Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: FOX NEWS OLD NEWS???

Tuesday, May 04, 2010


The days of Fox News being the main channel of the White House seem to be coming to a close after being the preferred channel for the Bush administration. Owned by Rupert Murdoch, Fox's coverage of politics seems heavily in favor of the Republican Party, with Murdoch being a very vocal Right Winger himself. This favoritism towards the Republicans leads many to believe that this network was best to cover Bush, considering it showed him in the most favorable light. As the picture indicates, during the elections, there were a lot of slanderous comments, ads, and news segments made towards Obama, and it will be hard for them to now be seemingly supportive of the president elect.

Being Bush's main channel during his presidency, Fox has been able to take a lead in ratings over CNN and MSNBC for the past 7 years heading into the Obama administration. Being such a heavily Right Winged channel, there is some concern on the network's end that the other companies can catch up, considering how anti-Obama as the station has been during the presidential campaign.

Although they are not completely overhauling their lineups, they are planning to make some adjustments to their shows, similarly like they did during Bill Clinton's stay in office. Bill O'Reilly, Roger Ailes, and newly added Glen Beck (also Right Wing), all have new contracts that will last 4 years, through Obama's first elected term in office.

Fox claims their ratings shouldn't drop because they provide "the news in a fair and balanced way and put on a very good product." People and movies such as "Outfoxed" show that nothing could be further from the truth. Murdoch and Fox have been exposed for showing heavy favoritism for the Republicans in their shows. "Some people say" is one tactic they have used in the past to put their biased thoughts and notions out there without really having any legitimate credibility to back their stance. Another cheap tactic the channel has adopted has been during political discussions, they will put a stronger Republican speaker up against a weak and shabby looking Democrat who is usually not as well versed and up to par on political topics as their counter part. This leads viewers to discredit the Democratic in favor of the more knowledgeable, good for America Republican.

The station is claiming they will give Obama objective coverage. They are attempting to make it seem that they are not anti-Obama, but rather that other stations are just pro-Obama for ratings. Their executive vice president for news editorials says that other hosts are guilty of praising Obama to much.

In the end, it's all coming down to the company making sure it doesn't lose too much money in advertising. In 2008, their biggest target audience (25-54) saw the gap closing in terms of viewing. Fox's audience was only 12% bigger than CNN, the closest the competition has been in 7 years. Fox had dominated the other stations in previous years, and the gap probably will get closer in the upcoming years.

The network will definitely lose viewers, but it may not be as drastic of a drop as some anticipate. To their advantage, as Eric Alterman (media columnist for The Nation magazine) put it, it will be much simpler to cover Obama "than to defend a failed war and a failed president." At the present time, the Nielsen Ratings shows Fox still in front of other channels.


25-54 Total Day

FNC –293,000 viewers
CNN –122,000 viewers
MSNBC –136,000 viewers
CNBC – 62,000 viewers
HLN – 143,000 viewers

25-54 Prime Time

FNC – 537,000 viewers
CNN – 164,000 viewers
MSNBC –242,000 viewers
CNBC – 101,000 viewers
HLN – 261,000 viewers


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