Thursday, February 16, 2012

Is Fox News lurching left?

Apparently, the extreme right-wingnuts in our country are complaining that their oracle of Obama-hate, Fox News, is inching from the far right to the near-far right.

Say what?

A lengthy article at Politico on Valentine's Day, no less, paints the picture that Fox News no longer speaks for the diehard dingbat.

Again, what's happening? I'm a bit confused.

Last week, one of Fox News' made men, Sean Hannity, did his part by claiming President Obama didn't even want to go after Osama bin Laden, let alone kill him.

But, it looks like there are cracks in the iron curtain separating Fox News from reality.

The Politico article traces the origin of the change to the assassination attempt on Gabby Giffords in Tucson, Ariz, in January 2011. 

Apparently, Fox fuhrer Roger Ailes told his crew to tone it down after the Giffords shooting.

What did this mean?

Well, they got rid of Glenn Beck, the type of disheveled guy you usually see spouting crazy conspiracy theories on street corners in major cities in America. Didn't seem like a hard call, but Beck devotees want him back on Fox.

And recently, Bill (Baba) O'Reilly defended Ellen DeGeneres (usually called DeGenerate in the right-wing world) when she was attacked for being a JC Penney spokeswoman. Wow.

Other wingnut complaints include the fact that Fox News hired "two far-left radical feminists" so that it would seem only partially fair and unbalanced. I guess they weren't blond bimbos with glossy lips, the usual Fox News female. 

It seems that with the rise of the Tea Party, Fox News was put in the untenable position of choosing between the two wings of modern Republicanism: Far right-wingnut and extreme right-wingnut.

Not that it really had to choose. Fox News viewership is greater than CNN and MSNBC combined.

Still, it's a fraction of what NBC, CBS, ABC or even NPR command on a given night.

Wingnuts, in the Politico piece, see a profit motive in Fox News' leftward lean:

“Something is happening at Fox News,” wrote one Red State blogger last month. “More often these days I hear the language of the Left entering their news programs. Conservative points of view are becoming more rare on Fox and/or treated with scorn…it may not be admitted, but I believe the left’s boycott of Fox is having an effect.”

Boycott? That seems coordinated.

 Like most viewers, I avoid noise whether it be from Fox News, MSNBC, CNN or those obnoxiously loud ads. Actually, we pulled the plug on our cable package last month and it hasn't made a bit of difference.

It's amusing, and also alarming, to read quotes like this:

“When I wake up, I go to two sites, instantly; they never close down in my browser: The Drudge Report and The Blaze (Glenn Beck's website),” said Ben Johnson, new media director of the conservative media watchdog Accuracy in Media. “They have proven to me to break the most interesting, underreported stories, and that’s what I want.”

What stories have they broken in the last 10 years? None, really.

The real problem was pointed out years ago by Stephen Colbert in his revolutionary bit at the correspondent's dinner where he roasted George Bush and the Washington press corps.

One classic line: "Reality has a well-known liberal bias."

Fox News presents an alternate reality, which many Americans, unfortunately, prefer.

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