Former Fox News Watch Host: The People Who Watch Fox News Are Cultish

This morning on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” host Brian Stelter interviewed the former host of the Fox News program “News Watch.” That program was canceled in 2008 and its host, Eric Burns, was fired. It’s replacement, “MediaBuzz,” is now led by a more reliable hack, Howard Kurtz, who isn’t troubled by having to peddle the partisan garbage that Fox spews.

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On Reliable Sources, Stelter raised the ever-expanding controversy over Bill O’Reilly’s diuretic flow of lies about his past adventures as a news superhero. Stelter opened with with statements from the order of nuns who lost four of their members to death squads in El Salvador. They were disturbed by O’Reilly’s false assertion that he had personally witnessed the executions. O’Reilly later admitted that he had only seen photographs, but failed to apologize or even acknowledge that his prior claims were false.

At the top of the interview segment, Burns told Stelter that he had experienced the extraordinary effect of the audience loyalty at Fox News, saying that “The people who watch Fox News are cultish.” [a condition that News Corpse documented a few months ago] and that “O’Reilly, as the head of the cult, is not held to the same standards as Brian Williams. Burns went on to give credit to MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann who had frequently pointed out O’Reilly’s predilection for lying, with evidence proving it. Then Stelter asked Burns to comment on the shift by Fox News to ever more right-wing slanted programming. Burns said that…

“I thought that as Fox got more and more popular that Roger Ailes, who runs the network, would say ‘Well, the right has nowhere else to go, so if I move a little more to the center I can get a bigger audience and not lose my core audience.’ He did just the opposite. He went more to the right.”

It’s important to note that Burns hosted a program that was already severely slanted to the right. He had four panelists that included a single “liberal,” pretty much setting the model for every other panel on Fox (i.e. MediaBuzz, The Five, Special Report, Cashin In, Fox News Sunday, etc.). So Burns is no progressive mole. However, he was astute enough to recognize the downside of being associated with Fox News and replied to inquiries after his departure by expressing relief that…

“I do not have to face the ethical problem of sharing an employer with Glenn Beck.”

On Fox’s MediaBuzz this morning, host Kurtz completely ignored the O’Reilly affair, choosing instead to focus on negative stories about Hillary Clinton’s email, Obama’s speech in Selma, AL, and Netanyahu’s speech before Congress. Throw in a suck-up profile of Rand Paul and all of the criticisms expressed by Burns begin to be obvious. But don’t tell that to the cult members who watch Fox. They threaten to throw another Tea Party.

And Speaking of Cults: Get the ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
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4 thoughts on “Former Fox News Watch Host: The People Who Watch Fox News Are Cultish

  1. I just realized: O’Reilly thinks he’s Forrest Gump!

  2. “Burns went on to give credit to MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann…”

    Well, this hack just disqualified himself from serious consideration. Giving credit to Keith “Go f### your mother” Olbermann means that your credibility doesn’t exist.

  3. Sounds a lot like O’reilly/FOX News had hurt someone’s feelings or had to let someone go and this is how they hope to get them back! Sorry, it ain’t gonna happen!

  4. It’s easy to forget that the conservatism of the pre-Reagan era was much less radical and cultish than it is today. Guys like Goldwater and Buckley are probably spinning in their graves now, but as the foundational principles of conservatism crumble, we see the sociopaths and snake-oil salesmen take over their movement.

    History shows that right-wingers tend to go to extremes when they get a taste of success. When the Nazis were at the peak of their powers they could’ve settled into a more “moderate” fascism and possibly avoided the coming catastrophes, but a psychopath never knows how far is “too far” and his cult followers will follow him over the cliff almost every time.

    Eric Burns’ comment sums up the confusion of “old school” conservatives; “…that Roger Ailes… would say ‘Well, the right has nowhere else to go, so if I move a little more to the center I can get a bigger audience and not lose my core audience.’ He did just the opposite. He went more to the right.” Exactly. Because Ailes knows that the Radical Right has nothing that appeals to younger people, so he has to drive his aging followers to the furthest extremes he can before they all die off or become nursing home vegetables.

    The Radical Right have been building political strength while losing potential voters for a few decades now. They have immense power & wealth, but they know that in a functioning democracy, they’d be burnt toast by now. So they double-down on the crazy and push toward their Final Solution while they still can.

    If they can keep their cult followers in line (angry/fearful/paranoid) for another decade (give or take) they could end up running the whole Uh’merican Reich. And who’s gonna stop them? The Democrats? Ha. Ha. Ha… 🙁

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