Can Fox News please stop with their oxymoron catch phrase “fair and balanced?” In an interview with Patricia Sellers for Fortune Magazine, while responding to the question on whether he believed Fox News’ polarizing rhetoric for GOP has harmed America’s leading conservative party, Murdoch pushed back, saying, “I think it has absolutely saved it.”
Fortune: “Does it bother you at all, Rupert, that there is a view that Fox News has contributed in a big way to the political discontent in the U.S., degraded the political process, and maybe, in spotlighting the Tea Party, even hurt the Republican Party?”
Murdoch: “It has certainly given voice and hope to people who didn’t like all that liberal championing thrown at them on CNN. I think it has absolutely saved it. It has certainly given voice and hope to people who didn’t like all that liberal championing thrown at them on CNN. “
Murdoch also had some strong words about Fox News’s role on the Tea Party;
“By the way, we don’t promote the Tea Party. That’s bullshit. We recognize their existence.”
Murdoch’s claims are not so far fetched. According to a Gallup Poll , sixty six percent of Fox News viewers are over the age of 50. Sixty nine percent of those who are over the age of 50 are married. Furthermore, Fox News viewers are more likely than CNN/MSNBC viewers to be white, Protestant, and male who attend church weekly, and earn an income over $75,000 a year. A staggering 66% ofcore Fox News viewers identified themselves as Republicans, and 94% of overall Fox viewers identified or leaned Republican.
Look back at the 2012 election results as compared to Fox News viewership:
- 52% of men voted for Mitt Romney versus 48% voted for John McCain
- 56% of people 65+ voted for Mitt Romney versus 53% voted for John McCain
- 59% of white people voted for Mitt Romney (between 59-61 percent of whites between the ages of 18-65+ voted for Republican Mitt Romney) versus 55% voted for John McCain
- 58% of people who attended church weekly voted for Mitt Romney
Over the next four years, as Fox’s ratings have gotten higher (with the exception of a drop in 2013 of 5%), their targeted audience has gotten more Republican.
Here’s also the kicker: when it comes to measuring President Obama’s approval rating based on the viewership of Fox and CNN, 97% of Fox News Viewers disapprove of the president, and only 1% approve. On the other hand, with CNN, 40% disapprove, whereas 57% approve. That survey, from the same Gallup Poll, was conducted in June 2013.
The gap between disapproval and approval is much wider in Fox than it is with the “liberal” CNN. Maybe that’s a hint that CNN allows their viewers a more open and honest dialogue in the political discourse in our country. But Murdoch is right when he says Fox News has saved the Republican Party. Without their fanatical anti-Obama, anti-Hillary Clinton rhetoric, Republicans would be running around like chickens with their heads cut off trying to scrape together support.
According to a Pew Center report, respondents feel that opinion fills 85% of MSNBC’s time slot, whereas only 55% occupies Fox News’s time slot.
MSNBC does usher in their opinion, but they make no secret of it. Nor do they claim to be “fair and balanced.” They don’t make up their facts, either. Nor do they discard facts that don’t fit into their philosophy.
Rupert Murdoch claims Fox News “saved” the GOP, because, according to their viewers, only white, protestant old men can save the GOP now.