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Fixing Fox

Much of the post-election defeat analysis on Ricochet has consisted of some version of the argument to make the conservative case more broadly. Rob’s anti-Rovian plea on the recent edition of GLoP called for persuading a convincing majority rather than narrowly triangulating for a mere 50.5% of the electorate. Elsewhere on the same podcast,

  1. Guruforhire

    I tend to agree.  I can’t stand fox.  I get the appeal, but its not for me.

    I think this is CNNs opportunity   To make peace with half the country and become a high brow right of center outlet.  They really don’t have anywhere in the market to go.  Their market positioning only works if they really were a credible nonpartisan outlet.  The only people that believe that are the partisans who think of themselves as too sophisticated to be partisans.

  2. Cornelius Julius Sebastian

    This post should immediately be promoted to the MAIN FEED.  This is arguably the center of gravity in our war of ideas.  I would only add that raising the bar at Fox should only be part of the equation, getting Firing Line  (and the podcasts here) level quality content on all the networks should be the goal.

  3. Scott R

    Agreed, but even more important is to get our talent into the MSM.

    It can’t be helped, but FOX has undermined us in this regard. The Krauthammer’s and Kristol’s, even the Rove’s, are too talented not to get air time at other networks had FOX not given them near-exclusive gigs.

    See for example John Stossel. He was far more useful to our cause over at ABC, but FOX lured him away, and now he’s unseen by the very people we hope to convert.

    Not sure what can be done about this.

  4. TheSophist

    Seems like a step backwards to me.

    At a time when the media business is focusing on the impact of individual talent, we want to go “fix” the media business? Rob Long spoke about this recently, about how Louis CK pretty much got what he wanted because of his individual talent.

    If anything, I’d rather see the GOP money people — those who spent $1B on the Romney campaign — spend half of that on sponsoring and supporting Ricochet, Big Government, Pajamas Media, and the like. $500M buys you a TON of actual reporters, journalists, etc.

    Michael Yon does some of the best war/foreign policy reporting in the world; he has to beg his subscribers for money. Why isn’t Sheldon Adelson just writing the guy a check for $1M, to pick just one example.

    I promise, should I ever come into that kind of money, I will fund only the grassroots talent, the new media on the Right.

  5. Trace

    I don’t know Sophist. How is that not simply subsidizing the bubble? Part of the loss, it seems to me, was the result of failing to recognize reality. And as much as we sat and mocked mainstream coverage, they accurately predicted the outcome in a way that all those outlets you describe did not. Supporting grassroots media is fine, but insufficient in my opinion. We have to take the battle to the people, not wait for them to see the light and find the arguments on their own.

  6. Jimmie Bise Jr

    My crazy Fox News prime-time schedule:

    • 6-8 PM: Special Report (extended by an hour to allow for more in-depth reporting and longer feature stories).

    • 8 PM: The New Media News Hour with hosts Michelle Malkin and Stephen Kruiser. (Blogs, videos, podcasts. Introduce new people to the rest of the country)
    • 9 PM: Sean Hannity
    • 10 PM: On the Record with Greta Susterin (wherein Greta goes back to more straight crime reporting and discussion of legal matters)
    • 11 PM: The Craig Ferguson 90-Minute Rumpus Show (Okay, it’s a working title, but the goal here is to have Ferguson bring his late-night CBS show to Fox as-is).
    • 12:30 AM: RedEye (Finally, the show gets a steady gig in a time slot where more people can watch it).

    Also, TheSophist, you hit a point I’ve addressed a couple times on my own. I actually worked out what I could do with a $500K yearly budget and still believe it’s a viable plan.

  7. EJHill

    Trace, Trace, Trace… Where do I begin?

    First off, Nancy Grace is not on FNC. Her show airs on the baby CNN, Headline News.

    Charlie Rose? Either early morning on CBS, which is so far behind Today and Good Morning America in both overall viewers and the coveted demo it’s not funny. And his late night PBS show pulls in a quarter of Nightline‘s (and when it was still on barely a quarter of Larry King reruns on CNN.)

    And what makes you believe your changes will make FNC more profitable?

  8. FloppyDisk90

    <pulls pin on grenade>

    Kick Hannity to the curb.  In the dictionary underneath “blow-dried” and “dumb” is a picture of Hannity.

    <walks away>

  9. Benjamin Glaser

    Hannity is a caricature of himself and should not receive the airtime he does. His show is cliche ridden and vapid and his constant repetitive brow-beating of the sacrificial-liberals that go on his program is boringly awful. 

  10. Donald Todd

    Ricochet on television, once a week (whatever the best day is for news commentary) rotating the speakers with a central person (Robinson?) and inviting guests (Walter Williams, Thomas Sowell, a supreme court justice, a liberal exposed as unable to defend a particular liberal position, etc) building up an audience.  Maybe a question from a Ricochetti for a panel as a draw to the website?

    I don’t watch Hannity anymore.  I don’t listen to Hannity anymore.  Hannity has memorized his three talking points ad nauseum and I don’t want to hear them repeated repeatedly.  Maybe take a Hannity slot, and give Hannity a day off each week?

    I have stopped using Dick Morris for a touchstone.  I don’t believe he can count to four.  From now on one should use his prognostications to place bets on the other side.  Might as well get some benefit from DM’s attempt to purchase friends by fabricating facts.

    If CNN wants to build up some credibility and an audience, which are not mutually exclusive propositions, that is fine.   I can find CNN on my television.

    If you do this, do be sure to promulgate this through Ricochet.  

  11. ConservativeWanderer

    Fox is just fine where it is.

    MSNBC is a good example of going to the extremes with partisanship. How are their ratings?

    Let’s not take Fox down that road, albeit in the other direction.

  12. KC Mulville

    Fox seems to succeed because of what it isn’t – i.e, it isn’t hopelessly liberal-biased. I wouldn’t mind seeing a show succeed for its own sake, something that would be attractive even if it wasn’t a solitary island within the liberal ocean.

    I loved Firing Line. I suspect that Charlie Rose wants to be a new version of Firing Line (Buckley himself was friends with him), but it isn’t entirely the same. What I liked about Firing Line was that no matter how much Buckley would oppose the guest intellectually, he let the guest speak. The guest knew he was going to get a fair shot.

    That’s really the glaring hole in television: a place to get a fair shot.

    The cable shows are openly hostile to other points of view (Fox as well). The networks aren’t so obviously hostile, but they just do it in more subtle ways. But still, there just isn’t a place to have a fair conversation.

  13. dittoheadadt

    I think we’re missing this forest and this forest for the trees.

  14. Trace

    double post

  15. Trace

    I realize that I meant Gretta Susterin. I apologize (?) to um, both women (?)… 

    The “more profitable” line is obnoxious I grant you. I was simply using that as shorthand for making the audience larger, and that this would be a good thing. I don’t presume for a second that I know enough to second-guess the operators of the enterprise. My critique was of Fox’s role as a mouthpiece for right-of-center ideas. 

    EJHill: Trace, Trace, Trace… Where do I begin?

    First off, Nancy Grace is not on FNC. Her show airs on the baby CNN, Headline News.

    And what makes you believe your changes will make FNC more profitable? · 24 minutes ago

  16. Trace

    I’m sorry CW, but this is simply delusional and a perfect example of our bubble. To imagine that FOX is centrist and MSNBC is extreme is to fail to understand the civilian voting population. 

    ConservativeWanderer: Fox is just fine where it is.

    MSNBC is a good example of going to the extremes with partisanship. How are their ratings?

    Let’s not take Fox down that road, albeit in the other direction. · 12 minutes ago

  17. ConservativeWanderer
    Trace: I realize that I meant Gretta Susterin. I apologize (?) to um, both women (?)… 

    The more profitable line is obnoxious I grant you. What I was meaning to imply was that there could be a way to make the audiencelarger,and this would be a good thing.

    3 minutes ago

    No, going full-on partisan will not bring more viewers in. Just look at the ratings. Remember, MSNBC is the best example of a full-on partisan news channel, and compare their ratings to Fox’s.

    Moving them further to the right would lead to a smaller audience, not a larger one.

  18. Nathaniel Wright

    Replace Hannity with Peter Robinson.  Replace O’Reilly with Thomas Sowell.  Have more real discussions and fewer shouting matches. 

    We need more Chris Wallace style news and less of the hyperbolic visual talk radio.  If they have a talk radio show, they shouldn’t have a Fox show.  It only magnifies the echo chamber effect when you have the same person saying the same things in multiple media to the same audience.

  19. Nathaniel Wright

    Oh… and instead of grumbling about the War on Christmas, why not just focus on positive Christmas stories, positive Hanukkah stories, and positive stories of winter charity?

    ‘Tis the holiday season.  Spend less time grumbling, and more time sharing how amazing people can be.

  20. FloppyDisk90
    ConservativeWanderer

    Trace: I realize that I meant Gretta Susterin. I apologize (?) to um, both women (?)… 

    The more profitable line is obnoxious I grant you. What I was meaning to imply was that there could be a way to make the audiencelarger,and this would be a good thing.

    3 minutes ago

    No, going full-on partisan will not bring more viewers in. Just look at the ratings. Remember, MSNBC is the best example of a full-on partisan news channel, and compare their ratings to Fox’s.

    Moving them further to the right would lead to a smalleraudience, not a larger one. · 6 minutes ago

    Where does Trace suggest Fox should go further right?

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