Fox News Is STILL Killing The Republican Party

Once again, an academic study of the American electorate has found that “Fox News Republicans are the most uninformed.” This new survey was conducted by the Brookings Institution along with the Public Religion Research Institute. What’s different about this study is that it does not merely pit Republicans against Democrats and Independents. It distinguishes between Republicans who regularly watch Fox News and those who don’t. And the conclusions reveal that Fox News Republicans are even more uninformed and extreme in their views than their non-fox viewing comrades in the same party.

Go Fox Yourself

What this tells us is that Fox News is polluting the Republicans who tune in to the network with reporting and commentary that is biased, misleading, and downright false. The ideological corruption is evident in some basic political differences between the Foxies and the Foxless. For instance, the DREAM Act was drafted to permit undocumented residents who came to the U.S. as children, and either completed college or served in the military, to obtain temporary residency status and eventually apply for citizenship. This bill is supported by a 62% majority of Foxless Republicans, but only 42% of GOP Foxies. Likewise, the campaign to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour is supported by a majority of 56% of the Foxless, but only 33% of the Foxies. In both cases the Foxless Republicans are more closely aligned with the electorate at large. It is the Foxies who hold the extremist position on the fringes of the far right.

The study asks the question: Does Fox News cause ignorance, or do ignorant viewers prefer Fox News? The answer is not particularly clear cut and is likely a combination of the two. However, the real problems for the GOP come into the equation when the party tries to evaluate the opinions of their constituents as represented by the folks at Fox News. It’s clear that the Fox version of Republican views are far removed from reality. The study notes that party strategists may think that the Foxy…

“…represents the center of the GOP. Under that mindset, presidential candidates should adopt a policy platform that appeals to the average Fox News viewer. But that’s a mistake when the average Fox News member is an extreme conservative. […] This makes the Fox News echo chamber a hazard for the party. It creates extreme candidates under the guise that they are electable.”

The notion that Fox News is demonstrably harmful to the Republican Party is one that News Corpse examined five years ago in an article titled “Fox News Is Killing The Republican Party.” Some excerpts show that the results of the new Brookings/PRRI study somewhat belatedly affirm my own conclusions:

There is a case to be made that Fox News is demonstrably harmful to the Republican Party. In fact, it may be the worst thing to happen to Republicans in decades. That may seem counter-intuitive when discussing Fox News, the acknowledged public relations division of the Republican Party. Fox has populated its air with right-wing mouthpieces and brazenly partisan advocates for a conservative Republican agenda. They read GOP press releases on the air verbatim as if they were the product of original research. They provide a forum where Republican politicians and pundits can peddle their views unchallenged. So how is this harmful to Republicans?

Fox has corralled a stable of the most disreputable, unqualified, extremist, lunatics ever assembled, and is presenting them as experts, analysts, and leaders. These third-rate icons of idiocy are marketed by Fox like any other gag gift (i.e. pet rocks, plastic vomit, Sarah Palin, etc.). […] The problem is that by elevating bona fide nutcases, they are debasing honest and informed discourse. The mental cases are crowding out any reasonable voices that might exist amongst the more moderate Republicans (if there are any left). Fox appears to have made a tactical decision to permit the inmates full run of the asylum.

By doubling down on crazy, Fox is driving the center of the Republican Party further down the rabid hole. They are reshaping the party into a more radicalized community of conspiracy nuts. So even as this helps Rupert Murdoch’s bottom line, it is making celebrities of political bottom-feeders. That can’t be good for the long-term prospects of the Republican Party.

The more the population at large associates Republican ideology with the agenda of Fox News, and the fringe operators residing there, the more the party will be perceived as out of touch, or even out of their minds.

Recent events have borne out the worst of these considerations. Shortly after Fox News heralded the Deadbeat Rancher, Cliven Bundy, as a hero for confronting law enforcement officers with armed militia, three people, including two police officers, were murdered in Las Vegas, by a pair of Tea Party Terrorists. The perpetrators were the spitting image of the Fox News profile for conservative activists who virulently opposed what Fox told them was a rogue government that was devolving into a godless abyss of socialist deception and tyranny.

In addition, Fox News has stridently pursued a political agenda that seems to be intent on alienating the most critical voter demographic groups, including African-Americans, Latinos, women, and youth. And lately they even added their most loyal viewers to that list. The median age of the Fox News audience is 69 years old. That’s six years older than the median for their competition at CNN and MSNBC. And yet, Fox is embarking on an anti-Hillary Clinton crusade that is largely based on her age. That surely won’t go over well with the seniors tuning in to Fox.

Shameless self-promotion…
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So with Fox continuing to feature the fringiest characters they can find, and academic studies certifying the damage that this strategy will cause to their purported allies in the GOP, the closing paragraph of my 2009 article is as relevant today as it was then:

The mission of Fox News from its inception was to be more than just a voice of opposition to Democrats. It was to utterly crush the left end of the political spectrum leaving only a teetering right wing with no counter balance. Yet, despite the torrid embrace between Republicans and Fox News, it is apparent that Fox is the source of a sort of friendly fire that is decimating the GOP by exalting its most outlandish and unpopular players. And since Republicans have not been particularly popular anyway lately, the anchor being thrown to them by Fox can’t be all that helpful – – – Except to Democrats.


