Stacy McCain points out some facts about Fox News after Media
Matters for Marxists Against America declares that they have discredited Fox
This is analogous to the problem of conservatives making Fox News a singular focus of efforts to combat liberal media bias. As early as February 2009, I described what I called “The Fox Trap”:
Media-wise, the GOP made the mistake of putting all its eggs in one basket. I enjoy Fox News, but it has created a syndrome where Republicans watch Fox all the time and delude themselves into thinking, “Hey, our message is getting out! We’re winning!” Fact: The evening news broadcasts of ABC, NBC and CBS reach a combined audience of about 22 million; the top rated Fox News show, “The O’Reilly Factor,” reaches 4 million viewers. So if the three broadcast networks are viciously biased against Republicans – and they are – then that anti-GOP message is reaching more than 5 times as many TV viewers as Fox.
Last week, I described the problem again with updated numbers:
[D]uring the Bush presidency, the Left created institutions (notably Media Matters) based on the dubious theory that Fox News and other conservative media had too much influence.
That theory cannot be reconciled with the facts:
NBC Nightly News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.3 million
ABC World News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8.2 million
CBS Evening News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7.3 million
Fox News (The O’Reilly Factor) . . . . . . . . . . . 3.2 million
MSNBC (Hardball with Chris Matthews) . . . . . 940,000
CNN (Anderson Cooper 360) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 605,000
Fox News is, as it proudly boasts, Number One in Cable News, accounting for 68% of the cable news audience. Add in the major network evening news broadcasts, however, and the total news audience is closer to 30 million, of which Fox’s share is about 11%.
In other words, 89% of news on TV is reliably liberal in its perspective, and the Left’s obsession with Fox News is absurd. Why should Media Matters have an annual budget of $10 million to counteract the influence of a network that gets 11% of the news audience?
We could discuss at length the ramifications of this data, but the point to be made immediately is that Fox News has functioned like a channelizing terrain feature in the informational battlefield. For the defenders of liberal media hegemony, all they had to do was to isolate Fox — identify it as a hostile force in the eyes of other media — and then to target both the network’s messages and its messengers.
Some very good points raised there. Fox has not influenced the rest of the media to change their game. Instead they have just been pigeon-holed as “Right Wing” by the Left, and to many, many Americans, who get their news from NBC, CBS, and ABC, well, Fox has a, shall we say tarnished reputation. In short, we cannot just rely on Fox News folks. Or on talk radio, which also has been smeared mightily by the Left, or on blogs, which have also been smeared and marginalized by “real journalists”. Stacy McCain sums it up very well
Andrew Breitbart understood this tactic, and fought very hard to escape the “Fox Trap,” which is why he delivered one of his biggest scoops on the WeinerGate scandal — the Meagan Broussard story, which confirmed that Weiner was “sexting” with multiple women — directly to ABC News as an exclusive. If conservative messages and messengers can be limited to one media channel, and that channel reaches no more than a minor fraction of the total news audience, liberals win. It’s really that simple