This just in: Donald Trump and Fox News are at each other’s throats. Because the conservative news agency failed to pick a champion, they ended up with a pariah. Their desperate need for sensationalism has thrust a Reality TV star to the head of the Republican presidential polls. This has cost them not only what shred was left of their dignity, but an entire viewership that is more interested in REAL car crashes, than made up ones.
“Lack of confidence in the press today is not because of the editorials, but because of the colored news stories and failure on the part of some newspapers to print the news”
Now, had that particular quote not included the nearly archaic term “newspaper” one might think it was written directly about Fox News and it’s affiliates. However, that quote is from Franklin D. Roosevelt about media mogul William Randolph Hearst.
In the late 1890’s Hearst began consolidating newspapers across the U.S. At the time he was considered to be both liberal and progressive, but on the flip side, fanatically obsessed with sensationalizing even the most mundane news stories.
The technique was called “Yellow Journalism” by those who disdained the practice. But it sold a lot . . . and I mean A LOT of newspapers.
A brief stint in politics gave him connections to Washington insiders and along with a progressive, yet slightly jingoist President (Teddy Roosevelt), Hearst was able to manufacture the entire narrative that led to the Spanish-American war.
You don’t hear about that often, but we slaughtered around 200,000 Filipino people in order to civilize them. The 1800’s were a bad time to be Filipino or Native American.
The taste of blood along with a narcissist’s sense of world importance changed Hearst’s political narrative from radical to conservative dogmatism. By the 1930’s half of all the newspapers in the country were controlled by him and every single column inch was dedicated to portraying Franklin D. Roosevelt as a liberal, socialist, communist, elitist hater of American freedom.
How’s that for sounding familiar?
So what happened?
In 1936, with only 23% of all print media in favor of FDR, the liberal, socialist, communist, elitist hater of american freedom won by a landslide.
How? Well . . . two things. When you’re standing in bread lines because the super rich destroyed the world economy, socialism starts to look kind of nice. The other reason is because Roosevelt may not have controlled the print media, but he did have power over the airwaves, and radio by then . . . was king.
Flash forward to the 2008 presidential election and we don’t elect the Fox News guy, we get the guy who gets the internet. That particular parallel isn’t an accident.
Gosh, remember how hard they tried to make Sarah Palin seem intelligible?
In Hearst’s case, with his print empire collapsing under the weight of the Great Depression, and his staunch support of Adolph Hitler, which seemed like such a good idea in 1935, but not so hot by 1944, he went bankrupt, sold off everything that he could, and died in agony and luxury in 1951.
Flash forward to 2015 and the dogmatic conservative Fox News has officially elevated the single most disastrous thing to happen to the Republican Party since Lincoln was shot.
And now they’re losing viewers too.
You can call yourselves journalists . . . Fox News . . . but it might be smart to pick a different color.