Fox News’s power is overrated

I want to share this link with readers of this blog.

It comes from Jack Schafer, senior media writer for Politico. com and it offers an interesting analysis of the power that Fox News has — or doesn’t have — on the rest of the media and the voting public.

Schafer’s analysis is most interesting in that he relies heavily on the thoughts of a known political conservative — Bruce Bartlett — to make the case that Fox’s actual power overrated.

Bartlett has served as a key policy guy for Republican presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush and remains devoted to his political principles. He believes Fox is hindering his party’s effort to advance and to return to the White House. Fox News, he contends, is appealing to the narrowest wing of the GOP.

Schafer notes an element of Fox’s strategy that I found quite interesting: “One thing Bartlett gets absolutely right in his critique is how Fox seized on the repeal of government censorship of the airwaves (also known as the Fairness Doctrine and the equal-time rule) to create a news outlet that would cater to the country’s underserved conservative audience. You don’t have to be a Fox fan to credit the network with reintroducing ideological competition to the news business, which began to fade at the midpoint of the 20th century.”

I don’t watch Fox News routinely. Maybe I should. It leans away from where I lean; I suppose the older I get the more vulnerable I feel when my blood pressure elevates as the veins in my neck start throbbing. For that matter, I am having trouble watching MSNBC these days, but for a vastly different reason: MSNBC’s predictable liberal slant has become boring.

Schafer takes note of “reliably liberal” New York Times columnist Frank Rich’s assessment of Fox News: “The median age of a Fox viewer is 68, eight years older than the MSBNC and CNN median age, and its median age is rising. ‘Fox is in essence a retirement community,’ Rich writes, and a small one at that! ‘The million or so viewers who remain fiercely loyal to the network are not, for the most part, and as some liberals still imagine, naïve swing voters who stumble onto Fox News under the delusion it’s a bona fide news channel and then are brainwashed by Ailes’s talking points into becoming climate-change deniers,’ he writes.”

The bottom line is that Fox News isn’t the political juggernaut its viewers think it is.

This is a most interesting analysis. Take a look.


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