Why Fox News didn’t care about its viewers
Outrage in the 21st-Century Media & Social Media: Why Do We Live and Greed About You? Which Outrage Gets Your Attention?
The Rachel Maddow Show opened in the political era of the time. The 9/11 era and the George W. Bush presidency happened before that. Barack Obama was elected president a few days after Lehman Brothers collapsed and after the show launched in 2008.
Young pulls together a lot of research on psychology, history and media to explain why we find funny what we do. There’s a huge need for closure. If you need a clear-cut moral rules, then satire, which makes us question our own beliefs, is going to make you anxious. Ouchie stuff if “us versus them” makes you feel safest.
As it turns out, political messages play on some similar psychological needs. One that tells you who are “bad” and, even better, how to punish them satisfies the same need as good old-fashioned outrage. One of the most enduring outrage political messages of 21st-century politics was written by Donald Trump and his audience.
When you look across media platforms, it is easier to see how conservative psychological preference for outrage bodes better for their growth in satellite radio, lifestyle media and, of course, social media. My Times colleague Zeynep Tufekci is one of many scholars who have documented how social media’s economic models reward outrage-driven content. Conservative social media platforms like Parler are duds. Conservatives are highly popular on social networks and on video-sharing websites like Facebook. Musk has said he’s going to turn social media into a free-speech platform. Some people think that it means reinstating accounts banned for violating the terms of service. Outrage comedy has for the most part never found its late-night mojo, but outrage content is doing just fine in every other sector of infotainment.
The irony isn’t lost on me that conservative audiences complain about how vilified they are in popular culture. Conservative media seems to be doing quite well. Joe Rogan and Ben Shapiro are two of the most popular podcast hosts in the nation. There is a different kind of liberal counterpart. Fox News lost some of its big names when Megyn Kelly and Bill O’Reilly left in 2017. But while MSNBC looks for its footing after Rachel Maddow’s exit on most weeknights and as CNN pivots to centrism, Fox is beating them both in ratings.
Our shared reality has given way to algorithmically rendered realities. The information landscape is polluted by some of the most popular media and political figures. The press is attacked in dishonest ways and manyprofits from propaganda that affirm the views of their audiences.
The path to chaos in America is un-American, not a matter of opinion, but a tragic truth. CNN’s Joe Biden speaks out
President Joe Biden addressed the country from Washington’s Union Station on Wednesday, just a few days before the elections.
“As I stand here today, there are candidates running for every level of office in America, for governor, Congress, attorney general, secretary of state, who won’t commit, they will not commit to accepting the results of the elections that they’re running in,” Biden said. “This is the path to chaos in America. It’s unprecedented. It isn’t legal. And it’s un-American.”
The line in the speech — which was televised by cable news, but snubbed by the more-watched broadcast networks — is not a matter of opinion. It does not include a political spin. It’s a tragic raw fact.
The first version of this article appeared in theReliable Sources newsletter. Sign up for the daily digest chronicling the evolving media landscape here.
The Future is Now: Why Do Americans Care About Elections? The Anatomy of the Right-Wing Media Landscape and How Do We Care About It
Only 41% of Republicans have confidence that US elections reflect the will of the people, a CNN poll conducted by SSRS and published Wednesday found. A staggering 66% of Republicans continue to say that they do not believe Biden was the legitimate winner of the 2020 elections.
It is impossible to comprehend why Americans no longer trust US elections without understanding the information universe they reside in. The right-wing media landscape contains bad-faith TV hosts, radio hosts, and websites that spread conspiracy theories about the elections process.
“There is no such thing as election denying in a free society. It is called free speech. Carlson said you are allowed to say it if you think about it. We have media that is trying to shut down free speech, even though it exists to defend it. How dare you raise any questions about next week’s midterms. Why are they telling you that? It’s ominous.”
It’s easy to dismiss Carlson’s rhetoric as fringe. To state that he’s a radical cable talker who doesn’t fit in with the larger right-wing media universe where Republicans mostly get their news.
And it is understandable why some people choose to ignore it. It’s hard to come to terms with the fact that so many Americans — neighbors, friends, family members — are being radicalized by extreme voices who are wrestling for control of the Republican Party.
Doing so would ignore the forces that help the cancer grow. And for news organizations, ignoring the toxicity that defines the right-wing media universe leaves readers and viewers without a complete picture of what is happening in the country.
Mr. Licht is facing pressures to cut costs. He said he doesn’t trust Mr. Zaslav for his indifference to financial results. He hoped to engage in a transparent process that would leave everyone feeling heard after announcing the need for more layoffs. It would be foolish to not do the work now, he said. He promised that CNN would be more profitable next year.
The best journalists on the globe, as well as a world-renowned news organization, make for an uplifting atmosphere for you at work. Your jobs have meaning to you. Your jobs have an impact. You are part of something bigger, of something with tremendous meaning. Nothing has changed about that. You have in me, someone who has done a lot of work for you, someone who has your back all the time. My loyalty is to journalism and this organization in the strictest sense, without fear or favor to anyone else.
