Fox News continues to dominate CNN in the cable news sweepstakes. Fox hosts like Bill O'Reilly continue to kick ass in their time slot. Any lead CNN had during the election has eroded and we're back to the way things were before the Dems had a fascinating primary battle and ultimate victory.
But has Fox News become irrelevant?
Can you be irrelevant when you dominate the ratings? If today's "tea revolution" silliness is any indication, then perhaps the answer is yes.
Fox was all over this sorta-kinda story. This is invented news at its best. Astroturf. PR gone partisan. Fox looks desperate, kinda like the only guy at a party without a hookup -- the one who sits on the couch and pretends not to notice every other guy has a girl attached to his face. That's Fox, the lonely guy on the couch, muttering to himself.
In the world of what people know, there is a certain "preaching to the choir" feel to Hannity and all the rest of the Fox guys today. No real persuasion, because the relatively few folks who turned out for these things or who watched it on TV were already in the choir and singing the Limbaugh tune. That's cool. That's fine. I'm not making an ideological/partisan argument here, but rather that when it comes to the political debate, there is a sense that Fox has left the reservation -- especially when it comes to economic policy. The pros at this all give the Obama folks decent to good marks on their approach, while the Fox guys and gals sit alone on the couch, muttering, a silvery line of saliva slipping out of the corner of their mouth.
It's sad to watch.
Fox (and the Republicans, and there is a difference, though minor) need to get their act together and this madeup bs pr event is not the way to do it. The intellectual heft of the GOP seems to have been shoved aside in favor of something whiny and tinny and soooo 1990s. And for those who want good, solid political debate, the clashing of real ideas and the resulting compromises that make for good policy, this is bad news indeed. Earlier today I pointed to a blog about the polarization of elites and the sorting of Americans, and truly this crud today is a perfect example. A sad one at that.