Monday, October 26, 2009

What’s Behind the Administration's War on Fox News?...

Liberals have railed against Fox News (FNC) for over a decade, apparently moving to open attack only when ignoring FNC proved futile, given FNC’s HUGE ratings advantage over the other 24-hour news stations.

What IS new is an administration openly going after FNC the way the Nixon administration went after the Washington Post.

The initial assaults focused on “Fox being Right-wing.”

Compared to what?

Yes, a Centrist news outlet looks “Right” when compared to a monolithic Left-of-center news landscape, but FNC has always been the best station at presenting both sides and labeling BOTH Conservative and Liberal hosts, something the left-of-center news outlets rarely, if ever, do, as though they see liberal guests as “moderates” or holders of a “prevailing view.”

In fact, according to the latest Gallup Poll, Conservatives outnumber Liberals by nearly 2 to 1 in this country, so if anything a Right-of-Center view would be more the “mainstream or prevailing view,” wouldn’t it?

As one liberal critic has put it, "If FOX News wasn't "right-wing", they wouldn't have an audience!"

Which is a fair point, one that highlights the fact that maybe if the other networks became more traditionalist and Center-Right, they'd pick up more of an audience as well, BUT ideology ISN'T the reason the current administration used to attempt to deny FNC access, they claimed they have a "Commentator-driven format," as if the other news networks didn't.

FNC's news people (Major Garret, Wendall Golar, Megan Kelly, Chris Wallace, Brett Baier, Harris Faulkner and Shepard Smith) are all straight-down-the-line news people.

Moreover, EVERY other news outlet runs pure commentary in their Prime Time slots, from CNN's Larry King (celebrity interviews), Campbell Brown (reliably Left), Lou Dobbs (Center-Right) and Soledad O'Brien (reliably Left), to MSNBC's Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow (ALL faaaar-Left)....all those "news" networks are ALL commentary ALL the Prime Time....same as FNC with O'Reilly (even more Centrist than Dobbs), Hannity (reliably Right) and Van Sustern (high-profile crime reporting).

As one would expect the other networks have refused to do any interviews or Press Conferences in which FNC is not allowed.

That's a wise move on their part, because they know that not only could this could spread to Republican and Conservative Pols doing likewise to networks they don’t favor, but even this administration going after some of the other networks should they run a story at all critical of the current administration.

Some critics have assailed Fox News’ “Right-wing agenda” and then claimed commentators not associated with Fox News as their targets!

As that same liberal critic put it, "Why are they even denying their Right-wing agenda?"

For example, take this exchange between Limbaugh and Bush Sr. from the 8-1-08 Limbaugh show....” (a Liberal critic)


Rush Limbaugh is a Clear Channel Talk Radio commentator and NOT associated with FNC, or News Corp in any way.

In fact, in their actual news reporting, FNC's news reporters do far LESS "in news story commentary" than do organizations like ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC and the NY Times.

When FNC was recently excluded from a journalist's pool for an interview with Kenneth Feinberg, the other networks all rallied around FNC, rightly fearing that they could each be next should they run any stories this administration doesn't like.

IF those other networks really DIDN'T consider FNC an actual news organization (like themselves) one would've expected them to have embraced the administration's actions....but of course, they did not.

Fox’s critics wash ashore upon the shoals of ideological hypocrisy when they fail to have any problem at all with some of FNC’s even more ideologically tilted competitors. For instance, FNC is far more Centrist than MSNBC, which has countered Fox's Center-Right commentary position with its own far-Left commentary anchored by the likes of Olbermann, Maddow and Matthews.

Even comparing Fox News to the more “mainstream” of its competitors, is more or less like comparing the Wall Street Journal to the NY Times.

The NY Times WAS the news standard, it is no more.

The NY Times loses money, while the WSJ rakes in tons of cash.

The WSJ’s Commentary section is dominated by pro-market and Right-of-Center commentators, while the NY Times’ Commentary section is dominated by left-of-center, largely anti-market commentators.

The NY Times has been losing market share, while the WSJ has been gaining market share.

There’s a similar patter across the media landscape, the overwhelmingly Center-Right American people choose voices they like, voices that resonate with themselves.

They tend to like Fox News and the Wall Street Journal and Conservative Talk Radio and they tend to dislike left-of-center news outlets, the NY Times, local left-of-center newspapers and Air America Radio.

What’s going on now is that one set of ideas is triumphing in the marketplace. The people are speaking loudly and clearly about their own preferences.

There’s really nothing for government to do in this, it has no dog in this fight. Let the marketplace decides which ideas win favor and which do not.

Right now, those espoused by the likes of Fox News are winning out, which is why this administration’s dust-up with Fox News is a very poor strategy going forward in a predominantly Center-Right country.


Loren Gapp another joe the plumber or joe the truck driver said...

I used to get mad when I watched Madcow or nO'Brain and now I just laugh at the lies and Stupidity of them, and those who are Nieve enough to buy into their trash.

We all have seen the leftist news papers falling by the way side and going under in great numbers by the day so how much longer do madcow and nO'Brain think they have left ? only as long as this administration will last and that will not be beyond 01/13 NO MORE OBAMA. and that is if he is not impeached before then. There is no kinda left or kinda right you are eathier right or left, Hence left becoming more associated with communist,socialist, not what can I do for my Country but what will my Country do for ME ME ME ME !

Skunkfeathers said...

This kind of media bashing in a limited market might have worked in a town like Chicago, where the corrupt political machine has the power it does; but when it's tried on a national venue, it just makes all the president's idiots look like...idiots.

FOX has benefitted from the controversy, and Barry looks like a bungling rube. He and his staffers.

JMK said...

Well Loren, the GOOD news is that it looks like GE is considering selling NBC (which includes MSNBC, of course) to Comcast Cable, which COULD BE a step Up....hard to imagine a step DOWN from where MSNBC is now.

JMK said...

FNC really HAS benefitted from all this SF.....even Beck (their number 1 target) has seen his ratings skyrocket.

Nixon made a fatal mistake in going after the Washington Post in the early 1970s.....the current administration seems to be taking a page from Tricky Dick.

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