Archive for the FNC Category

The Legends and Lies Gambit? Not So Much Of A Gambit…

Posted in FNC on April 13, 2015 by icn2

The Cable Game thinks FNC is taking a bit of a risk with Legends and Lies…

TCG is all for innovation in a world where technology and fragmented audiences are creating challenges for cable news outlets. But I’m not sure that Legends & Lies will be as well-received by Fox News viewers as Strange Inheritance. Superficially they seem like similar shows, but finicky cable news audiences will know better. Inheritance has in Jamie Colby a recognized cable news journalist as its host, investigating and talking to real people. Despite a few restaged scenes, it could be a segment of a magazine-type program like the old Fox Files. L&L, on the other hand, is not structured as a documentary. It uses dramatic recreations to tell its story; in that respect it’s like a movie, albeit a low-budget movie, often employing local semi-professional actors who seem unlikely to earn Emmy recognition for their thespian artistry.

I’m going to go the other way. I think it will do better than Inheritance. Everyone know that show was a big hit for FBN but what they fail to understand is that FBN’s ratings are anemic compared to FNC’s so it wouldn’t take much to turn Inheritance into a hit in the first place. You put Inheritance on FNC with those numbers and in my view it’s an open question whether it gets renewed for a second season.

Legends and Lies will have a bigger installed viewership to take advantage of, especially considering who is pushing it. You put O’Reilly’s name behind this and it would take a failure of colossal magnitude for this show not to do as well if not better than Inheritance did.

Tucker Carlson: Smelling Like A Rose? Not So Much…

Posted in FNC on April 2, 2015 by icn2

And the Daily Caller “spikegate” just keeps getting worse. The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple really nails him

Judging from Carlson’s site, however, there’s more to the rule than “you can’t go after Fox.” The digital trail suggests the rule is more accurately stated as “you must praise Fox.” The Erik Wemple Blog dropped the following inventory of recent Fox News-related Daily Caller stories into a previous post to illustrate the point:

– A recent post under the headline “A Defensive Marie Harf Snarks At Fox News During Clinton Email Press Briefing [VIDEO].”
– A piece by Ginni Thomas titled, “What Made This Fox News Star Leave The Career She Loved?” The piece concludes with this line: “We haven’t seen the last of Molly Henneberg though, as even Fox can’t seem to let go of her as they have graciously offered to make her a freelance reporter, which thrills her and those of us who appreciate her impressive life choices.”
– A December story headlined: “Fox News Reigns As Ratings King For 13th Straight Year, CNN Posts All-Time Lows”
– An October post that documented criticism of Fox News by President Obama. “Obama’s decision to attack Fox, known for its tough coverage of the president, is his latest attempt to rally Democratic voters in the run-up to the November midterms,” reads one line.
– October headline: “Fox News Lands Interview With SEAL Who Killed Osama Bin Laden.” *”Happy Birthday, Fox News! See The Folks Who Made It Great [SLIDESHOW]“

“There is a conflict, and I’m totally upfront about it. I don’t lie at all,” said Carlson.

Amend that: Carlson is “totally upfront about it” once the policy is exposed by a former contract writer. But an additional level of transparency could be achieved by attaching a tag line to Daily Caller coverage of Fox News. Something like this: The Daily Caller publishes only puff pieces on Fox News.

Carlson comes off looking worse than I thought possible. Of course if Carlson had done what Dan Abrams did at Mediaite and firewalled himself from the Caller, we wouldn’t be here right now ridiculing Tucker’s flimsy nonsensical excuses. Even Carlson admitted it was a conflict of interest but he seems incapable of wanting to extricate himself from it. The extraction would be easy and quick. He just doesn’t want to pull the trigger.

Cause and Non-Effect…

Posted in FNC on April 1, 2015 by icn2

Politico’s Jack Shafer pours a lotta cold water on the a familiar meme…

If the road to the nomination runs through Fox, it must be longer than the Trans-Canada Highway, as the network has yet to nominate a candidate despite its vigorous plumping of the political fortunes of Palin, Gingrich, Santorum and Huckabee and its willingness to serve as a second home for Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Donald Trump, Ron Paul and all the rest. At times, it seemed that neurosurgeon Carson was employed as a contributor almost solely to muse on air about whether he’d run for president. In 2012, the party ultimately turned to the least Foxy candidate in the GOP batch, Mitt Romney, who finished first in 42 Republican primaries in 2012. The next best performer, Fox supplicant Santorum, won just 11.

By any measure, Fox News is a paper tiger. Nevertheless, the myth of the Fox Primary endures—and it returned to prominence as the 2016 race began to heat up. In February, Sherman appeared on CNN’s Reliable Sources to breathe fresh life into the fairy tale. “These candidates are already courting Ailes and trying to get on his good side to get reliable coverage going into the primary season,” Sherman said. Fox News, he noted, “controls the largest bloc of reliable Republican voters.” Sherman cited Rick Perry’s recent ring-kissing visit to Ailes as new proof of Fox’s power. But bowing and puckering comes as a first instinct for most politicians for news outlets as a matter of instinct, so we needn’t dwell too long on its importance. Just this week, Marco Rubio went on Fox to “preannounce“ his candidacy, which some observers surely took as additional evidence that GOP candidates serve at the network’s pleasure.

