A Little Perspective about Fox News

The Fox News Channel Stand where you can buy a...um...Bill O'Reilly mask to scare your kids?
The Fox News Channel Stand where you can buy a…um…Bill O’Reilly mask to scare your kids? Is that what they are in the top left corner?      “FOX News Channel Stand” by Rae Whitlock from Columbus, OH, USA – Fox News stand. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Dear Britons, I know you get a fair amount of publicity about the Fox News Channel, and you also get articles like this one that says we trust Fox News the most to make you wonder and fret about us American types.  Please let me ease your concerns.

First of all, upon looking at the press release detail, the study did not say we trust Fox News the most.  It may be the most trusted as far as national/cable news goes, but we trust our local news more than Fox News.  We also watch our local news because we want to know what is going on in our communities and need the weather and traffic reports more than knowing Sean Hannity’s opinion on Donald Trump’s stupid one-liner of the day.

There is also the factor of viewership.  We live in the land of cable and satellite and have better things to watch than Megyn Kelly being indignant.  We also have a population of about 318,900,000.  Current estimate of the adult population being 18+ is 76.7%, so we are looking at a figure of 244,600,000 eligible voters.  Looking at the ratings right here from AdWeek, Fox News has an average range of 1,000,000 to 1,700,000 total viewers per week.  That’s only 1/2 of a percentage point of the American adult population.  Of course with ratings and averages, it can go as high as 1% on a good week, but we are still talking a very small fringe group.

Thirdly, a lot of our trust in the news is personal and generational in outlook, as this Pew poll demonstrates.  Fox News is basically for the older demographic.  (The median age of a Fox News viewer, last I saw, was 68.8.)  And the millennials won’t touch it with a barge poll.

The problem with Fox News is that the rhetoric is so outrageous that the national media can’t stop promoting it; the publicity draws people in; so it seems bigger than what it really is.  It takes on a Katie Hopkins quality, and we give it more attention than it deserves.  And I know I am contributing to the whole thing by trying to bring some rationality to the subject.

Fox News is far from a credible journalistic outlet and were absolute boneheads when it called Birmingham and Paris hotbeds of radical Islam.  I get that.  Just remember, it is basically The Daily Mail with gory video (but no nudity) and continuous blather designed to paint an America that only would have existed if the Europeans were more thorough in the 17th century and wiped all the natives out.  So when the likes of a Charlie Brooker and other satirists cast their critiques, as right well they should, they are shooting fish in a barrel and not making grand social commentaries on America as a whole.  They are just dissecting the curmudgeonly great uncle at Christmas dinner.

26 thoughts on “A Little Perspective about Fox News

  1. I like to read in pubs. That always set me apart. I liked to read The Times in pubs. That set me apart further. In the pubs I liked the most, it almost got me into serious trouble. Someone had to explain the class thing to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Every profession has its zeitgeist. Academics skew hard left. Blue collar trades skew hard right. These things are more than stereotypes, they are subcultural norms that are brutally enforced in the lunchroom.

    The simple truth is, most journalists hail from the left. They just do, it’s been studied to death. The major media outlets also skew toward a New York/Washington point of view.

    That is why FOXNEWS grows while the competition shrinks, they put the opinions of the audience before that of the staff. You may not like them (I prefer NEWSHOUR myself. The howling on FOX hurts my ears) but they cover stories that others will not and they frame their stories to reflect their audience’s perspective.

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    1. Freedom of the press means these channels have the right to exist. No argument here. It’s just like the variety political ideologies behind the national newspapers the U.K. (Since you read The Times, A.I., you know the differences, but my link is for anyone else who comes along and reads our comments.)

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_newspapers_in_the_United_Kingdom

      It only means you have to get your news from multiple sources, evaluate the information, and try to come to best conclusion that you with what you know. And you have to be open to new information that comes in.

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  3. I can’t stand the style of American news broadcasting, I’m afraid, whether it’s left wing or right wing. Editorial commentary far outweighs simple delivery of the known facts and balanced interpretation of events and there are far too many “talking head” pundits talking over the top of each other. Just not my style at all. I, therefore, get my broadcast news from watching BBC World. It can still be annoying but it’s the approach that I’m used to.

