Meant to write about this last week but I was on the way out of town for a three-day wedding weekend: It was interesting to watch the Drudge Report and Fox News resist reporting on the Fort Hood shooting when it first happened.
The massacre occurred the same day as the Republicans' precious little tea party protest of the health care bill on Capitol Hill, and Drudge had a good 10 links at the top left of his page in the afternoon about how the health care bill is long and Nancy Pelosi is evil/incompetent, etc. Drudge kept his focus on the GOP's health care protest long after news of the shooting broke. Finally, and reluctantly, Drudge snapped out of his denial. Dozens mowed down and more than 10 killed by a gunman on a military base? I guess that's the news of the day.
When I went to the gym around 6 p.m., CNN was exclusively focused on the shooting, but Fox would break away for lengthy segments on the GOP's now thoroughly eclipsed health care pow-wow. Normally, I think cable news fixates too much on whatever is determined to be the story of the day, which invariably leads to toxic levels of mindless blather and "analysis" by commentators. The BBC, from what I understand, has a much more balanced approach, where unless a meteor has struck a major city they'll cycle from the major news of the day to other stories, because stuff happening in one place doesn't mean stuff stops happening everywhere else.
But you could tell the real issue was that Fox is so invested in promoting the tea parties and the GOP's manufactured outrage against health care reform that it couldn't bear to rip its focus away completely from the latest little gathering. The odd thing is normally a Muslim opening fire on soldiers at a military base would be kind of right up their alley. But Fox -- led by Glenn Beck -- has put itself squarely behind these tea party protests, trying to make it seem like these people make up more than a fraction of the population.
In case you haven't seen it by the way, here's a bit by "The Daily Show" on how Fox responded to the Obama administration's claim of bias by inadvertently acknowledging that it's not in the news business.