Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Fox Kicking Everyone’s A**

Top 20 Cable News Programs by total viewers, April 2009

1. "The O’Reilly Factor" (Fox News): 3,498,000 total viewers

2. "Hannity" (Fox News): 2,566,000 total viewers

3. "Glenn Beck" (Fox News): 2,230,000 total viewers

4. "On the Record with Greta van Susteren" (Fox News): 2,173,000 total viewers

5. "Special Report with Bret Baier" (Fox News): 2,047,000 total viewers

6. "The Fox Report with Shepard Smith" (Fox News): 1,915,000 total viewers

7. "The O’Reilly Factor" (Fox News, repeat): 1,723,000 total viewers

8. "Your World with Neil Cavuto" (Fox News): 1,520,000 total viewers

9. "America’s Newsroom" (Fox News): 1,505,000 total viewers

10. "Studio B with Shepard Smith" (Fox News): 1,314,000 total viewers

11. "Happening Now" (Fox News): 1,247,000 total viewers

12. "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" (MSNBC): 1,237,000 total viewers

13. "The Live Desk" (Fox News): 1,210,000 total viewers

14. "Larry King Live" (CNN): 1,093,000 total viewers

15. "Anderson Cooper 360" (CNN): 1,058,000 total viewers

16. "The Rachel Maddow Show" (MSNBC): 1,042,000 total viewers

17. "Situation Room" (CNN): 898,000 total viewers

18. "Lou Dobbs Tonight" (CNN): 826,000 total viewers

19. "Campbell Brown: No Bias, No Bull" (CNN): 786,000 total viewers

20. "CNN Newsroom" (CNN): 725,000 total viewers.

Notice that the O’Reilly re-run (#7) is doing better than MSNBC and CNN.

Discussions - 33 Comments

In thirty years how many of those viewers do you think will have died of old age only to be replaced with the millions of Stewart/Colbert adherents?

And let's not forget the internet (as I think Scanlon had mentioned in a post awhile ago). Something tells me the hip, new "ME" generation would rather read its Google News than watch a talking head (at least at a specified time-slot).

But if this brings you some post-election solace, so be it.

No kidding they're kicking a**! O'Reilly and Roeder totally kicked that George Tiller's a** - AWESOME! (I bet I could name a few installments of the O'Reilly Factor that will probably never be repeated.)

For Craig - #12 on Hayward's list puts it pretty well . . .

In thirty years how many of those viewers do you think will have died of old age only to be replaced with the millions of Stewart/Colbert adherents?

Just how old do you imagine we are, matty? Socialist dinosaurs like you are about as "hip" as the kids wearing Che tee shirts.

Something tells me the hip, new "ME" generation would rather read its Google News

Yeah, you're 'hip" and "new". Well, you provide entertainment at any rate. Keep on living in your goofball fantasy world where only the evil elderly white people watch Fox news.

Just how old do you imagine we are, matty? . . . Keep on living in your goofball fantasy world where only the evil elderly white people watch Fox news.

According to Nielsen and the NYTs, if you really care about the top-watched news stations, you're closing in on 60. But I suppose the New York Times also comes from my "goofball fantasy world." Maybe that has drastically changed in the year since that article was written, but I doubt it.

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I think the numbers just show the lack of trust people have in the media. 3 million viewers, like I have said before limbaugh gets more than that for his afternoon radio show (not that he is great or anything). It is pathetic though that some people will get their political opinions from a sportscaster and an entertainment news host and not think they are watching actors. My two favorite foxnews moments of all time were when alex jones and company started bullhorning geraldo during a live segment and when billy O told rahn paul to leave out the history. If it is worth hearing about (mainstream news moments) you will see it on blogs and youtube so the numbers will probably only go down more across the board. I thought about making fun of the post above, but in this economy we will all be lucky to be halking dofus kamas soon.

