Slow moving train wreck: so Fox News wants to remake itself into CNN/MSNBC?

by Skip

fox-news-logoFrom Robert Conquests Three Laws of Politics (sometimes also called O’Sullivan’s Law):

2) Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing.

I, along with a lot of other people, have been watching Fox New moving from being that network that came into being by serving the audience that the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) and the existing cable news networks disdained – conservatives – to being what I’d now call “Fox News Lite”.  It’s hard edge has softened and it seems that it’s rightward stances are moving, faster and faster, to the middle and sometimes, left of center.  Lately, I’ve been wondering how much longer it would keep its value add for conservative – a network that doesn’t necessarily pander to us but certainly didn’t insult us outright.  It hasn’t gotten to the latter yet but as it continues its slide from the Right, is it just a matter of time?  This snippet is from a post over at American Thinker that brings up how Fox is sinking in the ratings – it seems that a good chunk of audience is saying BUH-BYE:

Fox News did come in second to MSNBC and CNN depending on the audience metric, so the ratings picture could have been worse – except when you consider that one year ago, and for the fifteen years before that, Fox News almost always won the ratings in both total viewers and the preferred demographic by wide margins, sometimes with higher numbers than both CNN and MSNBC combined.

So it is clear that the lineup it has right now ain’t doing the job.  “Special Report” is fine (although the round table has drifted even as I like that they are rotating different people through (but again, that “edge” thing).  Frankly, I thought O’Reilly had become too much of a self-important blowhard for me to spend my time with and I did like “The Five” and have missed it at 5pm – “The Specialists” did nothing for me as background sound at the end of the day while either cooking dinner or playing with the Grandson at the end of the work day.  I like Tucker Carlson’s interviews but I’m not going to watch ANY channel ad nauseum during the evening hours (so I DVR him at play it either at 5pm or during the weekend).  It’s just either gone “blah” or inconvenient – we’re not watching as much of it as we used to so we’re part of that slump in ratings.

Will this help? I dunno, overall:

Fox’s immediate remedy is to shuffle its schedule starting around Labor Day when it is expected that the under-performing program The Five will return to its 5 P.M. E.T. time period, freeing up 9 P.M. for Hannity and 10 P.M. for, presumably, a new show starring Laura Ingraham. However, with the growing influence on Fox News of the liberal Murdoch Boys, and their equally left-leaning wives, it is unclear how long the new execs at 21st Century Fox will tolerate Hannity – and Tucker Carlson – in prime time. If President Trump’s popularity continues to decline and if the Deep State’s moves to impeach the president succeed in gaining momentum, all bets are off.

I don’t know.  Glad to see “The Five” going back to 5pm.  Not a big Hannity fan but he’s on mostly when I’m watching History, Discovery, et al “reality” programs about more normal lives and vocations (yes, I know they are “staged” as well – but for an example, I have been enjoying the latest series of “Battle Bots” for the engineering that goes into them).  If they were to take off Tucker, it would be one more reason not to watch.

Once again, will there be a void in the “News marketplace” for a person such as myself?  And will it be sufficiently wide and deep such that some other entrepreneur with access to (a lot) cash might go “Time to eat their lunch” with a new startup to the same audience that finds itself “underserved” once again?

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  • Nick Martin

    Now, are you sure it’s Fox moving to the left, or are you moving further to the right? Just a curious question. Or, maybe Fox is just confused about who it should be pandering to: Trump supporters or the rest of the Republican party.

    • Tom F

      Nope – As someone who has been watching Fox for a couple of decades, I can say that the Murdoch boys are intentionally moving it left. You can be sure they have their long knives out for Hannity, and, to a lesser extent, Judge Jeanine. I notice that Tucker hardly ever states an opinion – he just ridicules the leftists dumb enough to expose themselves – and he will sooner or later be deemed expendable. But, as mentioned, the shift is causing them major chunks of audience share, thus major chunks of cash – they really are becoming just another ABCCBSCNNMSNBC, and I wonder if corporate management will continue to allow that. I now spend more time on Fox Business – for now.

  • Bryan W

    Except Trump’s support (at least prior to Bannon leaving) has been steady or increasing. The polls still are not asking the right questions of the right people, and therefore are essentially engineered to produce the desired result for the 6:00 news.

    I think what’s happening at Fox is the more they mirror the other cable networks, the
    Trump supporters and conservatives (which is a Venn diagram with a large overlap) have been hemorrhaging away since the election. I watch Tucker, and occasionally Hannity, but that’s it. I can’t believe they hired that Obama-liar Marie Harf as a commentator. Harf just parrots the leftist talking points – “all air up there.” They also keep getting rid of Bob Beckel (which I understand is his problem) but Bob has a conservative following because he helps us understand the liberal mindset.

    The pushing out of O’Reilly was as much about the pushing out without evidence as it was about the shift. O’Reilly wasn’t a Trump supporter. The railroading of Eric Bolling is another example of this shift. Yes, a Trump supporter, but an economic conservative.

    My mother (89 yo) stopped watching Fox when they pushed out Greta. She didn’t care much for O’Reilly, but the real reason is not the content – she can’t stand shows where the guests/panelists/personalities talk over each other, which is now the entirety of cable news.

    Megan Kelly was overhyped and overinflated – and was allowed to try to steamroll Trump at the debate, and that backfired. She jumped ship on that credential, and has spiraled down faster than a jet with no tail. Most everyone I know on the GOP side of things said “good riddance.”

    Some of it also is people don’t want to hear the constant browbeating of Trump from the media, which Fox has become part of. Love him or hate him, no President in the modern era has taken this kind of beating from the press constantly from before day 1.

    And then there is the establishment – wolves in the fold – jockeying for more limelight by bashing Trump.

    Americans, largely, have a sense of fair play. Fox was good when they played to that sense, but since they have strayed, people have left.

    That’s my $.01 analysis.

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