Columnist Makes the Case for Fox News to Evolve Into a Less Partisan Network

Aug 24, 2016  •  Post A Comment

While he’s not arguing with the success of Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch in building Fox News Channel into a $1.5 billion-a-year profit machine, columnist Jack Shafer, writing on Politico, recaps the channel’s success story and makes the argument that FNC may have hit its ceiling as it caters to a mostly right-leaning audience.

“As it turns out … the number of conservative meat eaters is quite small — an average of 1.35 million viewers tune in to Fox News Channel, and its best-rated show, ‘The O’Reilly Factor,’ attracts only 3.4 million, and most come from the oldest demographic,” Shafer writes, noting parenthetically that these numbers are inflated for an election year. He contrasts the numbers with the no longer attainable 40 million viewers who once tuned in for traditional network news.

Shafer suggests that the Murdoch brothers, James and Lachlan, who are increasingly stepping up to run Fox News, “tilt the network harder in the direction of conscientious journalists like Megyn Kelly and Chris Wallace, and away from its honey badgers — notably Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and the ‘Fox & Friends’ crew. Both Kelly and Wallace are deserving of larger audiences than they get, and maybe one of the reasons their numbers aren’t larger is because new viewers are put off by the channel’s reputation for honey-badger journalism.”

Click on the link to Politico near the top of this story to read Shafer’s full analysis.

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  1. One of the reasons that people no longer trust “mainstream” news has a lot to do with Fox’s partisan leanings. Now of course they are not the only guilty parties out there, but they have been the most proudly vocal. If you want your news slanted towards your already established belief system, then Fox was the place to go. However, if you want your news without any left or right bias, it is difficult to find a trustworthy source. Thus, a lot of people have just given up, tired of the propaganda that is constantly being blared out to them from TV and talk radio “news”.

  2. Honey Badger Journalism? That’s a new one. I’ll have to google that. I did. Supposedly, Honey Badger is a term that refers to an organization or person that doesn’t care about anything.

    But Fox News is not journalism in ANY sense of the word. It’s a far right wing propaganda machine.

  3. Pretty much all of the other networks are completely biased for the democrats. If you notice, Fox always has a Left leaning pundit with it’s others. This makes it the most fair and balanced news out there. Have you seen the CNN’s of the world react when someone questions them? Compare that to the jovial banter coming from both sides on Fox. Read Stonewalled by Sheryl Atkinson.

  4. Mark, you hit the nail on the head. Not sure Tim or Scott will see the logic in it though.
    Consider the source: “Politico.” Scan their headlines today. It’s all positive spin on Hillary (not a peep about her current troubles which are far too numerous to list) and headlines like: Flake: Trump cannot and should not win.” For every headline propping Hillary up, there’s a corresponding headline castigating Trump. I guess I could wait for Shafer to write a column about how badly NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN and MSNBC slant the news. Heck, the New York Times even has an editor on record as stating “normally we should just report the news. But this election is a special circumstance.” Now “normally” the NYT slants the heck out of the news and has for years. Imagine how hard their slanting THIS time around. The pretense of journalistic ethics has been exposed as the fraud it has been for years.

  5. If you understand how network ratings are calculated, then you understand FOX News Channel’s success.
    What counts is the total minutes viewed. CNN has more people watching. Fox has fewer people watching for a much longer time. Conservative white males listen to right wing radio a lot longer than any other group. They also watch FOX News longer. Therefore, FOX wins.

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