Even in the digital era, journalists love to carry water for the bosses. Alleged “media critic” Howard Kurtz has made a career of it, and now he’s letting Roger Ailes play him like a violin:
The left has long branded Fox News a propaganda arm for Ailes’s pugnacious conservatism, and while his journalists maintain they play it straight, the network has certainly provided ample fodder for liberal detractors. But as President Obama’s popularity has plummeted and the country has grown increasingly sick of partisan sniping, something unexpected happened. Roger Ailes pulled back a bit on the throttle.
He calls it a “course correction,” quietly adopted at Fox over the last year. Glenn Beck’s inflammatory rhetoric — his ranting about Obama being a racist — “became a bit of a branding issue for us” before the hot-button host left in July, Ailes says. So too did Sarah Palin’s being widely promoted as the GOP’s potential savior — in large measure through her lucrative platform at Fox. Privately, Fox executives say the entire network took a hard right turn after Obama’s election, but, as the Tea Party’s popularity fades, is edging back toward the mainstream.
Oh, please. The cranky old teabaggers who comprise the Fox News audience aren’t going to watch a network that actually is “fair and balanced”. Earlier in his post, Kurtz marvels that Ailes instructed his minions to ask Republican presidential candidates a few tough questions at a debate. Big deal. That’s a propaganda tactic. Megyn Kelly and Steve Doocy are still going to parrot right-wing talking points all day long. They have to. Fox’s sponsors need to sell Metamucil and scooters. It’s that simple.
There isn’t going to be any “course correction” at Fox News. Not now, not ever.