Former NY Times Columnist Claims Fox News Is 'Dead,' And Liberals Should Stop Protesting It

Former New York Times columnist Frank Rich wrote a long attack piece on Fox News for New York magazine theorizing that the Left pays too much attention to “waning” Fox News and gives them too much cachet by opposing them fiercely. It's called "Stop Beating a Dead Fox."

Fox never succeeds on its own. Liberals have the power to make it succeed:

In truth, Fox News has been defeated on the media battlefield—and on the political battlefield as well. Even the 73-year-old wizard of Fox, Roger Ailes, now in full Lear-raging-on-the-heath mode as -portrayed in my colleague Gabriel -Sherman’s definitive new biography, The Loudest Voice in the Room, seems to sense the waning of his power. The only people who seem not to know or accept Fox’s decline, besides its own audience, are -liberals, including Barack Obama, whose White House mounted a short-lived, pointless freeze-out of Fox News in 2009, and who convinced himself that the network has shaved five points off his approval rating.

Ailes would like the president and everyone else to keep believing he has that clout. But these days Fox News is the loudest voice in the room only in the sense that a bawling baby is the loudest voice in the room. In being so easily bullied by Fox’s childish provocations, the left gives the network the attention on which it thrives and hands it power that it otherwise has lost.
and it needs a fact check....

Rather than waste time bemoaning Fox’s bogus journalism, liberals should encourage it. The more that Fox News viewers are duped into believing that the misinformation they are fed by Ailes is fair and balanced, the more easily they can be ambushed by reality as they were on Election Night 2012. We are all fond of quoting the Daniel Patrick Moynihan dictum that “everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” But we should start considering the possibility that it now works to the Democrats’ advantage that Fox News does manufacture its own facts.


,,,Without Ailes and his Fox News to kick around anymore, the left may feel a bit disoriented—much as the right most certainly will once its unifying bête noire (literal and figurative), Obama, is gone from the White House. But while the right remains obsessed with fighting its unending war against a nearly lame-duck president, it behooves liberals to move on and start transitioning out of their Fox fixation. Paradoxically enough, the most powerful right-wing movement in the country, the insurgency in the Republican grassroots, loathes the Boehner-Christie-Rove-centric Fox News nearly as much as the left does. The more liberals keep fighting the last war against the more and more irrelevant Ailes, the less prepared they’ll be for the political war to come.

Rich claimed, “As the overwhelming leader in its field, Fox draws just over a million viewers in prime time—a -pittance and a niche next to even the ever-declining network newscasts.” He’s playing with averages. But on Thursday night, like most nights, The O’Reilly Factor was over three million viewers, and The Kelly File was close behind at 2.6 million.

Fox had the top 14 cable-news shows in 2013, and the top nine in the “money” demographic, 25 to 54. But somehow it’s immediately irrelevant, according to Frank Rich.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis