Sunday, March 11, 2007

Hooray for Fox

I sent this as an e-mail to Mickey Kaus:

Hi Mickey,

I don’t quite understand why Fox News is supposed to be such an asset for Republicans. Isn’t it a liability?

After all, one of the biggest problems that Democrats faced 1992-2005 was their inability to get outside of their media cocoon – CNN/NYT/PBS, etc. It was an echo chamber! Democrats would spend a cozy two years locked in a hazy liberal bliss, then get socked in midterms or the Presidential election.

Isn’t Fox News – and its surrounding Conservative Blogosphere -- the exact same thing? And isn’t it leading to the exact same problems? Republican activist types never have to read the hated New York Times, or watch CNN, or do anything that would expose them to the larger world. And in the last midterms, the talking heads they were used to seeing on Fox and friends confidently predicted a Republican victory. Consequentially, there were no Republican vote-catching initiatives, no sense of urgency, just the same complacent cocoon we’re used to seeing on the Dem side. They never hear about any of the 70% of people who disapprove of Bush.

So if Republicans want to stick with Fox, and the New York Sun, and the Corner, then that is perfectly fine with me. Cocoon away! I just wish Dems would absorb the lessons of 2006 and continue engaging on a national level with icky non-Democrat people.



Tommaso Sciortino said...

I think there's an issue here with causation. Is the conservative movement growing complacent and slow because Fox news is cocoon them or is Fox news providing a cocoon because conservatism is growing slow?

The followers of political movements never reconsider their ideas. Even when it's obvious to everyone that it's ideas are no longer applicable to the world's problems. Instead, they stop taking on new members (since they can't convince anybody who didn't get on board when they were relevant) and start cocooning themselves. At this point, Fox news is simply providing a service which conservatives would otherwise just find elsewhere (with Rush, Coulter, or Mike Savage).

docweasel said...

Absolutely the right side of the blogland is not a cocoon. Read any of the top blogs or smaller ones: they constantly reference something Kos, or Ameriblog, or firedoglake says (Atrios doesn't say much, he just links other people- I look at all these daily)- that's why rightside bloggers were shocked Edwards picked the Pandagon chick and weren't shocked when she imploded: we read the enemy.

On the other hand, you will RARELY read righties or see them linked on a major lefty blog (I dunno about all the small fish)- the only time they even REFER to the righties is to command that all right blogs denounce something Coulter or someone said. They do the same with news items or bad news about the Dems they don't like: they give it the Kos freeze treatment. It doesn't exist if we don't talk about it, "starve it for oxygen", as Kos famously once said in a royal writ.

That's why they think its a victory to snub Fox. They don't realize, lotta people who watch Fox are not right wing idealogues or far righties. They just might be prone to convincing one way or another. That matters little to them, they are crowing about this to beat the band.

You read some left and right for a week and see if I'm right. Dozens referencing what the left is on about (if only to ridicule it) and zero from the left about what the right writes, unless to take offense and try to get someone boycotted or in trouble (they really hate Michelle Malkin!)

docweasel said...

I should have added, righties often "fisk" lefty posts, rebut them paragraph by paragraph, with references, arguments and links. I never see lefties do this. They cuss alot though.

Tommaso Sciortino said...

Read washingtonmonthly, Brad Delong, or Matthew Yglesias then tell me that popular lefty sites don't confront real right-wing ideas.

docweasel said...

They confront right wing "ideas", but they do so in their cocoon. They don't engange with righty blogs. Here's more proof. Another really weird thing they do is, especially on the biggies like Kos, Atrios: they NEVER NEVER link directly to a righty blog or even news story. They do ALL their linking to little lefty blogs talking about the story or the righty post- and often that person doesn't link to it, so you don't know what they are talking about.

Sure they confront righty issues, but they seem to have no real sense of what the right believes, because they don't read the right. That's why they are constantly making hay over the fact someone on the right is secretly gay: they think righties give a rat's butt (see the last dust up with the soldier given the award at CPAC who turned out to be gay, Jeff Gannon, etc.)

In their cocoon they think they are scoring points because they have no real idea what the right believes or cares about. I think the right has a much better sense of the soul of the left, and I think its because the right engages the left more.

More and more I see Kos and his ilk completely ignore stories of the day to obsess over some precinct poll and other miniutiae. They COMPLETELY ignore anything negative to the Dems- they just don't mention the story.