Of course, there's also the obvious question (which conservative/GOP losers surely took some solace in in '06 and '08) - Does winning a popularity contest mean that the winner is correct in their viewpoints? What was the answer to that when Obama won?

Thanks for that link, Matt. At times I've felt there was something to criticisms of Olbermann's tone and seriousness, but not in that (lengthy) clip. He's serious, but for good reason (and he does it sans crocodile tears, unlike former Ashbrook speaker Beck), and best of all, he's persuasive and nicely fact-checked.

What do you think the chances are that Ashbrook will invite Hannity or O'Reilly to speak to the Ashbrook scholars anytime soon? O'Reilly would surely be such a draw that he'd empty the Ashland-area nursing homes (teehee)!

Actually, I think Beck's tears are real and that he is simply unbalanced. As to the NYTs . . . Matt, they're bleeding money like an arterial wound. And although I don't doubt the numbers they sight, their history of corruption and complete lack of journalistic integrity hardly make them convincing. You are right about Colbert and Stewart, though. But I for one take solace in the fact that life experiences lead one toward a mildly conservative platform despite the enjoyment of being entertained by Comedy Central. I know there's a website dedicated to Olbermann's gaffes and unprofessionalism; I believe it's simply called I've seen a couple of their clips but haven't really checked the site out, however, I suspect if you already are a fan of Olbermann's you won't think much of it.

Andrew, the OlbermannWatch site, which I just checked out in some detail, is rather pitiful. It's approximately 9 parts ad hominem for every 1 part serious point (most of those demonstrably wrong). Lots of pics of "Olby" with his hair on fire and other hilarities of that sort. It's also fairly chaotic, appears to just be a lot of twitter-type exchanges, and is poorly laid out (as a web site). I'm not saying it wouldn't be possible to have a serious site that critically evaluates Olbermann's every utterance, but surely that's not it.

Anyway, where have you been - I'm still waiting for your response to my last post in that waterboarding thread. I posted a nice article from SmallWarsJournal, written by a former master instructor at SERE, that I thought might be of interest to you - as well as some other items.

[Also, a sincere thank you for providing my biggest laugh of the day with your noting the NYT's "complete lack of journalistic integrity" in a thread that's about Fox News!]

How would Keith Olberman fill up even three minutes of his show if Bill O did not have a show? His whole focus on Bill O is just plain jealousy, or creepiness.

Tony, Olbermann just swore off any and all direct references to the original B.O. (no, it's not really funny even when I do it!) - see the link that Matt provided. He's essentially putting O'Reilly off-limits, so I guess we'll see how he fills his time.

Maybe with unintentional right-wing humor like this?

Holy crap, you're still talking about waterboarding. No, I didn't see your final posts because don't care enough to look in the archives. It's a good article, thought-provoking article. Here's a response from the same site. I agree with all those in the intelligence and military communities who disagree with Mr. Nance. Let's try not to turn this post into a referendum on waterboarding.

Here's an article with many links about the NYT's coverage of the news.

Fox is also ahead in reality shows -- American Idol beating various CBS Survivor iterations.

Also, over at I learned that the annual infection rate of HIV/AIDS is 39.4 million, which kicks the A** of syphillis, which enjoys an annual infection rate of a mere 12.2 million. Go HIV!

Andrew, do you think that FoxNews (the news org at issue here) has journalistic credibility?

As for the waterboarding, I presume you're all in favor of waterboarding the suspect in the killing of the abortion doctor, as he has warned of other plans for similar attacks, thus indicating that there's something of a ticking time bomb scenario.

Yes I do, and evidently so do the vast majority of cable news viewers. Do you have examples of why I should think otherwise (like the ones I provided for the NYT)?

As to waterboarding the murderer: no, I don't think he should be waterboarded. He is mentally unbalanced and law enforcement officials, understandably, believe he is lying about future attacks. Also, there are methods and institutions in place to deal with American citizens committing ordinary crimes. Similarly, I would not be in favor of waterboarding a mentally unbalanced American Muslim fundamentalist who killed a member of the American military on US soil and then ranted about more attacks on the way. Trying to equate waterboarding the men who planned and executed the 9/11 attacks and this murderer is just silly.

