Posted by: The moderator | October 27, 2009

Fox Fight

Fox-LogoThere have been a number of bloggers commenting on the public spat between Fox News and the Obama administration. Purple People Vote and Essence of America took the side of Fox. Mad in the Middle devoted several days worth of posts to highlight Fox’s bias. I’ve tried to stay out of it because I thought beating up on an ideology-based media source would only enrage its audience and drive up Fox’s ratings even further. Maybe I was wrong…

John Scalzi at the Whatever blog looks at the big picture and comes up with a very different interpretation. He says Obama is the winner because the spat encourages Fox to become even more overtly ideological. In the meantime, the spat draws attention from all the other news networks which, together, far outnumber Fox. Sure Fox is the top rated news network because it focuses on a large, previously untapped niche market, but the other five networks divide the rest of the national audience. The result: everybody who’s not a regular Fox viewer sees a ridiculous Fox that is acting more conservative than normal, while people who do watch Fox regularly are fed such wildly slanted information that they appear as extremists when they talk to non-Fox viewers.

Clever. The question is, will it work? If it backfires, will they end up with even angrier birthers, tea parties, town hall debacles, and chain emails?

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