Tags: Why | Fox | News | Clobbering | the | Competition

Why Fox News Is Clobbering the Competition

Thursday, 02 September 2004 12:00 AM

According to the ratings, Fox News had 5.2 million viewers; NBC, 5.1 million; CBS, 4.4 million; ABC, 4.3 million; MSNBC, 1.6 million and CNN, 1.5 million.

The answer is one that their competition simply does not want to hear, and that is that Fox News is “fair and balanced” and the American public knows it!

I happened to be channel surfing immediately after the Republican convention was over on Wednesday night. Democratic Sen. Zell Miller had delivered the keynote address, a harsh denunciation of John Kerry and the Democratic Party. On the other channels the news anchors and reporters were visibly upset by what they had heard. In fact, they were just plain angry.

Their liberal bias was not even disguised – it was “in your face”! The talking heads on the other cable channels and networks kept saying over and over: “This is the angriest convention in the history of politics. Zell Miller gave the angriest speech I have ever heard in American politics!”

The reality was that the liberal networks were in a rage that the message of the Republican convention was effective. They felt threatened and intimidated, and it showed on their faces. So much for “fair and balanced.”

Yet on Fox News the talking heads Bill O’Reilly, Greta Van Susteren and Sean Hannity all looked calm and composed, even when interviewing liberal politicians and representatives of liberal organizations. There was no bias, no angst – they simply reported it like it was.

Obviously, America sensed that and that’s why Fox pulled in 5.2 million viewers.

Chris Matthews of MSNBC, who masquerades as objective, is always showing his hand. Matthews asked Zell Miller something to the effect of “Do you really think John Kerry is going to defend the nation with spitballs?” Zell answered with something like “It was a metaphor. Do you know what a metaphor is?” Would Matthews have asked that kind of tough question of John Kerry?

Peter Jennings had to remind everyone before Zell’s speech that the senator was retiring. Why the editorial? Why the dig? Why not just air the speech as Fox News did, without all the spin and hype?

The reason Fox News' audience is growing is because the network is living up to its promise of “fair and balanced.” In any other industry besides television news the CEOs and executives would hold themselves accountable and examine why they are losing market share to their competition. Then they would immediately make the necessary changes to win back that market share.

But in the television news business it seems you have entire networks willing to go down because of their ideology. In effect, it doesn’t matter what their customers want. They are not willing to respond to the marketplace even if it means losing ratings and viewers.

When you hear the wrath the other networks have toward Fox News, it comes down to one word: jealousy. Fox News has what they wish they had – loyalty and respect from their viewers. No wonder Fox News is growing.

Paul McGuire is the syndicated radio talk show host of "The Paul McGuire Show," heard on KBRT in Los Angeles. He is the author of 14 books, a frequent commentator on television news networks and a professor at the Kings College. His Web site is www.paulmcguire.com

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According to the ratings, Fox News had 5.2 million viewers; NBC, 5.1 million; CBS, 4.4 million; ABC, 4.3 million; MSNBC, 1.6 million and CNN, 1.5 million. The answer is one that their competition simply does not want to hear, and that is that Fox News is "fair and...
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Thursday, 02 September 2004 12:00 AM
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