"Yes I do, and evidently so do the vast majority of cable news viewers"

Wow. Andrew, I somewhat expected you to state the obvious, that you agreed with many of the views expressed by the hosts of various FoxNews "news programs", but I honestly didn't expect you to boldly claim that FoxNews has journalistic integrity or credibility.

If we accept the premise that the NYT doesn't just report, but pushes a liberal agenda, how can we honestly claim that "Fair and Balanced" FoxNews even attempts to live up to its "We report, you decide" marketing?

Take this example (from the Hackensack, NJ Record, March 2003):

"More than 200 people were arrested Thursday for blocking traffic in Manhattan during a day of civil disobedience called to protest the war in Iraq and the corporate media's reporting of the conflict...

Fox News had its own response to the demonstrators. The news ticker rimming Fox's headquarters on Sixth Avenue wasn't carrying war updates as the protest began. Instead, it poked fun at the demonstrators, chiding them.

'War protester auditions here today ... thanks for coming!' read one message. 'Who won your right to show up here today?' another questioned. 'Protesters or soldiers?'

Said a third: 'How do you keep a war protester in suspense? Ignore them.'

Still another read: 'Attention protesters: the Michael Moore Fan Club meets Thursday at a phone booth at Sixth Avenue and 50th Street' - a reference to the film maker who denounced the war while accepting an Oscar on Sunday night for his documentary 'Bowling for Columbine.'"

So, while you may well agree with such mocking of (those) protestors, I don't see how you can seriously, honestly claim that such displays would be indicative of a news outlet that claims to only "report" leaving decisions to the viewers, that regularly touts just how "fair and balanced" it is. I don't see how you can claim that such displays are a mark of journalistic integrity or credibility. Unless perhaps you would describe Glenn Beck as a most exemplary journalist (??).

But there are plenty of sources which offer serious evidence to question the journalistic integrity and credibility of FoxNews. Try the excellent documentary "OutFoxed" for starters, or see this enumeration of their displays of bias and shoddy journalism or this one.

As for Roeder, trying to dismiss him as just a crackpot doesn't cut it. He was clearly engaging in terrorism, killing someone to make a political point and to terrorize and intimidate civilians, to stop them from engaging in legal activities. (What do you know, it worked - the clinic is shutting down) And considering that there have previously been deadly shootings of doctors and bombings of abortion clinics it is entirely plausible that Roeder knows something about other plans, and that there are other plans. And it's entirely plausible that other attacks on abortion doctors and facilities will be attacked in the near future. Bledsoe/Muhammad, who killed the military recruitment officer, is quite possibly a nutcase, too, but he's also a terrorist (he's being charged with 15 counts of terrorist activities). As is Roeder. He and his ilk in the anti-abortion/pro-life movement are clearly practicing war by other means.

Oh yes, almost forgot. Look at this FoxNews spin-off venture and continue to seriously suggest that Fox just reports the facts in a "fair and balanced", serious journalism kind of way...

I've never liked or stood up for Glenn Beck - he lost me with the $20 bill/Twin Towers trick.Here are several articles about media bias, including a poll that helps explain your disposition against Fox News. "The poll also discovered that while the reporters, editors, producers and executives have a great deal of trouble naming a “liberal” news outlet, they had no problem seeing a “conservative” outlet, with an incredible 69 percent readily naming the Fox News Channel."

I know Fox News tilts right, but do you honestly think MSNBC and CNN don't tilt left? You bring up the example of the news ticker: do you not consider the coverage of the tea parties at least as bad? The CNN reporter arguing with the protestors? Keith Olbermann letting Garofalo say that the protestors are racists and the tea parties were "about hating a black man"? The ENDLESS "tea-bagging" jokes, including Dave Schuster's briliant monologue?

How about the media's treatment of Sarah Palin? Helen Thomas told a crowd that Katie Couric (whose ratings are the lowest since they started keeping records) that Couric's interview of Palin "saved the country".

Craig, I think it's pathetic when people like you get so morally outraged over Fox while ignoring the same and worse from almost every other media outlet. "But you guys have talk radio!" Not if the Democrats have their way.

I apologize for the almost-ad hominem attack there at the end, but it really drives me to distraction when I hear committed liberals complaining that Fox News is biased. I will readily admit that Fox tilts right and that talk radio is dominated by the Right (the Left seems unable to compete in that arena), but I am also aware of that most other media outlets tilt the other way. That you either don't see that or don't care speaks volumes to the value of your criticism of Fox.

Glen beck thinks 9/11 truthers should be rounded up and tortured just like the men who carried out the attacks, they are anti semetic anarchists who will work with the terrorists to destroy us. Rather you have questions about 9/11 or believe the government's story is up to you...this is like saying we need to round up all the guys handing out pamphlets on the grassy knoll.

Beck is a great case study for the liberal and conservative debating fox vs other networks. How did he go from cnn headline news to fox? Is he an actor reading from a script, or does it really matter what slant you get because its still distortion of information and goes totally against what the free press was supposed to do in this country.

Listen at around 3:00

Andrew, you've slyly shifted the subject at issue. The original blog-post is about the dominance of FoxNews among cable television news shows - which makes your pre-emptive critique of the "But you guys have talk radio!" complaint that much more baffling. You said that the NYT had a "complete lack of journalistic integrity" as well as a "history of corruption" (I presume you mean corruption as in deviation from the goal of providing objective coverage of objectively newsworthy events), but you also answered in the affirmative when asked directly if you think FoxNews has journalistic credibility. Later, you hedged that noticeably by saying that "it's pathetic when people... get so morally outraged over Fox while ignoring the same and worse from almost every other media outlet." - seemingly conceding that what is the "same" are demonstrations of bias (which I presume you agree is part and parcel of corruption and compromising an outlet's credibility and integrity).

So, I guess that means that what you're saying is that Fox is biased - just a bit, to an extent that is somehow not only acceptable but admirable, whereas the NYT is absolutely, completely lacking in credibility and integrity? That seems a bit too convenient (and difficult to defend if we got deep into the nitty-gritty details).

Also, to clarify, does that mean you're saying that FoxNews is more objective than NYTimes, or do you go by some other standard for journalism?

If it comes to any story or any issue that is remotely politically charged, it's always a safe bet that FoxNews will display an obvious right-wing bias. Not just a little bit conservative, but pretty far right. The same can't be said for the NYTimes. Not by a long stretch. Perhaps you've forgotten about Judith Miller and her "reporting" about Iraq and the WMDs, which really amounted to something akin to cheerleading for the war to begin. And if we're talking about the editorial outlets, the commentary on the news, the NYTimes employed Bill Kristol for god's sake. Fox had the laughably meek "liberal" of Alan Colmes. Now it's just Hannity, Solo.

Also, I think the issues of thoroughness and extremity matter, especially considering the contemporary layout of the sociopolitical spectrum. Fox extends several notches further to the right than NYTimes has ever to the "left". Fox is a thoroughly partisan organ, or worse, actually working actively to push the GOP itself further to the right. It's all right-wing, all the time. Again, watch the OutFoxed docu. I linked to previously to get the idea.

How was the coverage of the tea parties so bad? For one thing, FoxNews played a crucial role in making them happen. That's not objective reporting of the news, but trying to make the news. [Did the electronic ticker outside the NYT - assuming they have one - mock the tea partyers, a la FoxNews back in '03?] It's also funny how you chide the "CNN reporter [for] arguing with the protestors," (as I recall, there's one reporter who questioned a protestor who used the term "fascism" quite loosely) but then cite your disappointment in Olbermann for NOT arguing with Garofalo.