I may be in the minority, but I think the nutroots had _very_ little to do with 2006 victories by the D's. I think Republican excess and war weariness did it, and the emboldened far left will now overreach, gaining for sure a Republican President (tough to do 3 term in a row) but maybe the House and Senate as well.

Then the Justices start retiring. Then we make some progress.

I give up on the R's actually passing anything, even if they do get back in power.

Anonymous said...

Talk about cocooning! The left blogs didn't care that Sanchez was gay. In the wake of Jeff Gannon Guckert, they thought it was funny the right bloggers are so enthusiastic to get another voice for their side (and a minority at that) that they seem to be recruiting prostitutes and porn actors.

Howard said...

FOX cocooning might account for some of the corrupt GOP political leadership not knowing what was going on (more precisely that the GOP roots were totally fed up with them), but as a viewer of FOX I hardly think that FOXNews left out any negatives. Everyone but the entitlement pork barreling thieves knew how pissed off we were, and FOX certainly featured plenty of people who articulated it. I think any cocooning on either side is self generated, reading what they want to read, turning off anything that intrudes on their dreams of ill gotten riches, and so on.

The Democratic play is rebounding to them in a very bad way. Like it or not their fascist speech control efforts are not lost on a lot of us; a wake up call if you will.

Anonymous said...

Democrat's "fascist speech control"?
You mean like when someone in the administration says,"Debate is important but there is a point when airing our different opinions "aids the enemy." Are we supposedly fighting for democracy in Iraq while saying democracy here at home is too open during this time of war?

John Ashcroft:"To those who pit Americans against immigrants, and citizens against non-citizens; to those who scare peace-loving people with phantoms of lost liberty, my message is this: Your tactics only aid terrorists, for they erode our national unity and diminish our resolve. They give ammunition to America's enemies, and pause to America's friends. They encourage people of good will to remain silent in the face of evil."

Or, "There's a group in the opposition party who are willing to retreat before the mission is done," {President Bush] said. "They're willing to wave the white flag of surrender. And if they succeed, the United States will be worse off, and the world will be worse off."
However, Bush adviser Dan Bartlett was unable to name a single Democrat to which this description applies.

Presidential hopeful Huckabee saying: "I think that's a dangerous position to take, to oppose a sitting commander in chief while we've got people being shot at on the ground. I think it's one thing to have a debate and a discussion about this strategy, but to openly oppose, in essence, the strategy, I think that can be a very risky thing for our troops."

There seems to be an idea on the right that the insurgents and terrorists aren't highly motivated enough and are hoping for some democratic debate to begin in America to boost their morale. No wonder Fox news has aggressively promoted so many of the poor decisions by the administration.
No clue.

TS said...

Would Mitt Romney go to a debate hosted by CNN or NPR? Yes. Did John Edwards pull out of a FOX-sponsored debate? Who's cocooning?

Greg said...

Kevin--intriguing post, and one I agree with. I'd add that the two main issues with Fox isn't that it's conservative, A) it's a Republican propaganda outlet; B) it's a Republican propaganda outlet that makes stuff up.

This idea that the Dems were going to get a chance to express their ideas is absurd. After all, in the 2004 debate FOX aired, they actually cut away to a panel of right-wingers *before the debate was over* to begin bashing them. This is a network that misidentified child molester Mark Foley as a Democrat.

Would Obama have been well served by going on a network which equated him with a terrorist? Would Edwards actually have had a chance to get his message out on the only network that defended Ann Coulter's bigoted smear?

(TS'z bizarre equation of the centrist CNN and NPR--which now gives Jonah Goldberg considerable airtime--with FOX makes no sense. Hey, TS, can you name a single example of either CNN or NPR blatantly making up a story about one of the 2008 Republican candidates in the past year, as FOX did with Obama and the "terrorist" school he attended at age 6?)

If FOX had been serious about giving Dems a chance to express their ideas, they wouldn't have had a problem with Air America co-hosting, but they threw a big hissy fit because if they reveal they're right-wing, they'll go the way of Ailes' last brainchild--the defunct GOPAC-TV. There's also that bizarre moment on "The Beltway Boys" where Barnes & Kondracke called the Dems Stalinist--normal news organizations don't do that if they're not chosen to host a debate.