Friday, March 6, 2009

High Ratings On The Low Road.

Surprise, surprise, surprise! 

     Before Glenn Beck started his new show on Fox News in January, he sat down with Roger Ailes, the network's chief executive, to make sure they were on the same page.
     "I wanted to meet with Roger and tell him, 'You may not want to put me on the air. I believe we are in dire trouble, and I will never shut up,' " said the conservative radio host.
     But before Beck could say anything, Ailes shared a message of his own: The country faced tough times, he said, and Fox News was one of the only news outlets willing to challenge the new administration.
     "I see this as the Alamo," Ailes said, according to Beck. "If I just had somebody who was willing to sit on the other side of the camera until the last shot is fired, we'd be fine."
     That couldn't have suited Beck more. In making the jump to the top-rated cable news channel from HLN, where he had a show for two years, he hoped to alert more people to one of his consuming fears: that the government's handling of the economic crisis is ushering in an era of socialism.
     "Look in your rear-view mirror; we just passed France," he said. "I think our country is on the verge of disintegration."
     "I look at the ratings every day shocked," Beck said on a recent afternoon, sitting shoeless in his Midtown office as snow pelted the Manhattan skyline behind him.
But he believes he knows why viewers are tuning in: "People know in their gut that something's not right. They're not getting the truth."
(Editor's note: Beck surely is referring to
FOX News viewers, right?)  
     A similar challenging tone can be heard across Fox News, which has embraced its role as an opposition voice to the new administration. The network's pundits have 
incredulously questioned President Obama's fiscal policies, while its correspondents have dogged stories like the White House plan to oversee the 2010 census.
     Network executives vigorously dispute the notion that the channel has a conservative slant. Although its popular prime-time commentators may be largely on the political right, the channel plays it straight with its daytime news programming, they argue.

     It's the media's job to question authority. But FOX just makes stuff up.
     There was a time that I'd click over to FOX for a few minutes to get a feel for their daily talking points. I don't do that very much anymore, simply because I can never get that time back. But it's important to know what media outlets are reporting, so I'll catch a little of their bullshit online somewhere after hearing about it elsewhere. I still can't get that time back, but now there is less of it being wasted.  
     I used to say that if I came upon Sean Hannity in a California crosswalk, I wouldn't stop. Add Glenn Beck to my front bumper, too. 

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