15 thoughts on “Fox News Is STILL Killing The Republican Party

  1. As a non-fox watching right wing extremist, I must agree with most of your conclusions about fox news and the republican party. It’s possible fox news is the primary cause of what has become of the formally conservative republican party – pre-GW Bush (or even pre-1996). I think eventually – or at least I hope – the fox news viewers will tire of the blantantly biased approach from that network, but that is just one conservative’s view. There is plenty to dislike about the Mark Howard version of progressive government without that kind of coverage – they really have a true opportunity to show the vile nature of progressivism without resorting to propaganda and blatant distortion. They just need to report the truth and eventually people will come to the same conclusions about what they can expect if the Marks of the world ever got their way – and it wouldn’t be good.

    • I’m curious. What are you so afraid of? Progressives like peace. They want universal healthcare, which this country can well afford. They want fair taxation, not endless loopholes for the wealthy. They treat other people as equals who have rights. They are not afraid of gays. They want women to make their own reproductive choices, not some white male Christofacists in state legislatures. They know that government is necessary because we are stronger together. They want strong, funded public schools, and respect for teachers. They want to fix our crumbling infrastructure and put people back to work. They don’t see government as some evil being that needs to be squashed. They don’t thrust their religious beliefs on anyone else, and they certainly don’t see this nation as Christian from day one. If we were, we would not be on the GOP’s endless war cycle, would we? We would respect other nations and their peoples. And their beliefs.
      So what does the GOP stand for that is better than the above?

      • I Agree with you Sally. I like to ask any of the GOP that want to keep a 700Billion military budget and slash a 70Billion budget for school lunches to feed kids… what kind of Christian are you? Kill them but not feed them? Even ask why they are saying anything about God’s will. Or even what God wants. Maybe the fact that more non religious people are more Jesus like than the actual Christians… wait, sorry, have to stop using that word. Cause you know what Christian is NOT a religion, it is a classification. Catholic is religion, Baptist is religion, etc. They grouped all them together with a nice bow calling it Christians, so that it would help stop the war of religions. But anyway, Jesus was with the poor, feed the poor, healed the sick, etc. How does the GOP handle them, by cutting off their food, their health, everything. How Jesus like of them. As for women’s treatment by the GOP… they forget the fact that even 99.9998ish percent of the women getting abortions don’t want to do it either, but they have no choice. GOP should, due to being against abortions, setup a national database that would put those against abortion to be put on that list. Then when a woman would need to use the services, then the next on the list, gets to pay for all the woman’s medical bills, and then takes the child to raise for the woman. Most times woman are getting an abortion cause they could not afford to have the child, bit it financial, or home setting wise. That would be what Jesus would do, NO? Save the child’s life? Sorry, enough rambling… can go on for many pages on stuff like this. Being a Independent, non-religious person, this is the way I see things… logically.

        • When ever has the Defense budget been $700 billion? Are you ill informed or just stupid? The DOD budget went from $640 Billion in 2008 to $540 Billion 2014. All other departments have been increased…yet the overwhelming majority have no constitutional authority granted to the Federal government to even have…inlcuding the top two money takers…$880 Billion (Social Security) and $838 Billion (Medicare).
          Also, where exactly has Universal Healthcare worked? No where is the only true answer. It is corrupted, rationed and sucks (I lived under one for 21 years). Mind you, if nothing happens it’s great! Except for those taxes.
          Speaking of Taxes, those loopholes you refer to are for venture capitalists (uber rich)…you want that fixed? Then have a flat tax rate and EVERYONE pays the same rate. (that is fair).

    • What, exactly, is the “vile nature of progressivism”? I think the problem is this: if Fox DOES report the truth about it, then by and large, it will not be the face of the “bogey man” their viewers have come to know and love to hate; instead, it will be a face that actually resembles that of a sane, rational, compassionate American!

  2. Mark recycles his lies from five years ago and thinks he’s relevant. What a joke.

    • And yet you still come here to read all about his “lies” and “irrelevancies”. I’m beginning to wonder if you’re having trouble convincing yourself he’s lying and/or irrelevant. Say it quickly three times in a row; that’s always helpful.

    • Uh, what “lies” exactly? How many are in this article? Could you point them out to us, please?

      • Good luck getting Scott to be specific. He’s the king of hit and run comments.

  3. This has got to be the dumbest article I’ve ever seen about the republican party. Hey liberals quit whining, pull up your pants and get a job. And no you can’t have entitlements just because your mother yelled at you when you were a kid. Even though you still acting like children.

    • Exactly what is dumb about it? It’s one thing to just dismiss something out of hand because it doesn’t conform to your world view; it’s quite another to provide thoughtful, rational reasons WHY it is dumb. Perhaps you would care to enlighten us as to what is dumb about it.

      • They never specify what they think is wrong. They just whine about libtards and socialism. The only reason I leave their comments are because they such good examples of how vacant and juvenile they are.

  4. If the median age of the Fox News viewer is 69 years old, then I guess that it safe to assume that over half of them no longer work. So, this is by and large a group of people who probably have little day-to-day social interaction with others who are different from themselves. Throw in the 1960s housewives who are living off of their husbands’ pensions and you have a captive audience that basically lives with their heads up their asses.

    • Sweet analysis! Perhaps Fox will finally die when they do. Won’t that be nice?

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