In March of this year 700,000 - 1 mil people joined the Tea Party boycott of FOX NEWS, in which this blog and the Tea Party Fire Ants were instrumental in organizing (not making a false claim there, we were. NYC media is my business). FOX remains at between 35% - 40% lower now than before the boycotts started, at which point - immediately - there was a 27% drop in ratings, so the causation is clear (though the MSM would like to deny that, citing the possibility of otherwise unknown intangibles they don't bother to even speculate about, otherwise known in the common vernacular as "bullshit").
Still, there are many new to the idea, and this post is for them so as to answer these burning questions. I answer these questions not as a "blogger", but as a media specialist with 20-plus NYC experience under his belt:
Q: Why boycott FOX and not the Mainstream media?
A. 1. Because FOX needs the conservative viewers to maintain its ratings and hence advertising revenue - that's the real motivator, they could care less about the popularity contest if they could lose it and still make the same money - and the rest of the media is structured to make money without us and so attacks us merrily and puts guys like Obama in the White House. 2. FOX News crows about it's ratings yet tries to pretend it isn't mainstream media. For any outfit to beat any other network, it too becomes by definition mainstream media and IMO they must know the difference and the whole "purity posturing" is a big con job. One con job of many.
Q: FOX NEWS beats all the other liberal media. Doesn't that mean they must be doing a great job?
A: Of course not. To begin with, there is a great deal of manipulation, IMO, happening with FOX; they basically say, "We are the only news station not mainstream media, and no one else will love you, conservatives" while openly supporting extremely "moderate" candidates and mocking the Tea Party, the "birthers" and other core conservatives. That very fact of manipulation is unconscionable - it's truly gross.
More to the point of the ratings, FOX is the only news network with an (utterly undeserved) reputation for servicing the conservative right. Therefore, to compare it to any of the left networks gives FOX an absurdly unrealistic advantage. The fact is, using demographics - not raw numbers - as has been the way for TV ratings to be calculated for decades, to break even, FOX needs to beat all the other liberal news networks rolled together, because the demographics of the left are diffused over several choices while only FOX caters, supposedly, to the right. FOX does not beat all other left networks rolled together. Considering the left political view is also diffused out over many TV shows - dramas, comedies, talk - where there exists virtually no such views except for Christian Broadcast channels, FOX under-performs disastrously. And well it should: they may have enough money from ratings to hum along (albeit down 40%, which of course must smart, deservedly), if it did what it claims in being fair to the right, it would have a much larger audience even at its best points, so, no, they don't beat the competition at all as ratings are figured per demographics. They also lose the most desirable young age ranges, so it under-performs disastrously on two demographic levels.
Q: What are you doing?! You'll ruin our only network!
A: No, this the free market model: FOX will ruin itself if it continues to behave condescendingly to its own audience and call the core of the GOP base "loons" - as O'Reilly is wont to do - instead of giving the audience what it demands. In other words, if FOX doesn't get its act together and service the core base of the GOP, the way CNN, MSNBC et al very clearly service the core liberal base, then FOX NEWS will destroy itself, and rightfully so - with times so desperate, we don't need a network which Ailes gleefully announced he was "taking to the left" and thus has been for the last year behaving - essentially literally - like a stealth enemy dressed up as a friend.
You don't see CNN or MSNBC call the far left "Loons" - indeed, they have some very far left people who are their hosts! The only thing surprising about these boycotts is that they did not happen years earlier.
Q: What will we do without FOX?
A: Involve yourself in enjoyable alternative sources until FOX is forced to meet the demands of the right. One of the Fire Ants, Janson Smithers, has compiled an excellent list of alternative sources. It will be seen at the bottom of this post.
FOX is second only to liberal GOP House Speaker who refuses to take any meaningful action against Obama as being a, IMO, knowing accessory to Obama's agenda by making a lot of loud noise that sounds like tough reporting but is really only bluster that hurts Obama not at all. As you have probably noticed, the moment a story gets too close to hurting Obama, they veer off fast. They are now basically reduced to covering the Zimmerman trial - a tabloid story of entirely fabricated importance - since just about everything that can be said about Obama is starting to sound like it has criminal investigation overtones. Putting it bluntly, it is clear in my own and the opinions of many others, that FOX is absolutely willfully cover for Obama. That's not what News organizations are supposed to do. There is supposed to be a history in journalism of digging deep and brazenly rooting out the real story! Is that what you see on FOX? I see loud and hollow complaining that only got Obama re-elected.
