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Apr 25, 2023Liked by John A. Daly

I agree with your tentatively hopeful take, although I am not quite holding my breath, either.

I think that there's a definite difference between the reaction of people who think (1) FNC used to be actually be a responsible news network, went off the rails, and can hopefully improve and (2) FNC was always nothing more than a fever swamp of misinformation, can't ever be salvaged, and should be shut down by the FCC, and the Murdochs locked up for fraud.

Tucker's departure isn't going to change the minds of people who see FNC as nothing more than a Republican propaganda tool. (Of note, it's interesting how some of the most vociferous online critics of FNC also state, quite righteously that they never actually watch it. So I assume their takes are based on Media Matters and Twitter "journos" like Aaron Rupar that highlight the worst moments and claim all 24/7 hours of programming are like that. )

It also occurs to me that the widespread "his replacement is obviously going to be even worse" cynical responses, shows how used the decent, responsible people are used to losing, and enough of that will turn some of them into cynics who may not join in the evil doing, but don't bother doing anything to fight it, either.

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Yeah, my historical take on Fox is that while the network has always been very focused on ratings with their commentary side, and has targeted a political base since its inception, their reporting side was always top-notch, and managed to ground a good chunk of the commentary side. It might be hard to remember now, but Chris Wallace was once quite revered by Fox commentators and the audience alike as someone who gave Fox journalistic credibility.

But in the much more tribal Trump era, the reporting side came to be seen as obstructionists to the increasingly irresponsible commentary side. And the network, as a whole, went from being "very focused on ratings" to entirely deferential to them... even at the cost of the most basic of journalistic standards. The commentary wing expanded, and the news wing shrank. And sadly, a monster was created.

I think there are some popular right-wing commentators out there, like Ben Shapiro, who despite being too "own the libs" for my taste, would be much healthier for Fox in that hour than Tucker was, and probably pull the same (if not higher) ratings.

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“I think that there's a definite difference between the reaction of people who think (1) FNC used to be actually be a responsible news network, went off the rails, and can hopefully improve and (2) FNC was always nothing more than a fever swamp of misinformation, can't ever be salvaged, and should be shut down by the FCC, and the Murdochs locked up for fraud.”

Lol. You give two extremes. Yes, some - perhaps many - fall in one of these two extremes. As usual, however, there’s a vast and densely populated middle ground. If you think in extremes, you will not understand this middle ground.

I glean that Fox News has always - at least since around 2002 - put ratings as a foremost concern. Roger Ailes had the good sense - or perhaps the journalistic conscience - to add fair journalism and good discussion to Fox, however. He also made sure that Fox had sexy babes on air in form hugging short dresses and blouses (I have it on good authority that, when commentator Catherine Cryer (sp?) kept wearing pants suits, he once rhetorically wailed “Why does she think I spent so much money on glass tables.”)

Ailes once said that he doesn’t even know the political leanings of Fox’s news anchors. BS! He said that at a time when Greg Jarrett and others like him were news anchors at Fox. Their biases showed. When interviewing a liberal and a conservative, they’d begin by lobbing softballs to the conservative. Then they’d start firing hardballs at the liberal, frequently interrupting him midstream - not always, but often enough. I find it hard to believe that Ailes did not see this and approve of it, if not actively encourage it.

When reporting stories that made Liberals/ Democrats look bad or the conservatives/the Republican Party look good, news anchors frequently downplayed or omitted facts that would put a different light on the stories. Stories that made liberals/Democrats look bad frequently would be played in an endless loop.

Donald Trump and the whole aftermath of the 2020 election further polarized an already deep divide. The Fox News biggies leaped to the Trump end of the divide.

“…. it's interesting how some of the most vociferous online critics of FNC also state, quite righteously that they never actually watch it.”

This may well be true. But not in my case. I watched Fox almost everyday from about 2002 through about 2013. After that, I still watched Fox, but not as often. I still watch Fox sometimes. I don’t let others do my thinking for me.

Once when detailing Fox's bias, someone on this site ask , "If you don't like Fox, why do you watch it?" WTF? We're supposed to follow the news to find out what's really happening in our communities, our nation and the world - even or especially when it challenges our perspective..

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"I glean that Fox News has always - at least since around 2002 - put ratings as a foremost concern. Roger Ailes had the good sense - or perhaps the journalistic conscience - to add fair journalism and good discussion to Fox"

Bob, did CBS, NBC, or ABC, nightly news ever fire anyone because they didn't bring in the ratings? You know they did. Every network is about ratings.

Fox in the early days, and still today, bring news to their website and daytime production news that never hits the MSM news. I believe they did a great job years ago bringing news that I, as a conservative, wanted to read about. You think the border would be an issue today without Fox? No way.

I believe that many at Fox still do a good job at news and commentary and I'm not talking about the evening commentary that across the board at every network is Cr##p and BullSh##t.

And here's my take, there are nuts on the left as well as the right and they work in media and get elected to Wahington. I was never a big fan of evening commentary and seldom watched it. Now never and as far as voting, won't waste my time ever again.

But here is my real beef with you Bob, how can you not like young sexy babes in cocktail dresses?

