From a January 28 column about KVVU-TV Fox 5 in the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
“We're as fair and balanced as they're not,” says Fox-5 news director Adam P. Bradshaw, referring to Fox News Channel, which -- as any sentient human within earshot of a Glenn Beck crying jag knows -- is the Republicans' de facto PR machine. “We don't have an agenda.”
Yet viewer perceptions of FNC's red-meat, red-state dogma can carry over unfairly to Fox broadcast affiliates -- the Vegas affiliate included, based on some feedback to this columnist -- stung by the ideological guilt-by-association syndrome that turned the phrase “fair and balanced” into a bad media joke.
Last fall, the Fox News brand was further vilified when the White House criticized the cable prattler like an A-student calling out the school bully.
“Some viewers draw that connection,” Bradshaw says. “Most have never been able to tell a network from a local (station). I'll get on a plane in my Fox-5 jacket and somebody goes, 'I love (Fox News Channel's) Shepard Smith!' Or hate him. But it doesn't have any impact on our coverage.”
Some broadcast affiliates are indeed inclined to ape their cable cousin's tea-partying rhetoric -- the “O&Os” owned and operated by Fox, rather than independents such as Fox-5, run by the Meredith Corp. “Their (O&Os) coverage is more in line with the Fox attitude,” Bradshaw says. “We're not following their political agenda in any way, shape or form.”