Q: FOX is not supposed to have 'an agenda". It only reports the news, fair and balanced, don't you know that?
A: Ridiculous. Who decides what's "news"? Some heavenly abstract authority? No. People in newsrooms decide what is "news". They decide what you see and hear; which common person's murder - and life - is more important than anothers; which politician's scandals are "newsworthy" and which as "not newsworthy".
FOX has decided that the Zimmerman trial, the national importance of which is positively laughable at best, is more important than the lives of 33 eyewitnesses to Benghazi - a number more or less confirmed by frustrated congressman who can't interview them - who have essentially vanished without a trace (there is much speculation - at best - posturing as fact about non-disclosure agreements, threats from the white house and 'national security" concerns, none of which has been substantiated). The fact is those people's names would ordinarily have been given to Congress within 48 hours according to House Rep Jason Chafftez and no one has even been given the names of these people in now three days short of ten months. It appears something absolutely horrible has happened and timid GOP reps who boast of being "small business owners" at home during elections have not a clue how to deal with something this alarming. But they better learn, because the people are holding them accountable.
No witness has stepped forward. No relative, friend, co-worker or enemy. That isn't how the world works.
In the "unsettling coincidences department", for months I have been saying that anyone with that information would have stepped forward with a million-dollar book deal, at least. Now, suddenly and somewhat mysteriously, we hear from a nest of hard-core liberals in the publishing industry that that has happened - four witnesses have stepped forward with a million-dollar book deal - from leftists - except these liberals say there is no "politics" involved in Benghazi and we don't get to know the names of the authors (the authors are supposedly "first responders" to the attacks even though we know only two SEALS - who broke ranks against stand-down orders - were the only 'first responders").
My personal opinion, and that's all it is, is that the book announcement has all the earmarks of an intentional political activist smokescreen to take the heat off Obama, knowing the true Benghazi story will destroy the democrat party for decades or even forever if it is half of what it appears to be. It is also my opinion that it is becoming increasingly likely the the worst possible scenario is the actual one: Obama meant to have all the people in Benghazi killed to silence witnesses to gun-running, two SEALS broke ranks, saved 33 witnesses who have since been killed or "conditioned". I say this with a fair amount of uncomfortable confidence: the very nervous and uncomfortable performances of both Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, former and current Secretaries of State, respectively, when asked about the survivor witnesses would by itself set off alarms to any police investigator checking a crime: both people lose their confidence in their voices, they both stammer, fail to maintain eye contact with the questioner and offer unconvincing vagueries to specific questions while the color runs out of their faces. That isn't the performance of people reporting on survivors who are well and good who just signed non-disclosure agreements. Most sensible people understand from such behavior that something terrible has happened and they are concealing the fact. Something truly terrible appears to have happened to those survivor witnesses. First they were unavailable because they were "in hospitals". Now? No one says. It appears that the atory was supposed to have gone away by now and there are no backup plans save for some cryptic announcement from a publisher so ensconced in hard-core liberals (see the article a few down below this one) that IMO no person with a bad story to tell about Obama would be signed by these people in a million years. That leaves us to assume no bad story exists about Obama regarding Benghazi. unfortunately, all the congressional testimony paints and startlingly different picture. In my opinion the book announcement is a smokescreen to protect Comrade Obama.
And yet, to hear FOX NEWS tell it, "Why you ridiculous right-wing loons, Zimmerman is the real news! Remember, we are your only choice in the world, so be sure to tune in to the next segment when we will call you conspiracy theorists. The segment after we will call you "Christian extremists". And be sure to turn in to Shepard Smith who will not report on the birth certificate, but will spend 10 minutes calling people who want it reported every insulting name in the book. Remember we're FOX and only we will love ya! See you next segment!"
No! No more of that.
