Fox News Network


For my analysis on the topic surrounding the conversation on birth control I chose to use The O’Reilly Factor, a show on Fox News Network, covering an episode named, “Is mandating Preventative Care a Good Idea?” As each group member has chosen a specific network to analyze, I researched shows on the Fox News Network covering the discussion of birth control.

As I read through the transcript of Bill O’Reilly’s show, “The O’Reilly Factor,” I see a clear division between gender and the opinions of those genders. This episode is covering the topic of mandating birth control as preventative care. O’Reilly opens the show by sharing that he will be covering the, “‘Unresolved Problem’ segment tonight. Many Americans, including this one, were angry that the huge Obama care legislation was passed without many politicians even reading it. One of the provisions of the new law mandates that on January 1, 2013, private insurance companies will have to pay for things like breast feeding support, birth control for women and, quote, ‘well woman doctor visits,’ whatever that may be.” I find it to be an organizational tool, backed by this network, to frame this show with O’Reilly’s opinion, which is in opposition of implementing birth control as preventative care, in order to set the precedent for the remainder of the show. Considering his show is a primetime political news program, his opinion must coincide with the agenda of the network in order to keep their audience continually engaged. He points out in the first line of his program that he, like many Americans, is angry that the huge Obama care legislation was passed, which instantly tells the viewers whether the debate on his show will be in favor or in opposition of this discussion on mandating birth control as preventative care. O’Reilly has on his show two doctors, one family practice physician, Kathleen London, as well as Doctor Marc Siegal. O’Reilly asks London if she shares his opinion on these government programs harming the economy in which she replies, “I actually do not. Because we’ve been shown, and if you look around the world, preventative services actually save us a ton of money.” This immediately places Dr. London, the female, in opposition of O’Reilly, the male and host of the show, which encourages the audience to disagree with her opinion if they agree with the opinions of the network. They continue to discuss the financial aspect of the implementation of this program until Dr. Siegal comes in with an opinion on the entirety of the subject. Dr. Siegal shares, “I totally disagree with Dr. London on this. First of all, birth control pills can actually increase the rate of sexually transmitted diseases, No. 1. No. 2, if using a birth control pill, you may not use a condom. So you have more unwanted pregnancies. No. 3, if I’m paying for somebody’s vasectomy or tubal ligations, who’s going to pay for cardiac stent if I need it? Because insurers will turn around and, if one thing is mandated, they’ll turn around and block another one.” Now, half way through this segment, it is clear to the audience that the men disagree with the implementation of birth control as preventative care, and the woman agrees with birth control being covered under preventative care. The show has now come to a point where you must chose a binary. The audience is being asked to either associate with a strong, intelligent man who disagrees with women being able to receive free birth control through their insurance or to agree with a dependent, radical feminist, who is in favor of the government mandating insurance companies to cover preventative care. By the close of the show O’Reilly and Siegal, the two men, have managed to degrade London’s opinion and reinforce theirs as he ends by stating, “You say personal responsibility should prevail. I say the greater good is served by more personal responsibility, because it just harms everybody, all the consumers and all the business.

Works Cited

(August 2, 2011 Tuesday ). Is Mandating Preventative Care a Good Idea?. Fox News Network, Retrieved from http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/lnacademic

Allan, Stuart. News Culture. Maidenhead: Open University Press, 2004. Print.

“The Handbook of Discourse Analysis.” Forum for Modern Language Studies. 39.1 (2003): 103. Print.

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