As for CNN and MSNBC tilting left, let's not forget that Ashbrook speaker Glenn Beck (now at Fox) was on CNN when he did his stunt with the dollar bills and the WTC image. MSNBC has the hardly-liberal Morning Joe (Scarborough). And they've also got Chris Matthews, a guy who makes no attempt to hide his disdain of Hillary Clinton, and probably holds the record for the number of times he's hosted Ann Coulter and allowed her to rant and rant and plug her latest "book". I suppose he's a "liberal" in your eyes, too?

As for Couric, is one's journalistic integrity or credibility determined by one's ratings, by one's popularity? (so what if her ratings are rock bottom?) Also, as for Helen Thomas's comment, I think she meant that Couric inadvertently "saved America" (and she was probably exaggerating for effect, I'm guessing) by doing half-decent journalism and asking some good questions of Palin. She asked Palin what sorts of things she liked to read (books, periodicals, etc.), for example. Was that wrong? Is that bad journalism to ask such things (was it wrong to ask GWB who his favorite political philosopher was, so that he could answer "Jesus."??) Palin's answers failed to impress anyone except the fringes of the far right, who I suspect would have been impressed if she would have merely repeated her "lipstick on a pit bull" joke endlessly.

Craig, Chris Matthews was a respected journalist who really did play Hardball with all of his guests and was a very thoughtful guy right up until last fall when we really became a huge fan of Obama and progressive policies. Have you watched him lately? And, I saw Keith O compare the Holocaust shooting with the abortion clinic doctor, warning that the right-wingers are indeed a great threat and that the Homeland Security secretary was right. He's a great fool indeed. Even his guest stated that there was no link of ideology in the attacks, to which KO was embarrassed and quickly moved on. I guess he only wants people to endorse his view. But, anyone who watches his show has known that for a very long time. Maybe he should go back to his creepy attacks on Bill O as the "worst person in the world." Hard-hitting journalism.

Craig, listening to the long, drawn out logical trap you've laid for me is like listening to a soloist who is slightly flat and doesn't realize it. Fox News has never fabricated stories, NYT has. So yes, I still find Fox more reputable than the Grey Lady - occassional Kristol op-ed or no. You bring up Chris "thrill going up my leg" Matthews like you're helping your cause; at least he's honest about wanting "to do everything I can to make this thing work, this new presidency work". I don't think Olbermann should have "argued" with Garofalo, but when she called tens of thousands of average Americans "racist" for protesting a trillion dollar budget, he should have questioned her, just like the CNN reporter should have questioned the protestors. Her job as a reporter was to report the story, not argue with the protestors.

You, like the rest of the media outside of Fox News, simply didn't understand the Tea Parties. Because Fox covered what was happening without being condescending, you assumed they were in on it. My parents aren't news/political junkies and they went to the one in Cincinnati, and they would have been there regardless of whether or not Fox was covering the story (they watch local news).

Have you not heard about this shareholder meeting? GE is looking at being very well-rewarded with green dollars from this epic budget in return for toning down their news agencies' criticism of President Obama.

Andrew, if it's laying a "logic trap" by pointing out how you move the goalposts to a different playing field when your points start to look absurd, and asking you questions to get you to clarify your thoughts, then I am guilty as charged. (You should probably read my comments rather than "listening" to them, though)

- Again, are you saying that FoxNews is more objective than NYTimes?

- Do you deny that Fox played a very significant role in promoting and advocating for the tea parties? Glenn Beck broadcast live from the Alamo, and Hannity did one too, and even brought some musical acts. (I think Fox hosted 4 events in total) Fox was
most certainly in on them. Let's be honest about that much, at least.

- "Fox News has never fabricated stories." Um... are you serious?

- NYT didn't have "occassional [sic] Kristol op-ed(s)," they gave him the full gig, a regular column for a year, but he lost it because he kept injecting factual errors into his columns.

