, "they're known to take things out of context, and cut people's microphones when guests make them look silly." If even they did show Obama's public announcement, a public announcement that he was "misquoted" would cause just as much of an uprising. They would have said it was showing that Obama doesn't like "criticism" and has had time to be coached before he "re-answered" Fox News. That their questions were too "tough" and "different" for him. That he was being a "cry baby," as my opponent said.

My opponent said that, "This makes it seem as if Obama is punishing the network for bad behavior, but really he's punishing the viewers (American voters)." No, Obama is not punishing the viewers. Obama, as I have noted, has been consistently good to conservatives. He is, in fact, punishing a network that has gone overboard with their hate for liberal politics and hate for him.

What Obama has done is the moral thing to do; to reduce slander and misinformation in the media. Even if he isn't praised for it now, he will be praised for it in the future. He will not be tolerant of lies being circulated throughout the United States of America. It is to the same caliber as American News' bias against middle eastern nations in their news broadcasting.

My opponent brings up that Bush appeared on news networks even though they attacked him. I'd like to ask my opponent only one question; wasn't the attacking of Bush's greatest enemy, the media, one of the big reasons his presidency failed? That would not be beneficial for a presidency.

My opponent finally states, "As a result, a devaluing of these channels also decreases the likelihood that Obama will be favorably or fairly represented by Fox - with its massive audience - in the future."

Fox never favorably represents President Obama; not even playing his health care plan speech on their network and always, as is the main issue, portraying Obama negatively. The Conservative powerhouse (as even my opponent has clarified) wouldn't start anytime soon.

My opponent remarks that by not appearing on Fox News, Obama is essentially shunning the conservatives of America. This is not the case. By not appearing on Fox News, Obama is making the statement that a corrupt network should not have their way.

Obama is making a very moral stand, and as such, should be respected - and HIS right to free speech should be respected if he didn't want to show up on a News Network that would clearly misrepresent him, and twist that misrepresentation in the future - even if a clarification speech was given (if it was even at all shown on Fox). In the future, Obama will be seen as a voice against slander, a voice against misinformation, and a just decision maker. If Fox News could not give as much respect as to show his very important health care speech (which, in turn, blinds their audience to the issues), then Obama can show just as much respect back at the organization and be the bigger man instead of bickering with a news organization that would never back down; like a rabid dog.

References:
http://www.foxnews.com...
http://www.nydailynews.com...
http://www.politifact.com...
Debate Round No. 2
Danielle

Con

Pro maintains that Obama's decision was the beneficial one for the following reasons:

1) Fox News would have misrepresented him and his plan anyway
2) The president has the right to exercise his free speech through selection
3) Obama has taken other, more legitimate attempts at bipartismanship
4) The act wasn't aimed to hurt Fox viewers, but the network itself
5) Obama's decision was meant to combat slander in the media

Considering those are all good defenses of Obama's decision, you'll notice that not one of them touches upon the two specific results of his decision that I cited in the previous round:

1) Making himself look too scared to own up to Conservative newscasters
2) Not refuting false claims made about him and his policies, thus implying a verification of their legitimacy

Let's examine Pro's claims. Is it true that Fox is a disgusting example of journalism? Yes. Do they frequently ignore the president or distort his claims? Absolutely. But considering this reality, wouldn't it have been beneficial for Obama to have had the opportunity to appear on Fox and at least be heard? If Pro's point was that Fox can't even be bothered to broadcast Obama's speech, then how are Fox viewers supposed to be exposed to it? If all they're hearing are misrepresentations of the plan, then the viewers are no better off not having heard Obama than they already are.

That brings me to my next point: free speech. Sure, Obama has every right to decline appearing on Fox News. However, him doing this to punish the network who so often defames him is NOT hurting the network (like I said, it verifies their false ideals that liberals are a bunch of sissies, thereby increasing their credibility and their ratings). Instead, Obama is only only hurting himself. Like I said, right now Fox viewers are only getting a warped and negative idea about Obama's proposed plan. A good president would care more about conveying his plan to the people and gaining support for what he thinks would help them, instead of 'making a statement' to Fox News. Of course people have the right to exercise freedom of speech; however, it seems as if in this case, Obama pleaded the fifth... and you know what that means.

Moving on, it's very true that Obama has made extraordinary efforts to be bipartisan thus far. I suspect that he'll keep it up for the next 4 years in an attempt to be re-elected; every president shows their true colors during their 2nd term. That said, while it's true that Obama may have sought a lot of exposure, let's face it: People (especially Conservatives) don't get their news from David Letterman. It's one thing to be able to talk and defend your politics to a liberal late night talk show host; it's another to be able to combat Bill O'Reilly. And like I said - despite the gross 'journalism' exhibited on Fox, it IS possible to make O'Reilly look like a huge turd. Richard Dawkins did it. Jeremy Glick did it (and he's not even a professional like Obama).

