Monday, July 27, 2009

FOX News: Killing the Republican Party?

We live in interesting times, and that's interesting!

The title link is to an article at a prominent website about media. The new authorship here plans to focus more about the media. This article linked is about how the Republican enablers basically cannot help themselves: they are hastening the demise of the Republican party. (?) It's kind of a shame. We need loyal opposition after all. I find this part compelling:
Fox has corralled a stable of the most disreputable, unqualified, extremist, lunatics ever assembled, and is presenting them as experts, analysts, and leaders. These third-rate icons of idiocy are marketed by Fox like any other gag gift (i.e. pet rocks, plastic vomit, Sarah Palin, etc.). So while most Americans have never heard of actual Republican party bosses like House Minority Leader John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, posers like Joe the Plumber and Carrie Prejean have become household names.

So here we are, in the belly of the beast.
By doubling down on crazy, Fox is driving the center of the Republican Party further down the rabid hole. They are reshaping the party into a more radicalized community of conspiracy nuts. So even as this helps Rupert Murdoch’s bottom line, it is making celebrities of political bottom-feeders That can’t be good for the long-term prospects of the Republican Party.

Mark my words, the Republican party has yet to reconcile the crazies they have relied upon since the 1960's with the modern ability now to expose those crazies for what they are with new media.

And if you wonder about how FOX News gains a seemingly disproportionate influence in political media, commit this to wit:
Fox News is fond of boasting about their ratings dominance. It is a daily occurrence and the structural core of their argument that they reflect the mood of America. The GOP has bought this argument in its entirety. So it is important to note here that success in the Nielsen ratings has no correlation to public opinion polling. The ratings only measure the program choices of Nielsen’s survey participants. That is a subset of the population at large, and not a particularly representative one. It is a sample focused on consumers, not voters. And its respondents are just those willing to have their TV viewing monitored 24 hours a day, which skews the sample in favor of people who aren’t creeped out by that. ...So any attempt to tie ratings to partisan politics is a foolish exercise that demonstrates a grievous misunderstanding of the business of television.

Okay, so maybe FOX News isn't as influential as you fear they might be. Find solace in the truth, my friend.

Before you think that reasonable Americans are besieged by the likes of O'Reilly, consider this from the article:
. A mere 3 share (3% of people watching TV) will land you in the top 10. For cable news the bar is set even lower. In fact, the top rated show on the top rated cable news network (The O’Reilly Factor) only gets about 3 million viewers. That’s less than 1% of the American population. It’s also less than World Wrestling Entertainment, SpongeBob SquarePants, and the CBS Evening News (the lowest rated broadcast network news program). By contrast, America’s Got Talent is seen by 12 million viewers - four times O’Reilly’s audience.

So have heart. Keep the faith. You are not besieged. Hold your head high and speak loudly. Preach it! Preach the truth!