Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The Decline and Fall of Fox News Continues

The ever perspicacious Don Surber gives an excellent analysis of the sacking of Greta Von Susteren and the continuing immolation of FOX News:

Advice for Britt Hume
by Don Surber 9/6/16

When Fox News presenter Gretchen Carlson sued Fox News for sexual harassment, I wrote, "Don't know if her allegations are true, but I have a feeling Ailes will retire soon."

That has come to pass. Ailes built a ratings and profit juggernaut by challenging orthodoxy and the establishment. Now Murdoch's heirs will spend the money and credibility he amassed.

The first two moves were announced today.

The first made business sense. Paying $20 million to settle the Carlson lawsuit is chicken feed. One week's profit. This is a billion-dollar-a-year profit center, mainly through cable fees.

The second made political sense. Firing Greta Van Susteren. She was too Trump-friendly and anti-Hillary. Sean Hannity is more so, but Greta Van Susteren posed a bigger threat because she is a woman almost Hillary's age. Democrats want her out. Sir Rupert Murdoch has invested too much money in Hillary to allow a wild card like Trump become president. Why, he might not return Murdoch's phone calls.

This leaves veteran and venerable journalist Brit Hume in the awkward position of taking over. His journalistic credibility is impeccable. He wrote the book on the Jock Yablonski murder, was tailed by the CIA for his coverage of the ITT scandal, and covered the White House with a laid-back long-run look. Fools rush in. Not Hume.

My advice to him is to continue giving Trump a safe space. Trump's side of the story goes untold. Surely Hume knows that Trump is being ganged up by social justice warriors with bylines. One does not have to agree with Trump or even like him or his policies to realize someone somewhere has to give the man a fair shake. I also think Hume should eschew commentary. In a world of pundits, a real journalist is revered. Look at Jake Tapper.

On Election Day we will learn that 60 million to 70 million Americans voted for the guy. Do they not deserve to have their champion treated fairly and impartially?

Hume gave the network its motto: Fair, balanced, and unafraid.

As a fan of Van Susteren, I will give Hume a fair hearing, because I am a bigger fan of Hume. We shall see how this works out.

(I think this is exactly right but that Surber gives Hume too much credit. He is exactly the type of inside the Beltway member of the Duopoly who despises Trump and will work to help Hillary. Not overtly but in slanted coverage the way Megyn Kelly and Chuck Todd and Lester Holt all practice. He will not present a level playing field. Britt Hume is a slicker more polished George Will.

It is amusing that they settled the Carlson case for sexual harrasment and then fired the one woman  on their network who is not a news bunny. I respected Greta for her balls and her calling out the politically correct. I guess there  is no room for that at FOX anymore. To think I thought I might miss FOX news.

I am so glad I gave up cable. Good choice.)


edutcher said...

Greta is getting out of her contract.

No doubt many of the rest will follow Ailes as well as their contracts expire.

Methadras said...

The plot thickens. I think a lot of people here including myself predicted that the old guard wants out of working underneath the incoming leftists that will rape Fox News into the ground. They all see it coming.

Evi L. Bloggerlady said...

Did Murdoch pull the lever on Greta or is Greta opting to use that key man clause in her contract to bail? I am not sure which yet, although if I had to guess I would go with the later since it seems to have taken some at Fox by surprise.

Evi L. Bloggerlady said...

But I think it is fair to say Fox might experience some decline over all of this.

Trooper York said...

Why would she do that Evi? Why give up a prime slot with good ratings?

She was loyal to Ailes and trashed the women who were coming out of the woodwork.

Face it. Megyn Bloody Kelly has won and FOX is on its way to becoming CNN lite.

Trooper York said...

I think Hannity and O'Reilly are out too after the election regardless of who wins.

Trooper York said...

FOX news is making a hard left turn.

Or better it is acknowledging that they are part of the elite and are rejecting the populist/nativist/working class audience. They want to remain the Washington Generals.

Evi L. Bloggerlady said...

Troop, she said she exercised her clause. I suppose they could be giving her the boot, but why not say that? They would have had to buy her off.

Which they may have done.

Good luck with Megyn.

rcocean said...

Its hard for me to care, since I stopped watching years ago. The anti-Trump crap, made me watch CNN on primary election night.

In November 2008/2012 I was glued to Fox to see who won - this year, I'll probably just surf the net.

edutcher said...

CNN was pretty good on the 'Net as far as primaries went.

Trooper York said...

I will be on the Net and on Youtube.

Cable is as dead as Murphy's Dick.

Trooper York said...

I saw a report that Greta's husband has said that they might sue FOX.

If she was pushed out by the Murdoch Boys I hope she does.

Trooper York said...

There is also a report that the Trump News Network is in the works for sure and it will be run by Ivanka's husband who is already a media mogul.

Michael Haz said...

Greta's departure was sudden. On Saturday she was sending out tweets asking for story ideas. On Monday she resigned. The FNC contracts have a provision that prohibits resignations within XX days of a presidential election; that allegedly forced her timing.

But why?

It's known that she cannot stand O'Reilly and Kelly, and that she admires Ailes. But Ailes is 76, and is he really going to start a new network at that age? Probably not.

Unknown is whether she wants to change careers. Virtually all of her vacation time has been spent working with Franklin Graham's organization Samaritan's Purse in some of the poorest parts of the world. She and her husband built and fully fund a boarding school for orphans in Haiti. And she regularly speaks on-air about the conditins in Sudan and elsewhere. She has a heart for working with the poor, and perhaps the canonization of Mother Teresa last week spoke to her.

She also talks about wanting to return to teaching law. Or maybe move home to Appleton so the commute to Lambeau (she's a season ticket holder) is only about 30 minutes.

Whatever the reason, FOX lost its best on-air reporter/analyst.

Evi L. Bloggerlady said...

Greta does not have the ego drive of O'Reilly or the kleptocracy drive of Hillary McScrooge. I suspect Michael Haz is right, she saw where things were going, figured she made enough, and decided to call it day with Fox.

She will come back eventually to TV.

Trooper York said...

I agree Haz.

Greta is a class act.