On Good Morning America Wednesday, ABC anchor, longtime Clinton Foundation donor and former Clinton staffer George Stephanopoulos grilled Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway on a laundry list of topics before asking this embarrassingly obtuse question: Is it ‘appropriate’ for Fox News’ Roger Ailes to advise Trump, after he’s been accused of sexual harassment?
Penn State professor and Bernie Sanders enthusiast Sophia McClennen has a message for her fellow progressives: “If the thought of a [Donald] Trump presidency worries you, the thought of a Trump news network should scare the hell out of you.” McClennen’s Monday piece for Salon addressed reports that if Trump loses to Hillary Clinton, he, Steve Bannon, and Roger Ailes may start a competitor to Fox News. McClennen expects that a Trumpcentric media business would be “founded on the same principles we have seen in place during his campaign: hate mongering, extreme nationalism, xenophobia, misogyny and a total lack of connection to reality. If the campaign seemed to have fascist tendencies, imagine a news network founded on those same principles.”
During the early years of the Iraq war, the so-called Pottery Barn rule -- “you break it, you buy it” -- became a common expression inside the Beltway. Talking Points Memo’s Josh Marshall suggested on Monday that something like the Pottery Barn rule describes what’s happened to the Republican party: conservative media wrecked it and now, along with Donald Trump, control what’s left of it. “The rightwing media echo-chamber created a framework in which you are immediately discredited if you do not subscribe to a series of demonstrably false claims, non-facts and theories…all leaving the party ungovernable and vulnerable to a takeover by someone like Donald Trump,” declared Marshall.
It’s not a compliment when New York Times TV writer James Poniewozik summarizes Ailesgate with the tweet “On Roger Ailes, the J. Edgar Hoover of TV news.” When every other broadcast and cable TV network leans to the Left, somehow it’s Fox News that represents unaccountable and overweening political power?
Apparently, having almost every other news outlet tilt toward the liberals means they’re somehow more democratic and accountable as they all echo each other like an enormous blob of public relations. No, it’s Fox that manipulates the "lizard brains" of a dangerously stupid group of conservative white people. That’s the echo of this thesis:
For the second day in a row, The Washington Post ran a front-page story on the expected departure of longtime Fox News boss Roger Ailes. The headline was “A big divide for Fox News chief, sons of Murdoch.”
Conservatives spewed coffee and/or laughed at the fourth paragraph, where business reporters Ana Swanson and Steven Mufson pretended that most networks – ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, PBS – huddled tightly around centrism:
The mainstream media give high marks to Megyn Kelly, but that’s because they’re grading on a curve, believes Eric Alterman, who fumed recently about Vanity Fair’s February cover story on Kelly.
Alterman contended that writer Evgenia Peretz’s portrayal of Kelly as “a brave truth-teller, a feminist hero and a bit of a liberal” is “complete nonsense. That any of these descriptions are even imaginable is a tribute to Rupert Murdoch, Roger Ailes, and the rest of the far-right media/entertainment complex. They have moved America’s ideological goalposts so far rightward that a person can earn undeserved praise merely for not being the worst of the worst.”
Ben Carson seems to be joining the likes of Michele Bachmann and Howard Dean on the list of presidential candidates who generated a lot of early buzz but became distant also-rans well before a nominee was chosen. According to Washington Monthly blogger David Atkins, Carson’s campaign also offers yet more proof that conservatives tend to be easy marks for scammers.
“The libertarian-conservative ethic of ‘get rich any way you can’ combined with a stubborn dismissal of objective fact makes political conservatism especially ripe for con artistry,” argued Atkins in a Saturday post. “It’s no accident that the tea party has been home to one grifter after another making a quick buck…Fox News itself is a long con perpetrated on fearful, older white Americans with the goal of making Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes rich while keeping Republican politicians in power.”
There are two points here. First, Rupert Murdoch has spent a lifetime working relentlessly on a stunning accomplishment. Murdoch’s relentless attention to detail has created a media empire that now, a decade and a half into the 21st century, spans not only the globe but every means of communication from satellites to television, film, newspapers, books and, of critical importance in the new century, the digital.
The second point? Along the way Murdoch - with the not inconsiderable gifts of Roger Ailes - has broken the once seemingly unbreakable iron grip of the liberal media in America. For good.
Just like his Washington Post colleague Chris Cillizza, media blogger Erik Wemple just can’t stand the notion that someone would assert the press favors Hillary Clinton for president. We noted the other day that Fox News boss Roger Ailes said the press will vote for Hillary no matter what she does. Wemple claimed that “makes no sense” and blustered about how tough the media’s acting.
In an interview with Marisa Guthrie of The Hollywood Reporter, Fox News boss Roger Ailes played his cards close to the vest on whether Fox will give oxygen to “fringe candidates” on the Republican side who could “torment” Jeb Bush. But he did crack wise that “Hillary is going to do whatever she wants, and the press is going to vote for her.”
For the last several days, NewsBusters has been showcasing the Media Research Center’s Best Notable Quotables of 2014 as a way to review the worst media bias of 2014. Today’s categories: the self-explanatory Damn Those Conservatives Award and the Twisted Tweets Award.
Ever since Jeff Zucker took the reins of the Cable News Network in January of 2013, he has made many significant changes in that channel's programming. His most popular move has been a shift from solid news to more reality shows, such as Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown and The Hunt With John Walsh.
However, that change has also drawn fire from such people as Jon Stewart, host of The Daily Show on the Comedy Central cable channel, who launched a campaign on the Kickstarter website to raise $10 billiion to buy CNN because it's been “terrible for many, many years.”