Two Fox News questions

  1. How much has FNC changed since its launch in 1996? I started watching in the late 90’s. It seems, in hindsight, that FNC actually was more “Fair and Balanced” then than it is now. Now it’s obviously been taken over by a bunch of PC milquetoasts who won’t stand up for Good Conservative Values.

I kid, I kid. No, it seems to be that it’s been shifting farther right and getting more rabid.

  1. FNC likes to point out that they have more viewers than everybody else combined times eleventy. Is this just evidence that conservatives are likely to be more insular and view news that closely reflects their views, and that progressives are more likely to access multiple sources of information?

Well, for your second question, I’d say this: Whether you think Fox is fair and everyone else is liberal, or if you think Fox is slanted right and everyone else is fair, in either case it’s Fox against Everyone Else. So naturally they are going to get a larger share than the others, because all the others are “splitting” their viewership while Fox stands alone.

  1. No idea. Never watched it, never will.

  2. I think there is something to the notion that conservatives watch television or listen to talk radio to reinforce what they already believe. This is I believe why Air America floundered while Rush and Hannity thrive. There is most definitely an alternative reality that right wingers live in whereas left wingers are much more open to opposing views. MSNBC has Joe Scarborough, FOX has … nobody from the left.

I think it is simply knowing your market.

Fox News preaches to their choir - and if you are one of those choir members who wants to hear that Obama is the devil and liberals are all going to hell, then you are in the correct congregation with Fox.

To be fair, some of the other news outlets have more liberal choirs who prefer to have their preachers explain why conservatives are dumber than dirt, so there are some options for them as well.

I think what many of us “old timers” miss is fair and unbiased news - back when they would put two equally intelligent people on camera to discuss events from both sides and let you decide.

My liberal bias blames Rupert Murdock (thanks, Australia, for sending him up here) for turning Fox into the rabid, hate-mongering, zealously biased mouthpiece of the crazed conservative minorities - pandering to the uneducated bigots wearing tinfoil hats. But hey, you find your market, create your niche and make a ton of money…the American Way.

Well, when I’ve watched Fox News with my mom (She likes it. I don’t.), I always detected a heavy conservative bias. When I would point this out to my mom, she would usually say something about how Fox reports stuff not in the “mainstream” media, and they report the important things.

So it depends on who you ask. I would say yes, it is shifting more and more to the right.

Fox News is eventually going to turn into The Onion.

It was pure genius of Rupert Murdock to turn Fox News into a conservative network. The conservative community believed assuredly, whether real or imagined, that all the other news outlets were hard left leaning and were in need of the truth.

I agree with the OP that they were legitimate in the beginning and now evolved into they joke that they are.

Unlikely. The Onion is satire. Fox News is gaslighting and trolling.

As to your second question I think demographics play a large part. The part of the population that watches large amounts of cable news programming tend to be VERY old. And the very old tend to be VERY conservative. So it’s not so surprising that a conservative-leaning all-news cable network would do well.

I didn’t detect any particular slant in Fox News at the outset.

Roger Ailes hatched his dream of a right wing propaganda channel when he was working for president Richard Nixon. Many years later, he got the chance to pitch it to Rupert Murdoch. Soon after the birth of the FNC, he went through the offices (figuratively) with a machete, asking if each staffer was on the conservative team, or would be getting a pink slip.

Interesting. How would you know if there was “nobody from the left” if you’ve “never watched it, never will”?

And you’re wrong, by the way. Off the top of my head, there are liberal contributors Juan Williams, Alan Combs, Lanny Davis, and Bob Beckel, plus a host of guest contributors. Unless you invalidate them all as liberals automatically in a “no true Scotsman” sort of way.

Let’s see the schedule. Let’s see…

Megyn “White Santa” Kelly
Halfwitty
Van Sustern
The Five- Oh yeah, Juan Williams is 1/5 of the show
Fox & Friends
Gretchen Carlson
Billo The Clown

Just seeing a lot of balance there, sorry.

I thought Fox was your comedy news channel.

This is my take as well.

I just watched Megyn Kelly interview James Carville on Fox News Channel. No! Wait a minute!! James Carville is “from the left.” And BobLibDem has told us in no uncertain terms that “FOX has … nobody from the left.” And BobLibDem wouldn’t lie. Even though he has “Never watched it, never will.” So I must have hallucinated the whole thing. Sorry about that.

Yeah, people who read The Onion are in on the joke. (OK, most of the people reading The Onion are in on the joke.) :wink:

I have been watching Fox News for a long time, but not so much anymore. I don’t have cable anymore so it makes it difficult, though I still will visit their webpage. Here’s what I can say.

Back when I started watching Fox News, in around 2000 (I was but 14 years old then), I thought it was great. I really did feel like they tried to be fair and balanced. I also watched CNN and never really felt they were liberally biased.

By 2004-2006, they had started to slant pretty hard right. I still watched O’Reilly regularly, but he was starting to lose any liberal or moderate positions he ever held.

I still thought, “Well maybe having a network that balances out a slight liberal bias in the other networks is actually a good thing.”

Fast forward to the Obama election and it has been all downhill since then. They have become a joke of a network. I watch them only for entertainment value. O’Reilly has become a cranky, terrible old man who parrots hard-right talking points verbatim, non stop. He is a hypocrite and his “no spin zone” while it used to once mean something, means nothing now.

The Obama re-election was a thing of beauty on FNC. The denial of Carl Rove and confusion on the set was hilarious. The run up to it was brilliant as well, how they would talk about how you couldn’t trust the polls except for the ones that showed Romney ahead or just barely behind.

FNC is a complete and utter waste of everything, and I would classify it as an active source of evil and misinformation in the world.

But 95% of the blame should go to Roger Ailes, not Rupert Murdoch.

I don’t know what you consider rabid, but I will point out that FOX hasn’t shifted further right. The other organizations have shifted further left. FOX is still pretty much moderate - they’ll tee off on anyone, right or left. MSNBC, CNN, et al - nah, if you’re a lib, you get a pass unless it is so egregious they it can’t be ignored or spun.

If by “tee off” you mean “accidentally put a (D) next to their name”, then yes.