My opponent asks, "Wasn't the attacking of Bush's greatest enemy, the media, one of the big reasons his presidency failed?" Absolutely not. Bush's ratings didn't go down because the media said so. Instead, the media said so because his ratings went down. No network refused to play Bush's speeches, especially on the biggest issue(s) of his presidency. He was an unpopular guy to begin with; he didn't win the popular vote in 2000 against Al Gore, and he was a dumb president who pissed off Democrats and Republicans alike (he was the most socially conservative president we've had in a long time; however, he was a big-time spender which annoyed the fiscal conservatives to no end).

Okay, so moving on to Pro's fourth argument, again we reach the concensus that Obama was trying to take a stand against Fox and not punish the viewers. While I acknowledge that may have been Obama's intention, the reality again is that President Obama represents all Americans, including those who watch Fox News. Most Fox viewers are loyal to the network because they represent a more Conservative ideology than is usually found in the media, and as such, Obama has essentially only addressed those who are liberal or who support his leftist policies and networks, which is a minority of viewers as I have shown in the last round.

I think Obama could have and should have been the bigger person in at least trying to PRESENT himself as bipartisan as much as possible. His politics have demonstrated that for sure, but the public is so deluded and obsessed with their arrogance and the media, Obama's choice in not appearing on Fox made just as big of a statement to his detriment that his politics have done to his benefit, if not more.

Pro's final point was reiterating that President Obama's decision was meant to combat the great libel and slander he's endured on their behalf. However, I maintain that this decision only facilitated and perhaps even validated in some cases even more slander than usual or necessary. Because of this, and for all of my aforementioned reasoning, I stand in firm negation of the resolution.
Vi_Veri

Pro

My opponent says:

"But considering this reality, wouldn't it have been beneficial for Obama to have had the opportunity to appear on Fox and at least be heard? If Pro's point was that Fox can't even be bothered to broadcast Obama's speech, then how are Fox viewers supposed to be exposed to it? If all they're hearing are misrepresentations of the plan, then the viewers are no better off not having heard Obama than they already are."

The thing is, when you are battling a news organization that is BLATANTLY lying to its viewers, twisting around the words of the people who appear on the show, and also, blatantly again, not showing not just one, but a multiple number of the president's speeches - you must make a real stand.

Obama has had a strained relationship with Fox even prior to his election as president. He tried to bury the hatchet with Fox a couple of times, and yes, even appearing on Bill O'Reilly prime time (http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com...) So, it is not like Obama has not tried to refute claims against him or not gone head to head with Mr. O'Reilly, it's just that this happens to be the last straw for our president, and the corruption of a Network can only be battled so far. It doesn't matter who appears on Fox, what they say (like Richard Dawkins - people still watch O'Reilly, and Fox viewers, on vast majority, still dislike Dawkins).

My opponent continues to say, "A good president would care more about conveying his plan to the people and gaining support for what he thinks would help them, instead of 'making a statement' to Fox News. Of course people have the right to exercise freedom of speech; however, it seems as if in this case, Obama pleaded the fifth... and you know what that means."

Quite frankly, Obama did not plead the fifth. Obama visited everyone else, gave extensive background on his plan, covered MORE bases than any other president in a single solitary morning, and also publicly told the press why he would not appear on Fox News. This doesn't hurt the actual heart of his presidency. This makes him look like a force against corruption, a corruption that wouldn't even address what his plan is let alone have a civil conversation with him.

My opponent doesn't seem to notice that it would actually appear WORSE for Obama if he appeared on Fox. Not only will people not get the true idea of his plan, but it will appear warped straight from the horse's mouth. Instead of looking to other sources to see what the inevitable health plan will consist of (and seeing this health plan in the light it is suppose to be seen in) - the viewers will get Fox's take on it, and think that Obama actually said the warped things they portrayed him to say (and they wont need to look to another network or to a newspaper - because "Obama" would have said it himself - thus helping Fox's claims DRAMATICALLY).

Obama did care about conveying his plan to the people. That is why he appeared on just about every network under the sun. His statement that Fox News is a corrupt organization helps his people just as much. He is showing them he cares enough to not to feed into the "News Network" that is brainwashing the United States masses into blind stupidity.

My opponent continues.... "Moving on, it's very true that Obama has made extraordinary efforts to be bipartisan thus far. I suspect that he'll keep it up for the next 4 years in an attempt to be re-elected; every president shows their true colors during their 2nd term."

Readers, this is irrelevant information inserted by my opponent in order to shed irrelevant bad light on Obama - BEFORE it even happens. How does my opponent know for sure that Obama will not continue contributing to the GOP? He has done more, as I noted in my former argument, than most other presidents ever have at being bipartisan. It doesn't matter what he will do in the future for his current term as presidency and the view that the conservatives should have on him NOW which is the important thing, and what we are talking about in this debate.

