with friends like these…

In case you’ve missed it, the conservative pundit class has been decidedly bristly about the revolution in Egypt. Arguably the fastest and most peaceful pro-Democracy revolution we’ve ever seen—a 30-year dictator run out of his country after 18 days of protests—and what are we getting from those on the right? Depends on which one you’re looking at. Glenn Beck, the moonbat in chief, has staked out a position that this is the great armageddon for Christians around the world. Why does he believe that? No one truly knows, but that’s how he is; long on rhetoric, short on facts, sense and reality. The scary part is people believe him. Witness Beck doing what Beck does best: spew utter bullshit from his mouth.

Yes, the left has its fair share of moonbats. From 9/11 truthers to Michael Moore, the tinfoil hat industry does just fine on the liberal side of the aisle. They key difference? We don’t elect them nor elevate them to the same levels of serious discussion you see on Fox News with the likes of Beck and whichever blonde bimbo is destroying the facts over there.

Full disclosure: I like Michael Moore. I find him entertaining. I think most liberal-minded people do. I also find he occasionally makes good sense of an issue. But I also realize his movies and his perspectives are his and his alone. He arrives at many conclusions in the same fashion as Glenn Beck. He doesn’t make things up, but his connections are often tenuous. Yes, Moore has his own true believers, I get that. But I am not one of them. And many on the left agree. You won’t hear a failed Democratic VP nominee make public statements through Michael Moore. You won’t see that same VP candidate stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Moore at a rally in D.C. like certain other failed VP nominees. In other words, we like him, but we know he’s not a serious player. He’s making money and good for him.

Which is why I find it both exasperating and typical that Fox News’ solution to tamping down the anti-Glenn Beck crowd who say he’s gone too far (again) is to give him an audience with Bill O’Reilly to “debate” his position. This is neither fair, nor balanced. You’ve taken your moonbattiest moonbat and given him the largest audience he’ll ever receive by going on the most popular primetime cable news program in the US. This brings us back to the problem with Fox News’ wrongheaded approach to “fair and balanced.”

If a prominent radio host makes impassioned arguments contending 2 + 2 = 3, that host does not deserve equal time in the name of fair and balanced. Fox has taken the cornerstone of journalism and turned it into an ironic slogan by missing the point. Fair and balanced means practicing journalism rooted in facts. Just because people think any media outside of Fox News is the evil liberal media doesn’t mean it’s true. And just because Glenn Beck takes up three chalkboards to tell the world how there’s a Muslim caliphate afoot doesn’t make him correct or deserving of additional time to poison the airwaves.

Once again, Fox News has failed and failed miserably. You want to see journalism in action on Egypt? You should’ve been watching Anderson Cooper on CNN or Richard Engel on NBC. They nailed it. Fox? Well, they staked out a position that placated their audience, satiated them with what they wanted to hear so as to protect their empire and keep the ad dollars rolling in. But don’t mistake for one second anything they’ve done about Egypt was fair and balanced. Not even when they stage a “debate” between two conservatives on the matter.

Would you remain friends with someone who lies and half truths just to make money? So why do you tolerate it from people who call themselves journalists? I’ll never understand how being the proud dunce succeeds.

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