Joe Biden has only been President for one week, but already the radical conservative scolds at Fox News and other right-wing lie factories are hounding him for not having solved all of the country’s problems. After all, they are merely minor difficulties like a deadly pandemic, a cratering economy, and a seditious horde of Trump deadenders trying to overthrow the American democracy.
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Perhaps that’s why the Biden administration’s press office has articulated a criteria for media access to the White House that, if strictly applied, would prohibit Fox News, the former Ministry of Propaganda for Trump and Company. Over at Fox they continue to tow the Trumpian lies. They recently defended the rights of QAnon crackpots to believe that Democrats are sex-trafficking baby eaters. They denied that there was a post-holiday COVID surge. They appear to be determined to incite more violent Trump riots. And all the while they are steering their programming to ever more noxious conspiracy loving hosts.
In the week that Biden has served so far, he has aggressively moved to undo the worst of Trump’s atrocities on consequential matters such CIVID-19, climate change, healthcare, immigration and much more. But the oblivious cult disciples of the Trump/Republican Purity Party, in a rush to misjudgment, have deemed him an utter failure. As evidence of Biden’s bungling of the job, he has posted a measly average of 6.7 tweets a day. Trump pounded out more than 38 tweets daily on average. Some days he exceeded a hundred. What’s more, Biden has not posted a single video clip of some TV pundit delivering a slobbering dose of flattery. He has no equivalent of suck-ups like Sean Hannity, Jeanine Pirro, Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo, or the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends.
Biden has not called into one television program hosted by a shameless sycophant the whole week. Consequently, we have no videos of him rambling incoherently for forty minutes without ever making an intelligible point. Considering that the nation just spent a year watching a seemingly endless parade of such blather, the sudden shift to experience, compassion, and intelligence is rather jarring.
WTF is Biden doing instead of these critical presidential duties? He certainly isn’t golfing, like a responsible president would be. It’s downright depressing seeing how far the country has succumbed to the siren call of competency in just one week.
And as for Fox News, it’s rather bizarre that they are responding to these presidential deficiencies by doubling down on crazy. Their ratings have taken a brutal hit ever since the November 3rd election. In the meantime, CNN and MSNBC have been enjoying record setting gains:
In the primetime key demo last week (M-Su), CNN was up 172% compared to last year and averaged 875,000 viewers aged 25-54. MSNBC was up 50% with 540,000. Fox was down 25% and drew 429,000.
Tucker Carlson placed 16th in the weekday demo last week, Hannity 18th, and Ingraham 24th.
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) January 26, 2021
Fox is obviously concerned about their declining status. For the first time in twenty years they are not the number one cable news network. They aren’t number two either. And they have apparently concluded that they are losing viewers to upstart wingnets Newsmax and OANN. The problem with that, however, is that those other channels have not gained nearly as many viewers as Fox has lost. So Fox’s audience is either going somewhere else, or turning off the television.
What this means is that Fox’s reaction to the ratings turmoil is all wrong. They are trying to emulate Newsmax and OANN, the losers in the ratings race, rather than CNN and MSNBC, far and away the ratings leaders. But if they stole back all of the viewers that Newsmax and OANN gained, Fox would still be in third place. The only rational business plan under the circumstances would be for Fox News to adopt a more progressive editorial policy and hire some liberal hosts.
But don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen. The hospitals are too full of COVID patients to treat your asphyxiation. We can expect Fox to persist on a path toward wackier wingnuttery for the foreseeable future. It is baked into their mission statement as a disinformation enterprise. And spreading the lies and hostility of the rancid right is their paramount duty. It takes priority even over profits.
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How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.