Fox News stopped saying “fair and balanced” in what the network calls “an effort to move beyond the era of its former chairman and CEO.” They are quick to assure viewers “the shift has nothing to do with programming or editorial decisions” but as Rupert Murdoch hands the reigns to his sons, the shakeup at the network looks even more suspicious.
CNN Money recently reports Fox has not been using the slogan since last August but never officially announced the change. “We Report, You Decide” was also faded out but still gets used once in a while. Fox’s new catch phrase, “Most Watched, Most Trusted,” has the interweb all a-flutter saying, “most watched” may be true for now but “most trusted” remains to be seen.
Fox News was founded in 1996 as an outlet specifically focused on conservative viewers. “Fair and Balanced” spelled out to them that Fox would counteract the obvious liberal bias spewed by other networks. For years, Fox has dominated cable news surpassing CNN and MSNBC in the total number of viewers but recently that trend has been in decline. Last Month, MSNBC was rated highest in a key category for the first time this Millennium.
The main reason for the Fox network’s success was that the men who founded it were totally committed to conservative values and dedicated to airing the conservative viewpoint at a time when the public was starving for real news.
Rupert Murdoch was born in Australia the son of a publisher. He followed his father’s footsteps into the news industry and conquered it like Alexander the Great. By the 1960’s he was one of the biggest media players in the UK. From there he expanded into the U.S. market. In 1985 he took over Twentieth Century Fox and by 1996 was running a 24-hour news channel on cable with content generated by his News Corp. holdings.
Seeing the public “appetite for news – particularly news that explains to people how it affects them – is expanding enormously,” Murdoch teamed up with Roger Ailes and asked him to start the Fox News Channel. Bill O’Reilly’s show “The O’Reilly Report” aired the first day the Fox network started broadcasting and went on to become on of the highest-rated cable television series ever. The final episode went out on April 21, 2017, when O’Reilly was fired.
Ailes was known for hammering home the fair and balanced philosophy. He held “Fair & Balanced” seminars. He would call producers in if he found a banner that was a little too to liberal for his liking. One famous quote is “The news is like a ship. If you take your hands off the wheel, it pulls hard to the left.” Ailes steered that ship into what the network is today but his hand is no longer on the wheel. He was fired in a scandal last August and passed away in April.
Bill O’Reilly has likewise gone down in flames. Without going into details of whether either of these men actually did what they are accused of, the bottom line is that the entire leadership of Fox News has changed hands.
The Murdoch dynasty has likewise passed control to the younger generation. In this case, we have two brothers. James Murdoch is a big fan of social justice. Speaking at an event benefiting National Geographic the same day O’Reilly had been fired, James calls himself someone who cares a lot about “issues related to the environment, conservation, exploration, and education.” James’ wife Kathryn is a driving force behind his climate change obsession. She is associated with the Environmental Defense Fund as a trustee and worked for Clinton Climate Initiative.
James Murdoch was also one of the biggest motivators behind O’Reilly’s removal. With his younger brother, Lachlan, rubber stamping everything he does, James is now seizing control of his father’s empire. The brothers have introduced more employee benefits including “expanded coverage for our transgender colleagues” and the pair replaced Rupert’s Republican chief lobbyist with a Democrat. None of this sounds very re-assuring.
Changing the slogan is not nearly as important as changing the editorial style. Distrust and anger at the mainstream media are the main reasons that citizen journalists are taking to their word processors. More and more conservatives are turning to independent news sources, like here at Conservative Daily Post, as network news gets more outrageous.