As the Fox news implosion plays out live on cable TV, the whole debacle helps to make a few things more clear in regards to who our allies truly are.
Fox News has always been a business, pure and simple. There is nothing inherently evil or wrong about that, we need businesses. However, as a business they simply noticed a gap in the marketplace and set out to fill that gap in order to make a profit. In this case, it was the lack of Conservative news outlets on cable TV.
But like any business, when they feel market conditions are changing, they change their business model. For example, when people started preferring SUVs over passenger cars, every car company started producing SUVs. Car companies don’t care what they produce, as long as they feel people will consume whatever it is they are producing.
Such is the case with Fox news and it didn’t just start over the last few weeks. In fact, it started during the 2016 election.
If you remember, Fox news tried to hedge their bet during the 2016 election as well. Much of it actually played out exactly as it did in the run up to the 2020 election. The only difference was that Trump had a clear victory 2016, so Fox was given a free pass for their election hijinks.
During the 2016 election, Fox News had another Chris Wallace moment during the debates. But instead of Wallace, it was Megyn Kelly. Megyn and her producers, along with Fox executives decided that Hillary was likely going to win, so they started leaning in that direction and setting themselves up to tell the Republican party “I told you so” after Trump’s predicted loss. But as we all know, it didn’t work out that way in 2016.
In 2016, Megyn Kelly hosted a presidential debate and just like Chris Wallace, she tried to make herself the star of the show by treating Trump unfairly and giving Hillary Clinton a free pass on her many incorrect statements.
It was exactly what Chris Wallace did in 2020. Kelly’s career was essentially over. She alienated her fans and exposed herself as an opportunist who tried to ride the changing winds to more success.
However, Fox viewers gave the network a pass (although not Kelly). Fox tried to court viewers by bringing on Trump supporter Tucker Carlson to host his own show. For those that don’t remember, Carlson was brought on after Trump won. Before that, the prime time hosts like O’Reilly and Kelly were often harsh critics of Trump.
But this time, after the 2020 election the landscape is much different in cable news. There are many more options, both in independent journalism and fresh new start-ups like OAN or Newsmax.
Fox News misread the minds of Trump supporters. Fox believed they could pull what they did in 2016 all over again. They could hedge their bet and no matter what the outcome, the viewers would come back. Viewers would either be happy Trump won or angry Trump was robbed, but they would still want to watch Fox news. However, as we’ve seen that simply isn’t the case.
I can promise you the attitude at Fox News is one that wants Trump to hurry up and lose already. Most the biggest names in Conservative radio and TV built there names during the Bill Clinton years. The old rules say that Conservative viewership goes up when a Democrat is in the White House, and this is what Fox executives think will happen. But as I mentioned earlier, things are different this time around.
So in the end the business of Fox News is going to fail for the simple reason any other business fails. They failed to understand their core audience and instead focused on an audience they would never win over anyway. And when it’s over they will be left with no audience at all, just like Megyn Kelly.
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