Archive for the FNC Category

Change of Plans?

Posted in FBN, FNC on June 16, 2015 by icn2

The Hollywood Reporter’s Marissa Guthrie takes note of the change in reporting structure at 21st Century Fox. If it ever was a change…

Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes will in fact report to James and Lachlan Murdoch when the sons of Rupert Murdoch assume control of 21st Century Fox on July 1.

The revelation comes after the Ailes-run Fox Business Network reported June 11 that Ailes would continue to report to Rupert even after Rupert handed official control of the company to his sons.

“Roger will report to Lachlan and James but will continue his unique and long-standing relationship with Rupert,” 21st Century Fox spokesperson Nathaniel Brown said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.

And what does that mean? Is that PR spin to make it look like Ailes can bypass the sons to go to the father when he really can’t? Or can Ailes truly circumvent them when he wants? My money is on the former.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say we may have just seen the first marker…the very first marker…in Roger Ailes’ retirement laid down. There is kibitzing…just talk amongst the chattering class mind you…of the possibility of an Ailes exit after the 2016 election.

However, unlike Joseph Farah’s apocalyptic Chicken Little outburst on World Net Daily a couple days ago (“Exclusive”, WND? Sheesh), I don’t expect too much of a change at FNC if Ailes exits…provided Bill Shine is named as his successor. Ailes spent 15 years assembling the team behind FNC and FBN. That does not come apart the moment he leaves.

Unless James decides to blow it up; and he’d be ousted by the board and shareholders if he did something that suicidal, FNC should continue along as before for some time to come though talent departures/retirements and unfoerseen massive changes in the industry could alter that prognosis.

Rethinking FBN Getting Burned By CNBC Over The Murdoch News…

Posted in CNBC, FBN, FNC on June 13, 2015 by icn2

It’s been a couple of days since the Rupert Murdoch news knocked the media world sideways. The one storyline that continued to get legs was how the hell did CNBC beat out the entire Murdoch media empire with the scoop? It sure as hell made FBN, The Post, and The Journal look woefully out of it. At first I naturally assumed it was just good old fashioned legwork. Now I’m wondering if it was really the old boy network…

Exhibit A: The news that came out very quickly after Faber’s scoop that Roger Ailes would be reporting directly to Rupert Murdoch, bypassing his sons. Everyone focused in on the fact that Ailes wouldn’t have to be reporting to Rupe’s sons that it showed how much the senior Murdoch valued Ailes.

What nobody seems to have realized is that Ailes had to have known about the change in structure. There is no way Rupert Murdoch is going to make a change like this and then wait until after the news comes out to tell Ailes he’ll still be reporting to him. FNC and FBN are lynchpins in the Murdoch media empire and Murdoch is not going to do anything to churn those waters. Ailes had to have known.

Exhibit B: Because Ailes had to have known, he could have ensured that the news came out on FBN. He didn’t. The question is obviously why? And the answer is just as obvious…because he was essentially under a gag order that had yet to be lifted by Rupert.

Exhibit C: The original Faber story made no mention of Ailes reporting to Rupert. Therefore we could assume that this wasn’t a leak to Faber from inside Ailes’ sphere of influence. If it were the one piece of information we might consider betting the bank on coming out was that Ailes would be reporting directly to Rupert. Of course, because this industry is more conniving than you could possibly imagine, we can’t completely dismiss the possibility that the leak came from inside Ailes’ sphere of influence but left out the Ailes reporting structure precisely to throw the scent off and make it look like it came from elsewhere. But that possibility does stretch the boundaries of plausibility. The odds are stacked heavily that Ailes’ sphere of influence had nothing to do with Faber’s story. Which leads us to…

Exhibit D: Like father (NOT) like sons. It is well known that while Rupert holds a special place in his heart for Roger Ailes, his sons don’t exactly follow in father’s footsteps.

Add up A, B, C, and D and a new picture emerges regarding CNBC’s scoop. What better way to screw Ailes than to leak the story to Faber?

Maybe it wasn’t either James or Lachlan who leaked to Faber. But whoever it was knew what they were doing and how the optics would play out. They were giving CNBC a prize and Roger Ailes the middle finger.

Fisking “Blackfish”…

Posted in CNN, FBN, FNC on June 13, 2015 by icn2

FNC/FBN’s John Stossel writes on Reason.com about his upcoming “Blackfish” fisking. I’ve never been a fan of Stossel’s penchant for attacking something while at the same time sticking his head in the sand regarding the issue being raised…

I don’t presume to know if it’s moral to keep animals in captivity. But I do know that the activists distort the truth.

I’ve always considered that a big time dodge by Stossel. I also think if he’s going to do a proper fisking he should point out what, if anything, the people behind “Blackfish” are accurate about. He always seems too caught up in nailing the other side moreso than doing a proper analysis of the issue at hand.

That all said, his article here raises enough questions in my mind that I’m going to watch this special. I never had any interest in watching Blackfish in the first place. But I do care about accuracy in reporting and if there’s weight to be found in Stossel’s reporting, it puts CNN in a difficult position of defending airing a special its own people did zero reporting for; something that is an inherent risk for airing agenda TV without explaining in advance what the vetting process was, if any. (via J$)

I was most disturbed by a Blackfish scene that plays the mournful cry of a mother whale whose baby was taken from her. But it turns out the “baby” was an adult with kids of her own. Blackfish faked the scene by adding “sound effects that aren’t even appropriate to a killer whale.”

