So Keith Olbermann is coming back! It was expected. A little quicker than I thought, but expected nonetheless. Once again, as I said earlier, this was simply MSNBC doing some damage control over its disastrously inept election night coverage. A lame and superficial attempt to say, "See, we are not FOX!"
What did it accomplish? It allowed the weekend news shows to talk about it, make Olbermann look like a Juan Williams, let the news casts focus on FOX's biases, and gave commentators and pundits a chance to agree with Olbermann's rant against Jon Stewart, that MSNBC is nothing like FOX. How dare anyone suggest there are similarities!
And that's just what the various news shows that covered the story concluded. FOX News was and is the culprit. MSNBC may have gone a little bit overboard, but as Olbermann contended, he and MSNBC only reacted because of the Right. The evil Right. Those rascally tunneling under your homes Right.
Were they correct? Is FOX, founded on an obvious conservative slant, different than MSNBC displaying an obvious liberal slant? Well yeah. First, FOX usually tries to keep the production above a pre-adolescent level. Unlike MSNBC. But beyond that, yes, FOX was obviously founded upon an agenda to promote Republican values, while MSNBC seems to have reacted to the presence of FOX by moving more and more flagrantly to the Left.
But let's look at what happened. Why was FOX created? A billionaire, like George Soros, who decided to invest his money in a cable news network out of love for the cause? Or one who saw a great business opportunity? My guess is, a little bit of both. And here's why I say that. When was FOX News created?
FOX was created in 1996. That was the year of Bill Clinton's reelection campaign. Already it was becoming difficult for even the most die hard independent, like myself, to ignore the increasing slant of the media in its coverage of American politics. Just the tenor of the coverage was different from Bill Clinton's ascendancy. By 1994, when the Republicans took over, it was obvious the media had an axe to grind. From 'How the Gingrich stole Christmas', to the media's willingness to accept the Democrat's take on things - like the government shutdown - the ideological slant of the press was becoming clear.
So it was into this context that FOX was born. The media, with its ever growing slant, created a market niche that Rupert Murdoch was more than happy to fill. FOX debuted with a hefty audience, and has grown ever since. In the late 90s, during the Lewinsky scandal, the MSM bias was even clearer. When Hillary Clinton charged Matt Lauer and the rest of the MSM to hunt down the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, and the media ran with that template without even asking if there was any proof behind the charge, it was no longer deniable.
As outlets spent months proving, through investigative reporting, research, and extensive interviews, that it was scientifically impossible for a president to have an affair in the Oval Office, one would think they might have stumbled on the fact that it was quite possible. After the Grand Admission, the MSM became cheerleaders again, throwing feminism under the bus and convincing the US that perjury, sex, morals, character, truth - none of these mattered for Clinton alone had given us the greatest economy in history. That some economists were warning things may not be as good as they look was easily dealt with - they simply were part of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.
And so it was that FOX News rose to prominence. Why? Because it was clear to all non-Democrats and non-liberals (and perhaps to some of them), that the rest of the media was, as Rush Limbaugh frequently asserted, 'in the tank' with the Democrats and liberal establishment. The news was no longer the news, but advocacy for a particular cause. And suddenly, there was an alternative.
And since it remains the only alternative, FOX cleans up. Anyone who wants a non-liberal spin must go to FOX. If you want a liberal spin, the choices are legion, for they are many. CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, all have variations of liberal bias behind their reporting. Some more obvious than others. MSNBC adds that prepubescent flair to those who really like to get snotty about it. And so the rest of the media divides the audience. But FOX holds a monopoly. A monopoly guaranteed as long as the rest of the media continues to share a common bias, and vie for the remaining audience. Perhaps if one other network were to become more neutral, more balanced, the numbers would swell their audience. But that's a big IF. Right now, the MSM is everything FOX News can hope for, with MSNBC's latest dalliance nothing more than proof of how FOX News has become such a force to be reckoned with, and how lame the rest of the MSM is in dealing with the fact.