The malicious divisiveness of Fox News goes way beyond Sean Hannity. And while he is an extreme example of its perniciousness, driving advertisers from his show or eliminating its profitability altogether will not do anything to address the problem of why he is so popular in the first place nor the almost equally awful host that will almost surely replace him.
On CNN’s Reliable Sources show Sunday, host Brian Stelter addressed the “negative partisanship” in the right-wing media and at Fox News, in particular. Guest John Avlon, editor-in-chief of The Daily Beast and a CNN political analyst, called that “the glue that holds together their otherwise fragile and fractious coalition.” But, he added, it also “makes us dumber, it makes us meaner, it makes us more divided as a country.”
The other guest, Baltimore Sun’s media critic David Zurawik spoke to something deeper and more sinister going on than Fox's obsession with smearing political foes such as Bill and Hillary Clinton.
ZURAWIK: [I]t’s the populism that -- the, quote, populism. Trump won by saying, look, there are these forces that are causing all the pain to you people out there who feel abused. I'm the only one who will stand up to those forces. Last night I heard -- I saw, Bannon said the same thing.
He said, you know what this Roy Moore is about -- he was speaking somewhere -- it's about tearing down Roy Moore and it's about tearing down anybody who will stand up and speak for you -- whether it's Trump, whether it's Breitbart, whether it's Moore. And, Brian, I heard almost the exact same words from Bill O'Reilly when he had a -- you could call it a rally but there were only 2,000 people in 14,000 arena in Baltimore last month where he said, you can't trust them, "The Washington Post," "The New York Times," CNN, "The Baltimore Sun", they lie. I tell you the truth. Pay attention to me.
And I thought, my God, these people -- and it's people on the right -- are exploiting the fissures in this society and are driving this. And they're media figures, media and political figures working together.
In his Reliable Sources newsletter (which I highly recommend), Stelter summed up the boycott situation by saying, “At the moment, this is not a repeat of the Bill O'Reilly advertiser exodus from last spring. But it's worth monitoring. Fox News is not commenting...”
Perhaps more importantly from my point of view, Stelter pointed out that an article in today’s New York Times noted that Fox ratings have surged of late. I am not convinced that the surge is permanent but it doesn’t really matter. The point is that Fox, its malevolence, noxiousness and its ability to speak to a significant chunk of America is here to stay whether it wins a time slot or not.
Even if Hannity goes, there’s still Fox & Friends, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, Jeanine Pirro, Lou Dobbs, Harris Faulkner – well, you get the picture. An advertiser boycott helped push out Bill O’Reilly yet it’s hard to argue that Fox has gotten measurably less awful since his departure.
Rather than engage in a push-me, pull-you over advertisers which, let’s face it, quacks a lot like an attempt to stifle free speech, I think we’d do much better to work on addressing the bigger picture.
We’ll need to do that whether Hannity is in it or not. We might as well start doing it now.
Watch the discussion on "negative partisanship" below, from CNN's November 12, 2017 Reliable Sources.
All in the name of profit.
the list keeps getting longer….
The suits that run this ‘network’ should have been terminated months ago. These frauds are the ones responsible for the garbage that airs on Hannie Pie the Vapor Man’s show, and others.
Pie is a disgusting man. It’s a pity he has children. Merri Jill had the opportunity to run from this demon, but chose to marry him, instead.
There are people on Long Island who associate with this clown because of his wealth. That includes a couple who runs an all boys facility, a few nonprofit organizations such as that Long Island hospital, a children’s charitable organization, and more.
Kevin Sorbo calls himself a ‘christian’, yet he does business with this clown. He needs to look in the mirror, and not ask Pie for financial handouts.