Location: New York
Politics: Mention Fox to any American liberal and then take out a thermometer to see what temperature blood boils at. Fox is widely held to promote conservative political positions and was a neocon stronghold in the days before their positions went mainstream in the US print media.
Fox News is a subsidiary of News Corp, which is publicly traded on the NASDAQ and S&P 500 Components. In the first quarter of News Corp’s fiscal year 2016 (current third quarter), the company earned $2 billion in total international revenues , $124 million of which came from its cable network programming segment. Overall, that came from $880 million in advertising, $639 million in circulation and subscription, $392 million in consumer and $103 million in other revenues.
Fox News Channel was established by media mogul Rupert Murdoch in 1996, primarily to compete with CNN. At first it reached only 17 million US homes — less than a third of CNN’s reach. Fox News surpassed its top-rated rival in 2002. It had on average 1.2 million viewers in prime time compared to Ted Turner’s 900,000. It has been number one since then. Covering over 37 percent of US television homes, Fox has 17 owned-and-operated stations and affiliation agreements with 177 other TV stations. Besides straight-up current affairs, Fox News developed a reputation for having a strong opinion component. Despite its ‘fair and balanced’ motto, Fox News generally works with right-wing experts and commentators, including high-profile Republicans. Its political leanings fell under fire after Murdoch’s News Corp. donated $1 million to the Republican Governors Association in 2010.
The 83-year-old is a living legend of the media world, rising from provincial Australian beginnings to become, arguably, the global corporate media’s most powerful figure. Murdoch’s philosophy changes with the prevailing winds. He can be pro-Scottish independence personally, while his newspapers oppose it. He is fiercely Republican, but his London tabloid, the Sun, steadfastly supports the British monarchy. Another paradox is that the Aussie owns the most conservative and patriotic major TV news outlet in America, but is not nearly as conservative as his media outlets would have you imagine.
Murdoch ran afoul of President Barack Obama in October, after calling Ben Carson, one of the contenders for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016, “a real black President who can properly address the racial divide.”
Meanwhile, he had nothing but disdain for billionaire Donald Trump, the Republican candidate who is not part of the GOP establishment. Despite Murdoch’s resentment, however, his Fox Business Network continues to give Trump air time.
In June 2015, Murdoch resigned as CEO of 21st Century Fox, appointing his son James, 42, to the post. He “retired” to the post of executive chairman, which he will share with another son, Lachlan, 43.
The ‘face’ of Fox. O’Reilly has carefully crafted a no-nonsense, working-class Irish Catholic image, the self-proclaimed voice of the everyman. O’Reilly calls himself ‘traditionalist’ and refuses to be affiliated with either left or right. That ethos is at the heart of his ‘No Spin’ zone. He rises above the political fray. To disagree with him is not to take a conservative or liberal position, it is to take a ‘pinhead’s’ position. Of course, for anyone who watches ‘The Factor’, it doesn’t take long to find out which side of the political aisle consistently adopts pinhead positions. And the nature of his most controversial statements are also telling. For example, in August 2010, O’Reilly accused the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of aiding Al-Qaeda. Why? Because the ACLU had filed suit saying American citizens accused of terrorism were being denied due process by being killed in predator drone strikes before they had been convicted of any crime.
“The ACLU has always been a far-left outfit, but it is now actively helping terrorists who kill people all over the world,” O’Reilly said.
His bluntness also applies to religion. In 2010, as a guest on the view, the panel was discussing a lower Manhattan Muslim community center. O’Reilly was opposed to its construction, saying: “Muslims killed us on 9/11.” This caused Whoopi Goldberg to walk off the set of panel show ’The View’ and sparked a massive blowout.
O’Reilly made the 9/11 attacks a pet cause, often invoking self-righteous anger, even at those who had actually lost family in the attack, all because they differed on policy. On February 3, 2013, O’Reilly invited Jeremy Glick on to The Factor. Glick, the son of a Port Authority worker who died in the 9/11 attacks, publicly opposed the American invasion of Afghanistan.
When Glick accused O’Reilly of evoking the sympathy of the 9/11 victims to advance his political agenda, O’Reilly became livid, telling him to “shut his mouth.”
O’Reilly later said“If I could have whacked him, I would have.”
Of course, while Glick was O’Reilly’s “most offensive interview,” he’s not the only one who’s been told to “shut up.”
Ailes is the president of Fox News Channel and was previously a media consultant for Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush — all Republicans. In keeping with the tone of his network, Ailes referred to National Public Radio (NPR) as “Nazis” for firing news analyst Juan Williams, after Williams had made harsh remarks about Muslims.
“They are, of course, Nazis. They have a kind of Nazi attitude. They are the left wing of Nazism. These guys don’t want any other point of view. They don’t even feel guilty [about] using tax dollars to spout their propaganda. They are basically Air America with government funding to keep them alive.”
Ailes would later apologize to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for his comments.
Perhaps it’s better to leave the incendiary comments to his TV personalities.
Many Fox hosts admit that the station is biased towards the Republican Party. The network denies it. During the Iraq War, Fox was accused of ‘underplaying’ bad news stories about US involvement in the conflict.
In 2009, a major row erupted between President Obama’s administration and Fox. After the network virulently attacked his healthcare reform plans, Obama appeared on all major US News programs, except those on Fox. For its part, the network chose to ignore Obama’s public appearances on a number of occasions.
Anita Dunn, Obama’s communications director, even argued that “FOX News often operates almost as either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican party.”
Later that year, the Los Angeles Times reported that at least one Democratic strategist was warned by the White House to never appear on Fox again.
When the White House attempted to block Fox reporters from the press pool covering the Treasury Department, other networks rose up in protest. Fox eventually profited from the feud, with the network’s ratings rising 13 percent that summer, according to CBS.
IS execution video
In February 2015, Fox News showed an unedited, 22-minute video of the gruesome execution of the Jordanian pilot Muadh al-Kasasbeh. Captured by Islamic State militants, al-Kasasbeh was locked in a cage and set on fire. Fox was the only US network to show the video in full, and the first time it did so with an IS execution.
“After careful consideration, we decided that giving readers of FoxNews.com the option to see for themselves the barbarity of ISIS outweighed legitimate concerns about the graphic nature of the video,” the network said in a statement.
In October 2015, during a discussion of Australian gun control laws promoted by a number of US Democrats, Fox political news correspondent Tucker Carlson said that Australia “has no freedom” and that people there “go to prison for expressing unpopular views.” Carlson’s remarks prompted a strong backlash from Australians.
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