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  4. Fox is the only “news” network left in this country that has not totally submitted to the American Communists. They are not perfect, nothing in this world is. I stopped paying attention to any form of news four years or so ago. I refuse to watch any local news here in Vegas…

    Especially politics when there was once a time I loved politics and talk radio. Nope, no more. All news outlets in this country are polluted with radical leftism. I am an extreme conservative and remember a different America than the crap it has become today. Sorry, just being honest.

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    1. And you are entitled to your opinion, John. We need people with a variety of views to make this country work.

      Fox News has a right to exist and does appeal to its core audience, but I think its extremism undermines its credibility, especially because of how it views anything beyond our borders. I feel the same way about MSNBC, but the Britons aren’t judging us about that channel. That is why it was all about Fox.

      I just feel horrible that we have reduced words like “left,””right,” “liberal,” and “conservative” into insults instead of words that have real political meaning.

      Like I was telling, Laura, I have given up watching the news and sticking to reading it. As you saw with my gun post, the issues require more thought and information than sound bites and television clips can give.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m not really one for the news, myself. According to my Dad, that’s because of my age but I’m not sure about that. I am very cynical of national news broadcasters. They tell people what they want them to hear, in my opinion. I, like many people, I’m sure, try to see under what they say. They have a reporting agenda, which, I suppose, is to attract viewers among other things. Therefore we get sensationalised and negative stories every day. It’s all bad news. It would be nice if some good news was reported for a change, it might cheer people up a bit. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The nature of reporting the news has change since your dad was your age too. There are a lot more graphics, sound bites, and quick-cut video clips. It isn’t good for your nerves either. I know there are studies about this somewhere, so you should be able to get your hands on them at university, or talk to your friends reading psychology.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thats interesting, I’ll keep that in mind. Thanks for letting me know. 🙂 To be honest, I imagine my generation is largely de-sensitized to the things we hear about these days. For example, it never surprises me to hear ‘a man has been murdered in Dublin’ or news of another bombing in the Middle East. It’s sad but the mind just reacts with ‘What’s new?’ I pray for them at that point.

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  6. You lefties don’t like the truth and that mate is no porkies. one news channel tell the truth and you lefties get all upset about the truth. we got one news channel and Fox, you plonkers got official Obama propaganda news channels CNN, NBC, MSNBC, CBS, ABC and lets not forget comedy central. wow and you lefties wally throw an strop because of one news channel, what a guffaw.

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    1. Lisa, I asked you to play nicely and not to insult people who had different views from you. That is the second strike. One more, and I am going to start deleting your comments, and I don’t want to do that. I think you can disagree without the name calling, surely.

      Secondly, no one owns the truth, not Fox News, not CNN, not MSNBC, not anybody. There is bias in every form of reporting, that is why I have stated in the comments and in other posts that you have to get your news from multiple sources to get a better assessment from what is going on.

      When I was writing this piece, I was writing this to the Britons because it is Fox News who gets the most bad publicity and criticism, and it is the channel the media uses to judge us.

      If you read thorough my comments, you would have found out that I don’t watch any televised news. I read my news, and my views are not categorized easily into “left,” “right,” “liberal,” or, “conservative” because the issues are usually complex and require much more thought and information than television sound bites and film clips can give.

      Once again, you are in my house. Play by my rules.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. There’s a way you can use plain scissors with your left hand, you just have to pull your fingers sideways at the same time as pressing them together.

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  7. Last time I checked (which granted was a while ago) Fox News for me vacillates between:

    1) Interesting take from interesting guests that I would never hear anywhere else
    2) Completely predictable take from the same cast of characters that makes me feel dumber for having heard it

    At one point there was enough of #1 that Fox wasn’t a complete waste of time, but now it seems that there’s so little of #1 and so much of #2 that there’s nothing on Fox that’s an effective use of my time. Although Shepard Smith still seems all right. And a few election cycles ago they had on that “The Rent is Too Damn High” guy, which was at least entertaining.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is a pretty good assessment, Athena. You are right. Fox News is there for the entertainment because it has long since ceased to be insightful and credible.

      What has happened is that instead of the broadcasters reporting the news in a more objective way like Walter Cronkite on CBS and for us to react emotionally, the news is now reflecting off of our emotions. We can now find a station we want which tells us what we want to hear. This is the downside of modern newscasting. Who is challenging us on TV to think outside of our comfort zones?

      Liked by 1 person

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