This network/audience marriage is over. It's been an abusive relationship filled with the most awful manipulation imaginable. It's over, we're not stupid and this is done. If FOX NEWS wants us back, they are going to have to earn it. This time, we want some public apologies as well has honest reporting. Alternatives spring up every day. Indeed, if I may pat myself on the back for knowing my own business, readers here will recall that many months back I predicted that FOX had gone so far left that some enterprising outfit would move quickly to fill the void for conservatives, as is the way of the free market. That is exactly what has happened. Herring broadcasting partnered with the venerable Washington Times to create One America News Network, and they have pledged to be, among other things, the singular TV voice of the Tea Party (we'll see if they live up to it or if we will need to boycott One America, too). It is small, but 12 years ago FOX was small. Be sure to call and tell your cable or dish provider, "I want One America news network." Anyone who at least understands the current conservative market must be given a chance to succeed and serve it.
For those few still in doubt, here are just a few examples of FOX betraying it's right-wing audience, if you still aren't convinced. Some day I will post some reasonable proportion of them when I have the time to link several hundred:
Rush Limbaugh only a week ago complained on his radio show that FOX censored him, in case you think all this talk of agendas is some 'conspiracy theory". 1 minute in:
Here's O'Reilly in a segment which, upon reflection, should make you sick (remember, this is the supposed "extreme right" vantage point from which two years later in 2011, FOX CEO Roger Ailes decided to move away from when taking FOX "to the center" - a sense of right/left demarcation only a far-left extremist could love)
There was this infamously ugly scene where Shepard Smith attacked FOX new's own core base in staggeringly hurtful terms:
How correct was FOX in the last two clips, besides being unbelievably hurtful and disrespectful to its core audience? Obama did release a birth certificate. It's a proven fake by experts and law enforcement alike, and now Congressman Stockton, among others, has agreed to hear the evidence from "Sheriff" (seems like a lame term for a guy with 5 million constituents) Arpaio, Zullo and the rest of the legal investigation team. Oh yes, that's right - that's something else FOX has failed to report - even for 10 seconds.
Now the last two clips were from 2009. Ailes said in 2011 he was taking FOX "to the center". Well, we know that that is today: it's essentially CNN with people who act angry about Obama but never report anything that actually hurts him; it's the old "good cop, bad cop" routine: "You know, you should say what we want because my partner, here, gets a little excited...."
To those people saying "FOX is the best we have", I would like to tell you that that is what many said in 2009. Where did it get us? Obama was re-elected in 2010 and FOX has gone further to the left, by Ailes own merry 2011 press release announcement!
Of course, it's impossible to show a clip where FOX does not report on Benghazi but this clip with Sarah Palin recently is pretty close. 2 minutes in she brings up Benghazi and the Fox and Friends hosts immediately change the subject to - what? - Edward Snowden and keep it there! Unbelievable.
If we are ever going to do anything other than complain and sit drinking cool drinks in loungers pretending that complaining is enough, we have to take action - again. FOX is going to fight us on giving us - the audience that pays them through our viewership - what we want, clearly. A 40% drop should have alarmed anyone, but what we actually get is more manipulation. They re-hired Palin, clearly for appearances, then preempted her first prime time appearance for a Zimmerman update and then cut her off on the subject she herself said she felt was most important: Benghazi! I mean, seriously, it's outrageous: the hosts are very smooth, but being clearly manipulative. They say, "What is most important to you?" She says "Benghazi" and they say, "Great, let's talk about Snowden" with graphics already cued up in the control room and force that subject for the rest of the segment and Benghazi is never heard again. Absolutely unbelievable! That wasn't coincidence or the rambling incompetence of dim-witted hosts, not with no graphics of Benghazi but plenty cued up in the control room of Snowden - trust me, I know how this works - they knew exactly where this was going and it didn't matter what Sarah said. This clearly has 'agenda" stamped all over it, and it appears to be Obama's agenda.
BOYCOTT FOX. Or never complain about what Obama has done to America again, because, with respect, there is no neutral inaction: anyone who does not take a stand now may count themselves at this very moment as part of the problem, now and forever.
Janson's List Of Right Wing news Alternatives:
Alternatives to Fox News:
1.) One America News:
2.) For Benghazi, this blog, Benghazi Truth.
5.) Human Events:
6.) The Western Center for Journalism:
7.) National Review Online:
8.) News Busters:
9.) World Net Daily:
10.) The Daily Caller:
11.) CNS News:
13.) Media Research Center:
http://www.mrc.org This website has a few additional websites of its own listed at the top right hand side.
14.) Judicial Watch:
15.) Weasel Zippers:
16.) The Blaze:
17.) The Heritage Foundation: