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(15,921 posts)
Sat Sep 28, 2019, 09:24 AM Sep 2019

Trump's fate is in the hands of Fox News

With impeachment gathering steam, the fate of President Trump is in the hands of a single institution. Not the Senate, though that’s the body established by the Constitution to make the ultimate decision to remove a president. I’m thinking of Fox News.

Ordinarily, I’m skeptical of the power of media organizations — even Fox News. Though it is the most-watched cable (shall we say) “news” channel in the United States, its average primetime viewership of about 2.5 million people is less than 1 percent of the nation. The audiences for MSNBC and CNN are typically even smaller. Most Americans have better things to do with their evenings than to be harangued about politics.

However, those Fox News viewers punch far above their weight in one regard: They are the core of any hard-right primary challenge that might be waged against an incumbent Republican senator. I believe based on conversations with knowledgeable Republicans that Trump is neither popular nor admired among the Senate majority, but he is feared, therefore tolerated. The fear stems from his firm grip on that Fox News-viewing core and the belief that he could turn the core into an incumbent-crushing machine.

To the extent that Trump’s grip begins to loosen, the fear will begin to lift and the president’s Senate firewall will begin to crumble. That’s how I figure it, and I think Trump might be making a similar calculation, because his Twitter feed has been peppered lately with his annoyance at Fox News over various perceived acts of hostility. He might believe that he can maintain his standing solely through his unmediated tweets, regardless of Fox News. But I don’t think he really wants to find out.


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(15,751 posts)
3. In perspective, the influence of Fox News seems to be surprisingly overrated.
Sat Sep 28, 2019, 10:23 AM
Sep 2019

Fox News, with it's special right wing bias comprises a relatively small proportion of tv news viewers - [and not all fox viewers are hard right viewers]. Some data indicates:

Prime time Fox News total viewers was 2.3 million
Prime time MSNBC/CNN viewers was 2.2 million [MSNBC was 1.5 million, whose audience type splits/overlaps with CNN]

In comparison, standard broadcast network evening news averages 20 million viewers! [Stunning!]

[ABC leads with 8 million viewers far more than the cable news viewers combined]

(These numbers are for May 2019, from what appears to be an industry newsletter with all sorts of ratings
information. tv-aholic.blogspot.com)


(10,523 posts)
4. The Fox "news" Sewer
Sat Sep 28, 2019, 10:34 AM
Sep 2019

also goes hand in hand with AM hate radio. That's even more pervasive than any cable or broadcast network. 20 million or so hardcore dedicated listeners.

They also have influence on people who don't pay attention to politics, but see that garbage on public TVs in waiting rooms, bars, etc. They see the word "news" and don't know it isn't real. It subtly affects what they do think about issues. Same with the nonstop spew of hatred on the radio.

I don't know how many times I've been disgusted by the coverage given to something by broadcast news, and the other cable channels. It often seems like Fox frames every issue, and the others' coverage is somehow influenced or slanted away from the truth.

I think the indirect influence Fox has is even greater and more damaging than what comes just from their actual brain-dead audience.


(15,751 posts)
5. Good points. However, the 20 mil broadcast news with pics and much better reputation,
Sat Sep 28, 2019, 10:41 AM
Sep 2019

[when important news breaks that people want to know about, they don't turn to Limbaugh], still seems to have more important influence, - imo anyway], - than hate radio.

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