Fair and Balanced
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|Stop the presses!|
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"Fair and Balanced" is the slogan of Fox "Faux" News. It means that their overall quality is at best fair, and that their "news" is balanced with a strong dose of commentary, to make sure the viewer gets the talking points clearly. In reality, Fox News is about as "balanced" as Conservapedia is "trustworthy".
 Intended meaning
Fox News sees the whole media as having a liberal bias. Along with their other slogan of
"We Distort, You Deride" "We Report, You Decide," Fox can give the impression that it is factual and that viewers are allowed to make up their own minds as to the political ramifications of the story in question. This applies to everything, from reporting government spending to Barack Obama's birth certificate.
 Actual meaning
As with many media outlets with a strong political view, Fox News sees the "mainstream" media as highly biased to a liberal viewpoint and even politically moderate media as liberally biased. (This is understandable, because it is almost impossible to view something as unbiased when you, yourself, have a bias. It's also difficult to recognize a bias when you actually agree with it.) It tries to counteract this perceived bias by "balancing" the news. In practice, this results in a massive swing to the political right, with Fox News being unashamedly biased towards presenting right-wing politics as good and liberal politics as the work of Satan himself. The term "Fair and Balanced" acts as a smokescreen to hide the obvious bias from its viewers.