Blackfish also claims captive whales’ droopy dorsal fins indicate that the whales are miserable. But whale expert Ingrid Visser says killer whales in the wild have collapsed dorsal fins, too.

The director of Blackfish and others who appear in the film would not talk to me, but biologist Lori Marino, who’d said that “all whales in captivity have a bad life,” did.

I pointed out that life in the wild is rough, too—there’s competition for food, sex, life itself. She answered, “these animals evolved over millions of years to be adapted to the challenges of the wild, not with living in a concrete tank… They need space… and a social life.”

SeaWorld claims its whales are “happy.” But as Blackfish points out, “we can’t ask the whales.”

Dold replied, “While I may not know what my dog is thinking, I certainly know that he’s happy and that we have a good relationship.”

There have been moments when that human-whale relationship wasn’t good. One whale drowned a SeaWorld trainer. But Clark says there’s no evidence that the whale’s behavior meant that he was frustrated because he lives in a tank.

Finally, Blackfish claims that captive whales die young. But Dold points out, “We have a 50-year-old whale living at SeaWorld… Our whales’ life parameters are the same as whales in the wild.” Government research confirms this.

Piling On…

Posted in FBN, FNC on June 9, 2015 by icn2

MediaPost’s Wendy Davis writes about the latest news in the battle between Fox and TVEyes…

TVEyes and Fox recently submitted their arguments to Hellerstein on that point. Those papers were filed under seal, and aren’t currently available.

But last week, a host of outside companies filed publicly available friend-of-the-court briefs that outline some of the major arguments.

Other TV news broadcasters, including CNN, CBS and NBCUniversal are backing Fox in the battle. “This case is not just about Fox News,” the TV news networks say. “It affects all creators and publishers of broadcast and digital content … who depend on licensing deals and advertising sales to support their continuing ability to provide high-quality news and entertainment content.”

Megyn Kelly Interview…

Posted in FNC on June 3, 2015 by icn2

The Wrap’s Tony Maglio interviews Megyn Kelly prior to the airing of Kelly’s Duggar exclusive…

Kelly said she landed the coveted conversation in a pretty straightforward manner: She approached the family and presented an argument for why “The Kelly File” was the best choice.

“When I spoke with the Duggar family, I said, ‘I am going to ask you the tough questions,’” said Kelly, who had no prior relationship with the massive clan. “‘You will not be getting a pass on the tough questions. But I will be fair, and you will be permitted to answer and offer context. And it will not be a ‘gotcha’ or an attempt to bring down the Duggars … That is not my role.”

Kelly touted a lack of external post-production editing as another plus that draws wary interview subjects: “I have final say on the ultimate broadcast — and no one but me.”

Bill O’Reilly Interview

Posted in FNC on June 3, 2015 by icn2

WWD.com’s Alexandra Steigrad interviews Bill O’Reilly…

At Fox, you guys call everyone else the “mainstream media.” You have the highest ratings on cable news, and you arguably speak to and represent the views of the majority of Americas. Let’s not forget that Fox is not a media start-up. How are you not the mainstream media?

That’s a very good question, Alex. The mainstream media is the establishment. I worked at CBS News and ABC News. I was never able to conform to the way that the national media in Manhattan had presented themselves. I wanted to put my voice into the news. Fox is a maverick organization. It’s a $2 billion company [but] it’s maverick. We are outside the conventional wisdom. There’s a different way of going about things here at Fox News Corp.

Aren’t most media companies classified that way then? How would you classify the digital media companies?

They are all insurgents. They are trying to carve out a niche.

What do you think of the newer digital media companies?

The newer media companies — some of them are good, some of them aren’t. Even Yahoo isn’t a mainstream media company.

Do you ever get your news from the bigger digital players like Yahoo?

Not really. I’m so busy reading and doing my projects and books. I get a summation of what’s around on Fox News and I get it in a folder.

What are some common misconceptions about you? Do you hold any liberal views? Your position on gay marriage has softened over time, yet most people might see you as very conservative.

Anyone who thinks I’m an ultraconservative is just ridiculous. I’m against the death penalty. I’m an environmentalist…

FNC: GOP Hindrance?

Posted in FNC on May 18, 2015 by icn2

James Fallows in The Atlantic notes a recently released study by Bruce Bartlett that is going to be getting some play in certain media circles…and probably some FNC pushback to boot…

Let me recommend for your weekend reading, or for your weekday reading if you’re seeing it then, a detailed study by Bruce Bartlett called “How Fox News Changed American Media and Political Dynamics.” You can download the 18-page PDF from this site of the Social Science Research Network.

The idea that Fox News operates with different aims and by different norms from those of, say, the BBC is familiar. But this presentation is notable for two reasons.

The first is its source—for those who don’t know, Barlett is a veteran of the Reagan and Bush-41 administrations and was an influential early proponent of supply-side / tax-cut economics. He also worked for Ron Paul. Since then he’s harshly criticized the Bush-43 administration, but in no sense does he come at this as a Democratic party operative.

The second and more important reason is Bartlett’s accumulation of detail showing (a) that Fox’s core viewers are factually worse-informed than people who follow other sources, and even those who don’t follow news at all, and (b) that the mode of perpetual outrage that is Fox’s goal and effect has become a serious problem for the Republican party, in that it pushes its candidates to sound always-outraged themselves.

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