Fox at 25: Rupert Murdoch and the Triumph of Conservative Media

Fox News is officially 25.

And that sound you hear is the gnashing of liberal teeth at founder Rupert Murdoch’s triumph – and the triumph of the larger conservative media Murdoch launched.

Liberals are really only able to lose the once-in-a-lifetime media monopoly by liberals. It was as simple as this: The New York TimesAnd Washington PostThe template would be story X printed in the newspaper, then it would be picked up by the broadcast media and cable news channels CNN and MSNBC. And voilà! It was the liberal narrative of this moment!

The visionary from Australia, with his ambitious News Corporation, arrived in America. American media would not be the same.

Before Murdoch came to America, the first signs of an emerging conservative media were already there. It was the creation in 1955 of National Review magazine by William F. Buckley Jr.. Twelve years later, R. Emmett Tyrrell’s The American SpectatorThe magazine was founded, and it helped to establish the conservative media flag in America.

However, it was Murdoch who bought The New York PostThat was when the liberal monopoly began to be broken. It was 1997. PostEditor Steve Cuozzo pointed out that the article was The Post that “broke the elitist media stranglehold on the national agenda.” (The Post’s influence was exactly the reason Big Tech blacked out the paper’s investigative scoop on the Hunter Biden laptop.)

Rush Limbaugh was an outsider to the Murdoch News Corporation, and he was the one who led the revolutionary shift in American media, talk radio. This was eight years prior to Fox News’ birth. Talk radio provided the next Murdoch News creation Fox News with TV talent. This included radio talkers Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, and Mark Levin.

Way back there in the 18th century, the Irish-Anglo essayist and political pamphleteer Jonathan Swift astutely observed that “Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.”

Rupert Murdoch was a visionary. He saw clearly what other people couldn’t see in Fox News. Namely, the fact that conservative cable channels could and would reach millions of Americans with massive audiences, including those who twice elected Ronald Reagan in landslides.

Roger Ailes, a former Nixon and Reagan adviser, was the perfect candidate to be the channel’s CEO. Ailes himself had begun his own career not in politics but as a young television producer for the popular 1960’s Mike Douglas Show.

A chance encounter between Nixon and Ailes at Douglas’ show led Ailes to convince Nixon about the value of TV in his campaign for the presidency in 1968. Nixon, still bitter about the 1962 loss to Kennedy-Nixon in the first television debate was a result of Nixon’s appearance onscreen.

Nixon had rejected makeup, making his 5 o’clock shadow dark stubble of a beard show through, and he also wore a gray suit, which faded into the background Americans watched on their then-black and white television screens. JFK was, however, perfectly dressed according to television advisors. He had a perfect make-up, had a brown tan, and wore a sharp dark suit. Americans who saw Kennedy’s debate on television said Kennedy had won. Nixon was the winner of those who only heard it via radio. Nixon made a vow to never make that mistake again. He listened to the young Ailes and even hired them.

By 1996, Ailes’ combined an instinctive understanding of both television and American politics that proved to be an invaluable asset in the creating of Fox News.

It is not only the ongoing winning streak of Fox News in ratings that shows its impact, but also how it has impacted society. (And as it celebrates  its 25th anniversary, Nielsen’s ratings show Fox in the third quarter of 2021 with an average prime time audience of 2.372 million viewers, miles ahead of MSNBC (1.267 million viewers) and, even more so, CNN with 822,000 viewers). But another measure of the network’s popularity well beyond the ratings is the degree of animosity directed at it by competitors.

This is a typical example in the recently published book Trump Hoax, Fox News and the Dangerous Distortion of the Truth by CNN’s media guru Brian Stelter. This title is not aware that CNN was the one that falsely promoted the Trump-Russia collusion hoax during the Trump era. It’s a well-known conspiracy theory that has been pursued by CNN and the rest of liberal media. It was bizarre on its face, and with the recent news of another indictment out of Independent Counsel John Durham’s office Fox headlined the truth:

Michael Sussmann (Clinton campaign lawyer) indicted after allegedly lying about FBI’s Russia investigation.
Sussmann was accused in the indictment of concealing that he worked for Clinton.

The Clinton campaign orchestrated the whole episode – CNN, and other liberal media outlets, took it as a hoax.

On and on the Stelter book goes, foaming  about this or that on Fox, not to mention, of all things, complaining that Sean Hannity lives in a big house. OMG!

Together, the Fox fury spilling from the book as well as elsewhere in liberal media shows how badly the media narrative monopoly has been lost.

Without a doubt, Fox News’ success has inspired more conservative channels such as Newsmax or One America News. A veritable sea of news sites, including those that present and/or analyze the news, has been created by the Internet.

So on the 25th anniversary of Fox News, let it be said that the term visionary, exactly as Jonathan Swift defined it as “the art of seeing things invisible” is exactly what describes Rupert Murdoch and his vision of the once invisible dream of Fox News.

Fox! Happy 25th

It was a great success, and we are grateful for all the conservative media that it generated.

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