Fox CEO Loves Network's 'Center-Right' Opinion Hosts, Is Not Joking Even
Rupert Murdoch's boy Lachlan, who serves as Fox Corporation's CEO and executive chair, told a media confab Thursday that he believes Fox News opinion programs have just the right — the center-right — political orientation for "middle America," which if true may be one of the most damning indictments of middle America we've seen.
Mediaite reporter Marissa Sarnoff explains:
Murdoch's comments, which came during a Q&A session at research firm MoffettNathanson's Media and Communications Summit, were part of his response to a question asked about competition from networks like Newsmax and One America News.
"We compete every day with CNN, MSNBC, other news sources, so having competitors to the right of us is natural," Murdoch said. "Opinion on our channel is center-right. That's the right place for us to be. That's where we think our audience is, that's where middle America is. We're happy with that positioning."
We guess we can see the logic there. Heck, add in other competing media outlets, like Stormfront, and Fox News hosts may come off looking like a bunch of liberal squishes!
Except for Tucker Carlson, of course, who has to keep being reminded not to wear jackboots in the studio. Not because of the political connotations; they just play hell with the audio mix.
Murdoch went on to explain that Fox News is Just Right, a veritable Goldilocks of blonde, blue-eyed news:
"That means there's space to our left and to our right for competitors to come in," Murdoch added. "We're confident in our journalism, confident in our reporting. We're very happy with our opinion hosts. You have to be willing to have competition, and we see that very clearly."
Allowing competition? How very magnanimous of him! Murdoch also said he's not especially worried by the prospect that Fox News might be eclipsed by even more fervently Trumpian outlets like Newsmax or OAN, which saw a burst of popularity after Fox was labeled heretical for calling the 2020 election for Joe Biden, simply because Biden had more votes. It's all about who has the resources to make top-quality news and opinion programming, he said. And Fox has those resources:
"I think the thing that people don't appreciate about 24-hour news is the investment required to produce live news and opinion," Murdoch said. "Frankly, opinion is the smaller part of the investment. But live news [is] 24 hours a day, seven days a week."
Murdoch left out the part where cable subscribers have to subsidizeTucker Carlson's Smile Time White Panic Hour as part of standard bundling, even if they never watch it. But yes, it's good to have resources to do hard news, like how immigrants are scary and teachers are pushing pornography and race hatred (you know, the 1619 Project) instead of "classic literature." No word on whether the public school teacher Carlson focused on in that segment has had to go into hiding yet.
All in all, Murdoch explained, Fox News is really a very mainstream network, because just look at who's watching Fox:
[We] have more independent voters than any other network. The share that we are taking, today and in the last months, has been off CNN. The share is coming from the center or the center-left. That goes to our programming. We have more diverse voices than any other network. We have hosts, and we have guests and contributors from the entire political spectrum, and that's very important to us.
Again, that's a bit of a stretch. Sure, the occasional progressive may get booked, so they can be shouted down and later have their comments wildly lied about. But we wouldn't call it good, or even competent, news coverage. Even Fox retired its "fair and balanced" slogan in 2017.
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Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.