Why do you think that GE will be getting more corporate welfare than usual under Obama's "epic budget"? If you're talking about bailouts and the like, I doubt GE will be getting any. Unlike the banks and GM and co., General Electric has been quite profitable (I guess you didn't look at my first link regarding "Morning Joe" Scarborough?), to wit (from the link):

"GE is one of the world's largest companies; in 2006, its revenues were greater than the gross domestic products of 80 percent of UN nations. The company made more than $18 billion in 2008 -- again, billion with a b, and again, those are profits, not revenue. All that despite (or, perhaps, because of) the fact that 13 different unions represent GE workers."

Also, if indeed it's true that GE can name its price for positive media coverage, it sounds like they are more powerful than the president himself. Would you say that situation is a problem in general, or only when you don't like the guy in the Oval Office?

PR firms wrote the iraq war stories for years. Both sides do it and it is a scary sign of the times in that government is controlling media and that media has such a lack of integrity they can be bought. I am just curious to see what stories are coming now that ron paul's bid to audit the FED is gaining support and has a real chance of passing. Fox and CNN will probably run stories about how doing this will end society and destroy the economy, and when they both do it then Craig and Andrew really should wonder why they are arguing. Lies are Lies.

Brutus, I find a kernel of interest in your final point there. Yes, the media is a problem in general, and journalism is at a real nadir these days, for the most part. I also get upset when I watch CNN (although I haven't forced myself to endure it for many months now), but FoxNews really takes the cake for shameless propagandizing, especially considering its constant claims to being "fair and balanced" and that they just "report the facts." CNN, MSNBC are pretty bad in their news reporting for a variety of reasons (and we probably wouldn't agree on most of them), but Fox is clearly the worst, and by far the most biased. It's very difficult to tell the difference between their reporting of an event and their commenting and analysis of it. They blur the lines far beyond recognition.

The bigger problem is this: There are military psyop officers (I think previously NLT posted Gore Vidal noted this when he was interviewed about 9/11) working at the networks. No matter which side you choose in the game its just a matter of which lies you want to believe. I have to believe ,though, that people really want to the truth if given an option; I would not dismiss an argument that suggests they don't. Here are my thoughts on the bias that does exist. Craig, you can see the bias easier at fox because fox has to make it more obvious because a lot of their viewership prefers simplicity. That was a polite way of saying they are courting the conservative rednecks whom sublty may be lost on. A word of caution though, no matter how much we make fun of or dismiss this group, they outnumber all others and the ratings are a basic example of this. Now if Glenn Beck and Operation Mocking Bird can convince these people that standing up for the constitution is right wing extremism and racist then I will start thinking that all is lost. On the whole that group is what used to be the backbone of the country, and will be in the future if the country is to continue to exist. They are not all republicans, a lot of them vote democrat due to longstanding union ties or even just tradition going back to JFK.

Interesting links, Craig. You certainly support your case. I've had a busy week, so I'm keeping it short: I think Brutus nailed it when he said the Fox conservative bias stands out to Craig because Craig is liberal; the oposite, of course, applies to persons such as myself. As I said in a previous post, I recognize that Fox has a conservative bias, but it seems to me most people on the left either don't acknowledge the liberal bias that exists in the other networks or significantly downplay it. Just like the Fox-watching websites Craig linked, there are many conservative media watchdogs (Newsbusters, pajamasmedia, etc).

Brutus, my only question is, what do you do about it? I mean, the news is reported on by human beings who are prejudiced and will necessarily inject some of their own opinions into a story. I think the best thing would be for everyone in the media to just come out and openly endorse candidates every election cycle so you can get a feel for their politics which would allow everyone to get their news with a grain of salt.

Andrew, it's a bit frustrating when you don't even clarify your original statement. Last time, are you saying that FoxNews is more objective than NYTimes? (having a "complete lack of journalistic integrity"), or what - are they equally biased? Or do you concede that Fox is indeed much worse?

