27 January, 2021

Concerning Fox News

There has been much talk about Drudge turning away from the right and Trump in particular in the last year or so. FNC has been the subject of similar criticisms recently, particularly since Election Night 2020.

I’m curious to see what these two will do now that Trump is out of office.  I’m going to look at Fox in this post, and the next post will be about Drudge.

I don’t feel that FNC ever went full NeverTrump. Some of their personalities may have done so, and it’s clear that some on the board feel that way also. But, it’s also clear that many are still stalwart fans of Trump and defenders of conservatism (you can argue that the two are not the same, and you’re perhaps correct, but that’s a topic for another post).

However, they have clearly suffered and lost a significant part of their viewership. They’re coming in third in the ratings war behind CNN and MSNBC. In response, they have just as clearly made a concerted move to appeal to conservative viewers once more.

You can see that here: Fox News' Peter Doocy Pins Down Jen Psaki, She Doesn't Respond Well (redstate.com)

Matt Yglesias thinks so, too:

Ann Althouse points out that Matt is assuming that they’ve not asked Trump to appear. It is very possible that they have asked and Trump has declined.

Missing piece of info: How do you know the Fox hasn't tried to book him? Since Trump hasn't done any interviews since leaving office — correct me if I'm wrong — the most rational inference is that Trump is declining to do interviews.

I don’t know if that’s the most rational inference, but it is definitely a possibility.

I understand that Fox News did not want to get involved in the conspiracy theories involving election fraud. They still want to appear as an objective news organization, and not the TV version of Alex Jones’ Infowars. Honestly, I don’t blame them for that. But they could have threaded the needle better. They lost it before then, though. Their election night coverage gave the impression of being entirely left-leaning. And I don’t believe that the math supported the timeline of their calls.

It’s going to take time to recover from that and to woo back viewers. I think it’s doable. It remains to see if they really want to do so. From a purely business sense, they really screwed up and need to fix it. The reason they dominated in viewership for so long is that they offered something no one else did, and their objective news segments really were fairly objective. Marching to the left just makes them one of a crowd.



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