Friday, May 30, 2008

will Fox News lean left?

At last glance, President Bush had the highest disapproval rating, 69%, of a U.S. president in the 70 history of the gallop poll. At was not always this low, in fact, after 9/11, Bush, was in fact one of the most popular presidents as the nation banded together in light of the terrorist attacks.

One organization that gained a lot of momentum following 9/11 and our run-up to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was Fox News, with its right leaning media coverage. Fox News made a living heralding the Bush administration, demonizing liberal elites, the far-left media conspiracy, painting war protesters as unpatriotic, etc. America ate it up, after all, there were terrorists running amuck and boy were we mad. Fox News is a business triumph any way you look at it, they are the number one rated cable news network and subsequently, the advertising dollars have rolled in, and the administration has been especially conciliatory towards Fox News, gracing them with exclusive interviews with President Bush and other members of the Executive Branch which have largely shut off access when it comes to other networks.

I am curious how Fox News will proceed in the coming years. As I mentioned before, President Bush is the most unpopular President in modern history, presidential candidate John McCain while being a Republican is still distrusted and hated by a significant portion of his own party, and Barack Obama (or Hillary Clinton for that matter) seems well positioned to be our next President of the United States. Come 2009, the Executive Branch will most likely be run by a Democrat, the House and Senate will probably still have a Democratic majority, your average American thinks the Republican party is full of out-of-touch idiots, Republicans can't recognize their own party anymore, the economy is in a tailspin caused in my opinion by the deregulation of the housing and credit markets, and politics for the most part have made a complete 180 in favor of anyone who is not associated with the neo-conservatives.

I think with America growing increasingly disillusioned with the right wing, it is inevitable that viewership moves back towards left leaning/centrist MSNBC and CNN. You just don't make money by pursuing an opinion that few people embrace. Next year are people still going to want to hear from Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Nancy Grace, and Glenn Beck drumming us to increasing anti-immigrant fervor, made up facts, blaming Democrats, screaming at people for not supporting the troops, and boycotting companies for ridiculously tenuous ties? No, I don't think so. I think regular Americans will be able to tell that 8 years of majority Republican rule led to failed foreign policy, failed economic policy, uncompetitive wages, job loss, and soldiers being over stretched and under-provided for. I think it's pretty obvious to most people that 8 years of Bush didn't lead to a better America. McCain still seems like he's part of the Bush club.

Fox News is a business; it is still part of News Corporation. How is Fox News going to change and adapt to a shifting American political sentiment? When Scott McClellan comes out and writes a book basically saying, the Bush administration misled us into Iraq, the media didn't hold him responsible, outlets like Fox News facilitated the move to war, are people really going to believe it when Fox News analyst, Karl Rove, comes out and says "oh he's full of it" and the network and White House try to paint him as a disgruntled employee that wants to sell books? Fox News will have to change; otherwise ratings are going to drop like a rock. I think Rupert Murdoch knows this. I am curious what kind of content changes are going to be made, if punches will be pulled back, if zealous right wingers will be pulled out of prime time slots?

Recently, Rupert Murdoch had this to say about Obama and McCain:

[speaking about Obama]. "He's become a rock star. It's fantastic... he may not carry Florida because the Jewish people are suspicious of him and so are the Hispanics... but he'll probably win in Ohio and who knows... he'll probably win [the election]"... Personally I want to meet Obama, I
want to know , is he going to walk the walk. If you read his education policy, it's just great, he's got a revolution there, the education system in this country is a total disgrace... He wants a break with the past, I do know that he is a highly intelligent man with a great record at Harvard, at the Law Review, and I just hope he's as good as he promises."

[Speaking about McCain]. " He has been in Congress a long time, and you have to make a lot of compromises... So what's he really stand for?... He's a patriot, he's a friend of mine, he's a decent guy but he's unpredictable. He doesn't know much about the economy, and I say this sympathetically, I think he has a lot of problems."

Murdoch seems to be jumping on to the Obama band wagon, We'll have to wait and see if he directs Fox News to follow in step.


Alessandro Machi said...

I think Fox has already stared leaning left ever since NBC and MSNBC went off the deep end.