Fox News is still the US’s number one cable network but in July it was the only network which actually lost viewers over 2010. It’s triumvirate of rightists, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and Greta Van Susteren, all saw declines and the furthest right commentator, Glenn Beck, has gone from the schedules.
This is symptomatic of another reason why Murdoch is in trouble. Fox News practically invented the Tea Party, and therefore to some extent is to blame for the political eccentricities list of GOP candidates now scrapping to take on Obama and the fracturing at the heart of the Republican party. Fox‘s own tone has been back-pedaling from its more extreme positions, but the CEOs and the GOP grandees who would naturally be Murdoch’s constituency are no longer in thrall to his power in quite the same way.
I think there is much truth to this notion – corporate America is now beginning to understand that without a functioning government that is able to stimulate economic growth, there won’t be much of a market left for them to sell their products. Fox News has helped create some of the most extreme Right wing national candidates in US history, and their election to serious positions of power would be so detrimental to the economy that big business is now scared of the Republican party.
Murdoch is no fool, and he and Roger Ailes have been busy scaling back the rhetoric to fall in line with regular corporate Republicanism. However, having created monsters like Palin, Bachmann and Perry, the damage has already been done, and News Corp’s reputation may be irrepairably damaged.
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Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.