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"....did CBS, NBC, or ABC, nightly news ever fire anyone because they didn't bring in the ratings? "

Is this meant as a response to my post? First, Tucker the Liar was bringing in ratings. I doubt ratings had anything to do with his firing. Second, I wasn't criticizing Fox for canning Tucker the Liar. Third, is this a whataboutism or a theotherguydoesittooism? Fourth, yes, as Ted Koppel said, journalism once was a calling, now it's a business. Perhaps I missed your point.

"Fox in the early days, and still today, bring news to their website and daytime production news that never hits the MSM news. "

But of course. That's one of the reasons why I regularly watched Fox. That's one of the reasons I still watch Fox. I hope you

"I believe they did a great job years ago bringing news that I, as a conservative, wanted to read about."

As someone who pursues the truth, did you seek other news sources to see if FOX was omitting important facts? Did you listen to Fox

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My point was that Fox isn't the only one to put ratings first. Simply that and nothing more.

I haven't watched Tucker in years, or Hannity or Ingram. I did catch some youtube of Tucker interviewing Musk but that's about it. I don't care for any opinion shows anymore. I catch Brett Baier when I can and/or News Nation. I actually like Cumo. But I do check the Fox website each morning as well as the WSJ, NY Times, my local paper and 3 to 4 foreign newspapers. I seldom watch the evening news and depend mostly on what I read.

I did watch CNN during the early days of the Russian invasion, and I thought it reminisces of their early days. I thought Don Lemon did a great job reporting from Kyiv.

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Did you listen to Fox VERY carefully to see if the anchors were down playing or being dismissive of important facts? If watching news usually confirms your perspectives, you're probably not watching responsible journalism.

Possibly your outlook blinded you to much of Fox's bias, just like my outlook may well blind me to some liberal bias. I might add, however, that I also look for liberal bias.

"....how can you not like young sexy babes in cocktail dresses?"

UNCLE! Tim, ya got me there. Yes, Fox chicks have the nicest legs and racks. The Candy Crowleys of the media world wouldn't be allowed on Fox airtime. It's hard to be critical when your blood is rushing downstream.

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Here's an example Bob what I read on Fox that would never be in my local Star Tribune and I would have never heard this.

https://www.foxnews.com/media/arguing-covid-came-china-land-minnesota-government-bias-registry-new-bill

I fact checked this as it seems way out of the ordinary and it appears Minnesota has created a Discrimination and Bias reporting website. The question here from Rep. Niska is very direct and the response to me is shocking.

Here's another one.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/transgender-minnesota-lawmaker-introduces-bill-removing-anti-pedophile-language-states-human-rights-act

I talked to my attorney about this, and he checked on it. Yes, the wording is being expanded for transgenders and some text removed. What this means in law is difficult to decipher. Again, crickets by the MN newspapers and press.

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Tim, As I said above, I watch or read Fox as well as other right-wing media in part because they cover stories that you don't get elsewhere. Additionally, I've said that Fox has had some good journalism.

My caveat is that when I hear a story that makes liberals or Democrats look ridiculous with no justification whatsoever, alarm bells go off. That's when I fact-check the story, as you apparently have done with the first story above. (Yes Tim, alarm bells go off when I hear stories making Republicans or conservatives look ridiculous without justification.) That bill does look alarming with little justification. There are ways to combat anti-Asian bigotry without resorting to such a law, as I understand it. I reserve final judgment, however, until I see the bill. I can't say for sure if it was accurately portrayed in that piece, although you apparently fact checked it.

In the second story you cite above, there is justification. I've known many gay males and females who get upset when people talk about pedophilia and homosexuality in almost the breath, which happens frequently. They are very different: one is simply alternative sexuality and the other is rotten to the core. The proponent was not justifying pedophilia or trying to relax laws against child molesting or statutory sex offenses.

I know of some language that would appease reasonable people on both sides of this divide. That language would quell most of the controversy, and isolate the ideologues.

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It seems that since 2016 any public figure who has aligned with Trump has personally ruined his or her own reputation. Each of those individuals freely chose that path and have received what they deserved.

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True, though a number of them in the media became quite rich because of it.

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My guess with Tucker is that he was the easiest to let go. Didn't watch him much but appears he was probably fully supported by the My Pillow Guy and some sleep aid as that was about the only ads I ever saw. O'Rielly stated he probably wasn't all that profitable.

Fox crossed the line with Dominion, but I don't see any culture changes anytime soon. It's all about ratings. Same with CNN, MSNBC, and the MSM mainstream news. As long as we have nut cases on the left, I don't mind a few on the right.

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I think you may be on to something here. If you can't get sponsors who want to run (and pay for) ads that run during Tucker's show, it doesn't matter how good his ratings are. The revenue comes from the advertising. Of course the advertising fees are based on ratings, but if the program is deemed too toxic to be associated with, the ratings don't matter.

I suspect a loss, or threat of a loss, of advertisers, combined with the ongoing legal exposures (Dominion was just the latest one, there are more, potentially more damaging ones coming), caused the brass at Fox to decide it was time to rip the band-aid off.

Of course, an equally, or perhaps more, meaningful step in the right direction would be to replace Suzanne Scott, coiner of the phrase "respect the audience", which ironically, means the exact opposite.

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