Can Fox News get away from just preaching to the choir?
Ana Marie Cox SAYS Fox News and the Republican Party have become victims of their own echo chamber:
The marriage between the network and the party has been almost entirely beneficial to both entities. Working together – brazenly, even explicitly so – has been a force multiplier for the GOP brand and message. It’s not really a surprise that as the linked swimmers have started to go against the current of history, their connection puts them both at risk of drowning.
On the surface, the question appears to be: who will let go first? Jettisoning Morris and Palin suggests that Fox is loosening its grip and attempting to edge away from the Tea Party-based ideological rigor that weighed down the GOP in 2012. But almost simultaneously, Republicanshave been speaking publicly about breaking away from their dependence on the network. As one strategist told Buzzfeed:
“Fox is great. But those viewers already agree with us … How else are different demographics going to get to know you if you never reach out to them?”
No matter who may be trying to end the marriage first, extricating themselves from the relationship won’t be graceful: the habits of mental cohabitation are too difficult to break. Witness the coverage of Benghazi, where conservative outrage on the channel remains strident and forceful and in harmony with Republican officials, despite the willingness of most of the country to move on to matters closer to home. It’s a positive feedback loop that spirals into irrelevance: Republicans pursue a conspiracy that only Fox viewers believe, based on reports only Fox airs, and new information gets hammered into a shape that fits the existing narrative.
And then, there are topics such as Obama’s reliance on drone strikes. Here, libertarians and Obama opponents might find common cause with liberal civil rights activists, but the network’s coverage is hamstrung by its Republican-led Obamacentric myopia. Rather than attack the notion of drone strikes on American citizens as in and of itself an alarming escalation in the always-suspect “war on terror”, Sean Hannity and other hosts decry “Democrat hypocrisy” on the matter.