Analysis of media issues, politics and current events.
In the last few months, it seems clear that Fox News has shifted its weight as a political kingmaker. Leaning on some factions of conservatives and Republicans and shying away from others. In the last year, once lauded celebrities like Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Rick Santorum, The TEA Party and now Rick Perry seem to be ridiculed by Fox News personalities and reporting than supported by it.
What do they all haven in common? They are all supporters or members of the factions of the Republican party beyond its traditional moderate or managerial base. As a result, it seems clear Fox News (a.k.a. Ailes) doesn’t want to give them a platform anymore.
In fact, In this week’s interview with Newsweek’s media columnist, Howard Kurtz, Fox News Chief Roger Ailes seem to admit Fox News gave too much latitude and exposure to the more strident, bombastic factions of the Republican and conservative groups. Ailes hired Sarah Palin as a rising star and matriarch of the TEA party. But over the last year, he seems to have diminished her role to all but contractual on-air obligations. Now Palin now finds herself often the critical or dismissive end of a Fox’s opinion leader’s comments.
The TEA Party, where once Fox producers were caught coaxing TEA Party audiences in protests and showing misleading clips of the TEA Party protests, now can’t get arrested on its news and opinion programming.
In his interview, Ailes admits that, through Fox News, he created a monster in the TEA party and hard right conservatives. A media beast that got to the point where the TEA Party tail began the to wag to dog of the mainstream, management wing of the Republican Party. With TEA Party and other groups kicking out moderates from office rather than supporting the party, moderates and management Republicans can’t find a lot of room in the party tent. The growth and control of the TEA Party had gone too far.
In this interview with Howard Kurtz of Newsweek, Ailes essentially all his situation a branding issue. And for him, it is. Because he viewer demographic is changed.
It’s a nice way of saying picks like Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and the TEA party didn’t convey the image of Republican that Fox News wants to reflect. And the the TEA Party splits the once more monolithic Fox audience. Moderates conservatives and independents were once the core of Fox. Now they are just a part of the Fox audience. Now are now more diverse groups (within the realm of conservative thought) as Fox viewer. And they don’t agree with each other. Fox News is just adjusting to match. You’re seeing arguments and fight between different branches on conservatism. Which diverts a lot of energy from it’s normal media fare of taunting and deconstructing non-conservative groups.
See Kurtz’s interview with Ailes at The Daily Beast.