I don’t mean to totally discount Fox’s influence. As Sherman pointed out on Reliable Sources, Fox viewership is heavily Republican, and it does vote. But that’s only half the story. The audiences for two of the network’s most popular shows—the ones hosted by Hannity and by Bill O’Reilly—tilt heavily Republican (65 percent and 52 percent, respectively), according to a 2012 Pew survey. But Pew says that 55 percent of the total Fox News audience self-describes as either Democrat or Independent, which means Republicans represent only a plurality of the network’s viewers. Plus, the Fox audience is not that large. O’Reilly, whose show is the most-watched in cable news, attracts an average of only 3 million viewers a night. (The largest audience drawn by him this year was 3.3 million.)

White House Correspondents Profile…

Posted in Al Jazeera, CNN, FNC, MSNBC on March 31, 2015 by icn2

Washington Life Magazine’s Virginia Coyne profiles a group of White House correspondents. Among them are several cable newsers including CNN’s Jim Acosta, FNC’s Ed Henry, NBC/MSNBC’s Chris Jansing, and Al Jazeera America’s Mike Viqueira. The story on the website is in-line PDF only so no quotes are coming since I’m wayyyy too lazy to transcribe it.

Harris Faulkner Profile…

Posted in FNC on March 19, 2015 by icn2

Harris Faulkner gets a big FNC push in this Variety profile piece by Brian Steinberg…

Faulkner, 49, has quietly become an almost ubiquitous presence at the 21st Century Fox-owned network, hosting an hour of “Fox Report Weekend” on Sunday evenings as well as serving as a co-anchor on “Outnumbered,” the noontime program that has “one lucky guy” spar with four female panelists Monday through Friday.

Faulkner may not be what viewers typically expect on their TV screen. “I challenge you to go and turn on the other cable networks to find a face like mine in primetime,” says the correspondent of female African-Americans hosting evening programs. Yet her presence at the network is very deliberate. “I chose Harris for these roles because she’s an excellent journalist with a distinct ability to handle breaking news on the Fox Report and seamlessly transition to an issue driven talk show like Outnumbered,” said Roger Ailes, Fox News’ chairman and chief executive, via email. “Her dedication to the news product and dynamic presence have become a key part of the network.”

Faulkner may be getting more exposure as Fox News ponders new ideas. “The more we expand into digital properties, she’s probably a natural for that,” said Jay Wallace, senior vice president of news and politics at Fox News, in an interview. “I can see her getting into podcasting, radio, digital properties – really as much time as she can give.” Already, she spearheads an extra segment of “Outnumbered” that appears via streaming video, monitoring queries from the audience while the show is in the midst of its traditional broadcast.

Why Bill O’Reilly’s “Scandal” Doesn’t Interest Me Like Brian Williams’ Did…

Posted in FNC on March 2, 2015 by icn2

I don’t remember exactly how many blog posts I put up regarding Brian Williams’ scandal. Was it ten? Fifteen? More? I don’t remember how many times I’ve written about O’Reilly but it was an order of magnitude less. There are reasons for that…

First, lets get the obvious out of the way. This is a scandal for Bill O’Reilly. It’s not a scandal that’s going to cause him to get fired. It never could be. Anybody, regardless of political affiliation, who knows anything about his show knows what they’re going to get. Whatever that may be, and it’s going to be different depending on your POV, most would agree it’s not a detached recounting of the news of the day. You tune in to O’Reilly to hear his opinions. You tune in to Brian Williams to hear the news. The bar for career ending scandal therefore is significantly higher for O’Reilly than it was for Williams. Put another way, the small number of anecdotes that have come out regarding O’Reilly would have probably sunk Williams if they had been about him.

But it’s still a scandal for O’Reilly because, opinion host or not, it goes straight to his character…but not just the details of the scandal itself but how O’Reilly has addressed the charges.
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Irascable Teflon…

Posted in FNC on February 24, 2015 by icn2

Politico’s Dylan Byers does a pretty good job explaining why the Falklands story hasn’t stuck very well to Bill O’Reilly…

Had O’Reilly falsely claimed to have been on the Falkland Islands when he wasn’t, the Fox News host might be in serious trouble. But he never really said that. He has said that he was “in a war zone in Argentina, in the Falklands,” which can reasonably be defended as short-hand for “in the Falklands War” — especially because O’Reilly has oft described his experiences there as taking place in Buenos Aires. “I was not on the Falkland Islands and I never said I was,” O’Reilly told the On Media blog last week. That hasn’t really been disputed since.

Instead, the debate has shifted to whether or not O’Reilly was actually in “a war zone” or a “combat situation,” as he has repeatedly claimed. Well, no, he wasn’t. He was present at a violent protest — or “a riot,” or “a demonstration” — that took place immediately after the conclusion of the war. This is a major embellishment, defensible only under the most forgiving parameters of what constitutes wartime activity. Whatever the case, an embellishment is not going to lead Roger Ailes to fire his most valuable personnel asset. (The network has said that “Fox News Chairman and C.E.O. Roger Ailes and all senior management are in full support of Bill O’Reilly.”)

This was never Brian Williams Part 2. Whatever happened in Argentina with O’Reilly, it doesn’t equate to what has been documented about Williams. And that’s the fundamental problem here because O’Reilly’s antagonists were playing long ball swinging for the fences…and not making it out of the park…the equivalent of a pop-up flyball. There are legitimate questions that could be raised about what O’Reilly claimed…and his response to the charges…but they don’t appear to amount to out and out falsehoods. So by claiming them as such, O’Reilly was able to credibly defend himself to those charges…while at the same time being able to dodge any legitimate questions on the theory that the well had been poisoned. It’s a classic tactic. If you can discredit your opponent legitimately, you can then parry the discussion to your opponents credibility. Then everyone starts talking about that and not whatever legitimate questions still remain because the oxygen gets sucked up.

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