"Absolutely not. Bush's ratings didn't go down because the media said so. Instead, the media said so because his ratings went down."

My opponent must be delusional if she thinks that the media didn't contribute an inch to Bush's popularity decline. The media controls the majority of the President's image.

Con continues to say that Obama is punishing conservative America by not appearing on Fox News. Again, he has appeared on Fox before, and he is not punishing Fox. If conservative America can not watch any other news organization (any of the plethora of others, or even News Papers that covered what he said on television), that's their problem. His stand against Fox News does more for them than he appearing on it and getting warped for them.

Fox News is so much of an entertainment/brain washing machine that the viewers will always be on Fox's side, no matter what anyone says. As my opponent mentioned earlier that Glick and Dawkins made O'Reilly look bad - the Fox Viewers did not consider this at all. They just thought of these people as "ignorant idiots" who attacked O'Reilly because he was asking hard questions. You can't win with an audience that is conditioned to be sheep. A stand against Fox News might snap them out of this more than a warped appearance on Fox that may carry vastly harder implications.

My opponent concludes with, "I think Obama could have and should have been the bigger person in at least trying to PRESENT himself as bipartisan as much as possible."

No, Obama shows himself as a bigger person by combating corruption - by being the moral figurehead of a fight against slander in the media. The media; the one thing that informs out populace. Obama has tried, again as I've noted, more than most presidents to present himself as bipartisan - more in the beginning of his term than even (as my opponent noted) the most conservative of our presidents; George W. Bush. If the intelligent conservatives can not grasp their minds around this, and remain sticking to Fox News' garbage, then they are far more lost than I could have even imagined.

"1) Making himself look too scared to own up to Conservative newscasters
2) Not refuting false claims made about him and his policies, thus implying a verification of their legitimacy"

I have constantly given insight on number 2 - saying that verification of policies will be shown on other stations - and that his stand was making a more important point - and also that his claims would just be twisted, once again.

As for number 1 - I have also addressed this - showing that his high moral ground will make him look like a stronger president in the future - we just need to look past the current squabble we see around us. He doesn't look weak, as he is attacking the Network head on and has appeared on it in the past.

I affirm that Obama's decision to not appear on Fox News was the most moral of decisions, leading a fight against media slander poised to misinform the American public. His actions will be views as positive in the future, and his actions will also help weed out the corruption that has stupefied our American public.

Obama's decision to not appear on Fox News was a beneficial decision to his presidency. I have proved this statement as Pro. He will be viewed as moral and a man against slander. Just as President Lincoln wasn't at first viewed in a favorable light for his actions... Obama might not be in the beginning, but just like Lincoln, his stand will be noticed - and the view of his presidency will be benefited. His presidency is being put to use in favor of justice for the American people. There can be no more favorable of a stance than to bring justice and truth to the people.
Debate Round No. 3
35 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by mongoose 7 years ago
mongoose
"Moving on, it's very true that Obama has made extraordinary efforts to be bipartisan thus far."

LOL
Posted by mongoose 7 years ago
mongoose
I bumped this to the second page. I'm so proud of myself.
Posted by mongoose 7 years ago
mongoose
This is an example of two uninformed liberals debating over FOX.
Posted by tBoonePickens 7 years ago
tBoonePickens
I think RoyL is 100% on the $$.
Posted by Vi_Veri 7 years ago
Vi_Veri
Well if I helped change your mind from being adamant to indecisive, I've done my job : )
Posted by Danielle 7 years ago
Danielle
You did a really, really good job. I'm actually here nor there on this one.
Posted by Vi_Veri 7 years ago
Vi_Veri
lol I know babe, I agree with most of what you had to say - my stance as Pro was mostly for a fun way to debate you : )
Posted by Danielle 7 years ago
Danielle
"Obama shows himself as a bigger person by combating corruption"

Only to the people who ALREADY LIKE him. Everyone else will be cocky and think he's a puss.
Posted by Vi_Veri 7 years ago
Vi_Veri
lol I tried to make the president look good for this, phew! :p I hope I somewhat did it justice : )
Posted by tempest1523 7 years ago
tempest1523
I would like to say if you research it, It was Fox television not FoxNews which did not show the President's speech. Fox tv decided to show "Dancing with the Stars", which was a tactful move and very effective for them! Their ratings for that night was very high... I think it was not very politically motivated as it was financially. FoxNews DID show the Presidents speech... So any argument against Foxnews for not doing something that the did in fact do is just plain silly.

That's like trying to blame MSNBC and their talk show commentators for NBC not showing the Presidents speech. Wouldn't fit there...
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