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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Fox was a far better watchdog on the Obama

Media critic David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun writes that Fox News is number one and the reason is simple. Courage.
I think one of the reasons for this latest evolution of ratings dominance might be that Fox was a far better watchdog on the Obama White House than any other TV news organization. It took the heat and the blowback from an administration that showed an enmity for the press not seen on Pennsylvania Avenue since the dark days of Richard Nixon, but it stayed the course. And now with viewers seeing the contempt this administration had for them and the truth, they respect what Fox did the last six years.

In the early days of 2009 the Obama administration declared war on Fox News. In October of 2009 it announced that the network would no longer be able to conduct interviews with officials as a member of the press pool. The pool which is a five-member group consisting of ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox News and NBC organized by the White House Correspondents Association informed the White House that its membership is not subject to oversight by the government.
In 2010 Obama Justice Department tapped the phone of Fox News correspondent James Rosen and also the phone of his parents. To obtain the warrant for the wiretaps the DOJ had to swear before a federal judge that Rosen had conspired in espionage. This was done with the full knowledge and consent of Attorney General Holder and is something not seen since the days of Richard Nixon and Daniel Ellsberg.
A generation from now the Obama White House will rightfully be viewed with shame and contempt but returning to the gist of Mr. Zurawik's post, Fox News kicked ass in the election night ratings. Fox's audience share about equaled the shares of ABC, CNN, and MSMBC combined. For the week Fox was not just the number one news channel it was the number cable channel beating out Nickelodeon and ESPN.

Overall 25 to 54 Key Demo
Fox News 6.6 million 1.8 million
CBS 5.4 million 1.5 million
NBC 4.2 million 1.5 million
ABC 3.1 million 1.1 million
CNN 1.9 million 912,000
MSNBC 1.6 million 566,000

For an encore Fox followed up with “The Man Who Killed Us ama Bin Laden.”  It drew 3 million viewers the first night and 3.37 million the second night, making it the most successful documentary in Fox News history.
For my money Fox could do even better. As a part of the Fox media empire it has local reporters spread though out the county as do the big three networks. It could do spectacular reporting of local stories, Matt Drudge style, that interest many but never make national news. It could hire Sharyl Attkisson to head up an investigative division that would track government corruption at all levels along with private sector shady business deals. On the other hand it's not doing too bad without my advice.

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