City Journal Spring 2014

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Harry Stein
Hearty Ailes « Back to Story

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B. Samuel Davis May 13, 2013 at 6:53 AM
The real mystery is why it took so long for someone like Ailes to come along. After all, with 40% of the population self identifying as conservative, 40% as moderate and only 20% as liberal per Gallop, why wouldn't someone who wants to make money create a news network that leans to the right, or at leasst doesn't lean to the left.

The fact that it took someone from Australia to accept the foregoing idea is tragic for those who own stock in the very public companies that own the "traditional" Democratic news media. After all, isn't the aim of these companies to increase shareholder value? It certainly can't be to cater to the personal political ideology of those in charge.

All Ailes has done is what people are supposed to do in a capitalist economic system - he found a need and filled it. We all remember how dominating CNN was in cable news. Heck, I was one of those who thought that there was no chance that Fox would ever knock CNN off the number one spot.

Now that it is Fox that dominates cable news, what I wonder is this: if Fox could rise to the top by being "fair and balanced" (which it is), wouldn't a news network openly biased in favor of conservatives do even better?

In fact, the one and only way that CNN can ever regain its position is by doing Fox one better, and presenting news with an openly conservative bias. But, those in charge of CNN and other news networks are seemingly handicapped when it comes to bias, they are incapable of shaking off their Democrat/leftist bias, even though there is money in it - you see it every time these networks make a major change in personnel. It is always to bring in some new liberal face.

Are these people stupid, or do they know what they are doing and don't care?

The reason that the people in the traditional news business hate, REALLY hate Roger Ailes is that without Ailes no one would even discover that there was any demand for anything other than lefitst biased news. Ailes has made the traditional media look like the fools they are - and in a way that involves money - lots and lots of money.

In fact, it is a miracle that the shareholders of the public companies that own places like the old networks remain silent - after all, it is thier company that is being used to promote the personal views of those in charge, to the detriment of the bottom line.

Without Ailes the secret that there is a huge demand for objective or news with a conservative bias would never be revealed, and the networks could go their merry way conditioning the American public to vote for Democrats. Ailes showed that doing news with a Democratic/leftist bias was detrimental to making money, and he will never be forgiven for that.

And, the fact that the traidional news media has not changed one bit shows you how ingraned the bias really is. As ratings continue to fall for the Democratic networks, their excuses get thinner and thinner, and their desperation when it comes to Fox grows ever greater. For CNN the one and only way to outdo Fox would be to do news with a bias even more conservative than Fox - I am certain that this is Fox's nightmare, since in the TV business imitation of success is a given.

But, Ailes need not worry, since the blockheads in the traditional networks would rather go bankrupt than have to face their friends and collegues at cocktail parties. the fact that it would mean a pheniomenal increase of shareholder value means nothing -these people think of their companies as their fiefdoms, and increasing shareholder value by a change in bias is not even on the agenda, even as their ratings sink.

I wish Ailes a long life and a successor who is as savvy as he is.

Patrick MacKinnon May 12, 2013 at 8:30 AM
All I can say is thank you Roger for Fox News.
An apology for a propaganda shop?

The Right are obsessed with winning skirmishes, but in a democracy with large numbers of educated people this business of lying about the opposition is a losing tactic.

All the Democrats have to do is continue to nominate sensible candidates such as President Obama. Honest social conservatives have no reason to vote for Republicans.

America ain't suckers for the Galt Gulch schtick.
Anyone with a brain knows that there are all kinds of juicy stories of Ailes' and Fox News' inherent corruption just waiting to be told. Serious readers will be waiting for those in the real book, not this silly attempt at changing the subject.
Fox News may be in good term with Nielsen tv ratings system, but that has not transmitted in the renewal of America. The last time i checked, abortions run rampant, gay marriage is now spreading, pornography is everywhere... us christians better go on our knees. Boasting on tv ratings wont do it. Nobody can really know for sure ratings are accurate anyway.
So Mr. Beckel's "friends" are outraged that he appears on FOX; where his liberal views get a much wider audience. You would think Mr. Beckel would put together two and two and realize this means his liberal philosophy is the philosophy of intolerance.
Some of Fox News is hardly "fair and balanced."
Chris Wallace and Sheperd Smith are and Greta for the most part is; but, Megan Kelly and Bret Baird have slipped badly of late and that's unfortunate.