Jul 14, 2011

The Talking Points Thesis

There is a theory that FOX "News" newsmen and opinion show hosts do not get their marching orders from a talking points memo. Most recently this was re-asserted by Chris Wallace during his fireside chat with Jon Stewart.

Well, it should be obvious that such is not the case, and never was the case. FOX "News" marches to the political slant of the brilliant Roger Ailes, and is either a wholly owned subsidiary of The Republican Tea Party, or it owns them. It is becoming increasingly harder to tell the difference.

This should have been obvious when Alan Colmes, the supposed liberal counterweight to Sean Hannity left the "Hannity and Colmes" program. The ratings did not decline, and on occasion even surged. Why? Because what little veneer of balance Colmes provided was stripped clean for pure, unadulterated propaganda. "Hannity" surged in ratings as well.

Beck was a middling opinion show host on CNN, less notable than Lou Dobbs, till he took his gig to FOX, and still became an overnight star by adhering to the script, and then improvising it with his unique brand of crazy.

Beck of course bought his own bullshit, and left for greener pastures. Or soon to be known as obscurity.

FOX "News" succeeds by pandering to the base elements, and they do this brilliantly. The script is simple too: rationalize anything that the Republican Tea Party does as "good", and anything that the Democrats do as "bad". It does not get any simpler than that. Throw in a culturally illiterate audience, scare them, and you get great ratings.

But every time there is a dip in their ratings--and a dip for them is losing 100,000 viewers one night or 37% drop in ratings in the off-peak season--the PuffHo screams orgasmically. I have no idea how the top 12 best-rated programs still being on FOX "News", with some repeats, evaluates to any meaningful trend reversal.

The latest such orgasm shattered them when "The Five" debuted in Beck's time slot. The PuffHo is delighted.

And right on schedule, a fake controversy is created. The host utters that there were no terrorist attacks on US soil from 2000 to 2008. The PuffHo has multiple orgasms.

Eric Bolling uttered those Giulianic words, and no one corrected him. Can you believe that such happens ...wait, Eric who?

Eric Bolling. Soon to climb up the ratings charts and become FOX's newest star.

At some point Ailes will figure out that he does not need the high-priced whores to get those ratings. What he needs is a set of good, lowly paid script writers, and photogenic low-priced whores.

After all, nobody goes to those professional wrestling events for the thrill of watching real competitive matches.

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