For the NYTimes to be like FoxNews, I think we'd need to see them organizing and hosting (or sponsoring) some kind of anti-war rallies and demonstrations (a la Fox and the tea parties). Instead, we had Judith Miller assisting Bush, Cheney and co. with the case for WMDs and for going to war in Iraq.

Here's a great deconstruction of the notion of the left-wing media.

I think you just have to stop believing and supporting the corporate media. There are ways, the internet, to get information. The alternative media is ripe with its own bias and prejudice, but I find it a tad better in that you can check facts online and try to correlate information, even read foriegn versions of a story. You are right, bias is never going to go away so the public in general needs to awaken to this and try to take the 'news' with a grain of salt. If you just realize that you are being fed propoganda it becomes easier and easier to read through the lines. Although, this will leave you skeptical and depressed.

Two things for Craig, I am giving the left some praise here because I am saying that their bias is aimed at a more sophisticated audience and is not so obvious. The foxnews and tea parties thing I am skeptical about. If we accept that fox is all about the cons and republicans then why are they 'sponsoring' an event that was about more than racist whining about Obama. I think they had to be their because a large part of their base was intrigued, but they would much rather be playing the blame the democrats game than interviewing ron paul about the private federal reserve. This also relates to making things more obvious for the working stiffs who would prefer a country band and a case of pbr to a stinging analysis of geo politics. Nothing against pbr or country music.

Interesting comments, Brutus.

I too appreciate the alternative media. The best outlets are careful to lay out the facts, as is, and then clearly spell out when and where their reporting ends and their analysis begins. FoxNews mixes them together shamelessly and calls it all news (Glenn Beck, the guy who pours "gasoline" on an in-studio guest to make a point about how Obama is destroying America or whatever, is somehow listed as a "news" show - see the ratings in Hayward's orig. post above). They have a deep and institutionalized bias that actually does control how far anyone working for the network can deviate from the prescribed message from the top (really, watch "OutFoxed"). Their coverage of the tea parties really was mostly gushing admiration for the participants; they clearly facilitated the events and urged the crowd on. That's bizarre. I've seen Communist reporters and videographers do more honest reporting (filming a protest as is, not cheering it on, and interviewing protestors and counter-protestors alike, presenting everyone's comments as is - and analyzing ALL of it later through their filter).

I think the problem with Fox isn't so much that they aim at or cater to an inherently less sophisticated audience, but they actually, over time, dumb down their audience. Recall the studies done a few years back that showed that Fox viewers had a much more tenuous grasp of the facts regarding the non-existence of the WMD caches in Iraq, and Saddam's non-cooperation with Al Qaeda and non-involvement in 9/11. They simply didn't know well-established facts (that even Dick Cheney has finally acknowledged, much too little and much too late). Too many Fox viewers are only able to think beyond black-and-white when they entertain absurd conspiracy theories (Why Bush & Co. would keep it secret that they found the WMDs or whatever).

I also think that there are plenty of working stiffs who relish a "stinging analysis of geopolitics" WITH their PBR. Actually, I know there are, because I personally know a lot of them.

Lastly, I don't know if you're still around here, Brutus - this thread's now in the archives after all - but what do you make of the evidence that Ron Paul has some blatantly racist skeletons in his closet (referring to some of his old newsletters)? I have my doubts if he has changed much in that regard. I liked a lot more about Paul than I disliked, but that bothered me, frankly. Still, he strikes me as more honest than a lot of pols.

Craig, I was looking at the "comments by readers" for today to see if I had missed responding to anyone and scrolling through the astoundingly long list of spams, hit this. Yes, the Ron Paul racist stuff is disturbing, but my son, a Paul fan, said it was old and that Paul had recanted and regretted it. I don't really know, but offer the possibility.

Today, I was driving down to Ashland and passed a young couple in an old car with a "Don't Blame Me, I Voted for Ron Paul" bumper-sticker. I should get one for my son and wonder how many more of those are out there.

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