Saturday, December 14, 2013

VF Day

On Memeorandum I see much mockery of Media Matters' declaration of victory over Fox News. But Media Matters does have a point. Fox News may still dominate the shrinking pie of cable news viewers, but in the past 9 years, I have noticed that the general public just seems to take the channel a whole lot less seriously. In 2004, when Outfoxed came out, the idea that Fox News less reliable than other news sources had not much cache outside of people who were already on the left. I mean, I saw the movie at a house party. Which is probably how most people saw it,  and is not the best strategy to avoid preaching to the choir.

It really is different now. I see online arguments where conservatives are asked to find a non-Fox link to justify their point. Sure, Fox News is still really popular among the true believers. But outside of that 35% or so, it really has very little credibility. I don't know how much of that change is due to MMA. Most members of the general public have probably never heard of the organization. But Media Matters does have the attention of other people in the media and that allows their critiques to be passed on indirectly to the public. Actually, the person who has done the most to affect the perception of Fox News is probably Jon Stewart. But maybe his ideas filtered out from MMA research. Or maybe not. Whoever did it, Fox News does have a real credibility problem, even as it beats CNN and MSNBC in the ratings game. The fact that Fox has a loyal core of followers and those other channels really don't says nothing about its credibility with the public at large. Conservatives are foolish to ignore that point.