“Fair” and “Balanced” Are Not the Same — and Sometimes It’s Not Even Close

Michael Austin
The Collector
Published in
5 min readOct 30, 2020

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The executives at Fox News didn’t create the false equivalency between “fair” and “balanced,” but they certainly turned it into a national catchphrase before abandoning their network tag line in 2016. The phrase itself invokes an intuitive human belief that fairness means treating all sides of a dispute equally. This is flat-out wrong, but it can sometimes lead…

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Michael Austin
The Collector

Michael Austin is a former English professor and current academic administrator. He is the author of We Must Not Be Enemies: Restoring America’s Civic Tradition