Pete Schulberg/On Television
TV coverage of the war kept e-mails sailing in at a rapid clip, many of them focusing on the merits of CNN versus Fox News Channel.
Here's a sample:
'While most of what you say I can agree with, I resent the implication that those of us who watch Fox News Channel are right-wing or conservative. É I am patriotic which I believe does not necessarily classify me either as a liberal or conservative. I find CNN too negative in its slant.'
James Covert, Portland
The best journalists are those with built-in skepticism. And I think, generally, the same can be said for news organizations, including CNN.
But negative? During its war coverage, I've seen no negative bias at CNN. On the contrary, it has provided the most extensive reports from its embedded reporters. Fox likes to play the patriotic card and tends to feature stories and newsmakers conservatives might be attracted to.
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'Your apparent enthusiasm for all things CNN is certainly not original. I understand your bias against Fox News Channel. It is fashionable with most television critics to bash it whenever possible.'
Rollie Robinson, Portland
I've bashed CNN, too. I can't stand most of their studio anchors. But on a daily basis during the war, Fox's resources and talent were no match for CNN.
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'Bill O'Reilly 'over-opinionated?' I would buy 'hyperopinionated,' but never 'over-opinionated.' '
Gus Miller, Portland
At least I got the 'opinionated' part right. Love him or hate him, O'Reilly has never bought into the word 'objective.'
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'How come the local stations are billing their normal news as 'Special Edition' shows? The 11 p.m. news is still the 11 p.m. news. Shouldn't a 'Special Edition' be at a different time?'
Scott Strauss, Beaverton
During the Nielsen ratings sweeps, stations will occasionally retitle their late news and alter the format on nights when they think they're going to get swamped by the competition. This way, their ratings wouldn't be averaged into the Nielsen mix. For instance, when NBC owned Thursday night viewership with 'Seinfeld' and 'ER,' it wasn't unusual for KOIN (6) or KATU (2) to retitle their 11 p.m. newscasts. During the war, some networks and stations are using 'Special War Edition' and other variations to get you to watch.