What Do We Think about Media Trust? Why Do Americans Don’t Care About News? A New York Times Comment on Jones’s View of the Media Landscape
The results of a Gallup and the Knight Foundation annual survey of Americans about how they view the press were very bad.
The report shows that Americans think national newsrooms can serve the public, but they do not believe they are well-intentioned. 23% of people said that they believe national newsrooms care about their audiences.
Americans are having a harder time deciding what to believe. According to a majority of the respondents, the increase in information has made it harder to sort bad information from good.
None of this is surprising, but it is definitely alarming. The same story is being presented in different ways to different people, because of the broken media landscape.
The study on Wednesday underscored this polarization. “Media trust continues to vary along predictable lines. Republicans express less trust in news organizations than Democrats. Among Republicans, trust in news continues to decline,” Gallup and the Knight Foundation said.
It’s unclear how — or if — any single news organization can solve for this. MSNBC boss Rashida Jones offered her perspective on trust in media Wednesday at a New York event where she championed delivering the truth to audiences as the best path forward.
Jones stated that you couldn’t sacrifice the truth. “Sometimes the truth isn’t pretty. Sometimes the truth might be critical of this group or that group. Rather than trying to keep a scorecard of, well, we had X number of perspectives in this party, and X number of perspectives in this party — it’s gotten a little bit more nuanced than that.”
Which begs the natural question: Can delivering the truth be at the heart of a news organization’s mission in 2023 if the aim is to not offend those on one end of the political spectrum at a far greater frequency than the other?
Dominion filed its mammoth lawsuit against Fox News in March 2021, alleging that during the 2020 presidential election the network “recklessly disregarded the truth” and pushed various pro-Trump conspiracy theories about the election technology company because “the lies were good for Fox’s business.”
In one set of messages, Carlson claimed that Sidney Powell, an attorney representing the Trump campaign, was lying and that he had caught her doing so. Sidney is a complete nut. No one will work with her. Ditto with Rudy [Giuliani].”
The court document offered the most vivid picture to date of the chaos that transpired behind the scenes at Fox News after Trump lost the election and viewers rebelled against the right-wing channel for accurately calling the contest in Biden’s favor.
There will be a lot of noise and confusion generated by the private equity owners, but the core of the case remains about freedom of the press and free speech, which are protected by the New York Times v. Sullivan case, according to the network.
Why? There are a lot of reasons. There is power. Fame. These are universal human temptations. But the answer goes deeper. Fox News became a juggernaut not simply by being “Republican,” or “conservative,” but by offering its audience something it craved even more deeply: representation. And journalism centered on representation ultimately isn’t journalism at all.
Carlson said to get her fired. “Seriously … what the f**k? I’m surprised it needs to stop immediately. It is hurting the company.
The person with direct knowledge of the situation told CNN that top hosts were working behind the scenes to get her fired and that she didn’t know about it.
In another case, when host Neil Cavuto cut away from a White House press briefing where election misinformation was being promoted, senior Fox News leadership were told such a move presented a “brand threat.”
Scott talked to Lachlan Murdoch about a plan to win back viewers. Scott said the right-wing talk channel would “highlight our stars and plant flags letting the viewers know we hear them and respect them.” Murdoch responded that the brand needed “rebuilding without any missteps.”
The court filing also revealed that Fox News executives had criticized some of the network’s top talent behind the scenes. Lou Dobbs hosted a show that was more nuanced than the North Koreans did, according to Jay Wallace, the network president. The executive producer ofJustice with Judge Jeanine referred to the host of the show as nuts.
The president of the Fox Business Network stated that putting Trump on the air would be foolish and could have a negative affect on a lot of people, according to the new filing.
A source familiar with the committee’s work says that they did not know that Trump had made the call.
The panel wanted to piece together a detailed account of Trump’s activities on that day. His newly revealed call to Fox News shows some of the gaps in the record that still exist, due to roadblocks the committee faced.
The afternoon of January 6th, after the Capitol came under attack, then-president Trump called into Lou Dobbs show trying to get on the air.
Fox executives vetoed the decision, according to the filing. Why? Not because of a lack of newsworthiness. January 6 was an important event. President Trump was the key figure on that day, not only being the sitting President.
Dobbs’ show on Fox Business – in which he routinely promoted baseless conspiracies about the 2020 election – was canceled a few weeks after the January 6 insurrection.
Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham brutally mocked lies being pushed by the Trump camp asserting that the election had been rigged.
The calls are taken by Fox. I spent my time in the Fox green rooms pitching stories to Fox producers before Donald Trump. I was aware that religious liberty was more important than mainstream media outlets were. They loved stories about cops and vets. Occasionally, this was good, we need more coverage of religion in America, but over time Fox became much more than a news network.