Fox News thrives on conveying outrage and outrage to its viewers in order to confirm, reinforce, and reinforce their existing prejudices, whether it's prejudice against women, racial minorities, socially conscious liberals, or just Democrats in general. This is how money is earned, as a former Fox News presenter vividly explains: by keeping viewers “addicted” and in almost constant excitement by a constant flood of vague threatening misinformation about the supposedly nefarious acts of selected groups at which they are aimed . Most of his anchors and reporters are moronic, giggling monkeys chosen not for their journalistic skills but for their willingness to act as a permanent channel for scare tactics and outrage. They do not deal with facts, but with allusions and selective omission. This is why there are so few journalists on Fox whom the rest of the profession consider serious or trustworthy. From the start it was a network made up mainly of commentators who posed as journalists but had no references or no claim to journalistic credibility.
Now, reluctantly forced to acknowledge Joe Biden's victory and no longer having the opportunity to glorify Donald Trump on a daily basis, Fox has reverted to his normal defensive squat, best characterized as constant Picayune whining about everything Democrats do . Any act by Biden or Democrats somehow suggests betrayal or weakness or something.
Matt Gertz, who wrote for Media Matters, noted that his coverage and allegiance to the Trump administration drew record attendance to Fox News. Now that Trump is gone, or at least not as accessible as it used to be, the network is facing a tipping point that will determine how to proceed.
The network's executives would likely prefer to switch from Trump and revert to his Obama-era brand to become the "voice of the opposition" against the future Biden administration. The network could focus its program on smearing Biden officials, conjuring up Biden pseudo scandals, stopping or blocking Democratic proposals, and strengthening political movements against Biden and Republican challengers. That was a unifying message for the law in 2009 that received great reviews for the network. And Republican leaders would no doubt value new Benghazi and "death tablets" as sticks against the incoming Democratic government.
At the same time, Fox's on-air talent will come under tremendous pressure to rebuild its once-record-breaking audience. The clearest path to that goal will be to give the unruly Trumpist viewers what they want: more lies Trump actually won, more conspiracy theories about Democrats, more paranoid fantasies about the left, and more apocalyptic cultural war rage. This will stimulate the rest of the right-wing media to do the same in hopes of either preventing guest appearances on the network or shedding some of their market share.
I suppose all of this was to be expected. But now that Trump's hagiography has fallen by the wayside 24/7, we can also see a familiar profile re-emerge during this transition period – that of the "average" Fox News viewer – a profile that can be carefully put together to review how Fox News reports certain people and events.
Unsurprisingly, the typical Fox News viewer is white and male. Based on Fox's advertisers, he's over 60 and very concerned about his Medicare supplemental insurance. He may consider losing weight with Nutrisystem products and dreams of going to a sandal resort. He is considering transferring his old VHS tapes to a legacy box, but only after buying a LifeLock to protect his identity from fraudsters. Most likely, he will first clarify all of these decisions with his Visiting Angels family doctor.
Our Fox News viewer believes the Black Lives Matter movement is just as violent or more violent than the Ku Klux Klan. He believes the only purpose of planned parenting is to provide abortions, and many of them are "partial birth" abortions. He believes climate change and global warming are democratic scams. He has a visceral fixation on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that he doesn't seem to understand because he knows from Fox News that there are millions of beautiful conservative women (many of them blonde) who would surely find him attractive if only he could meet one of them.
Our viewer believes the U.S. is under constant attack by an undocumented immigrant invasion, and that a new caravan of Spanish-speaking drug dealers, rapists and gang members is threatening our southern border as we speak. At the same time, he believes the Democrats are planning to ban the possession of firearms.
He believes the 2020 presidential election was stolen and fraudulent, even if he doesn't know exactly how. He believes the COVID-19 pandemic is completely exaggerated and that it is far less likely that precautions will be taken to protect yourself and / or his family and others. He believes Antifa is far more dangerous than the COVID-19 pandemic, and believes that the mainstream media's failure to cover "Antifa riots" after Biden's inauguration is evidence of liberal bias. This is further evidence that the January 6 riots in Washington, DC, were provoked by "Antifa" and not by Trump's own supporters.
Here are some more typical beliefs of our Fox News viewer based on headlines on the Fox website for the past two days:
Biden may be the new president, but the actual president is Susan Rice.
Biden's campaign was funded by millions of "dark money". This is bad. Republicans would never do that.
Tulsi Gabbard has notable and important opinions on everything.
The most powerful people in the entire Democratic Party are the four "Squad" women of Congress.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, in particular, wields enormous influence within the Democratic Party, so every one of its utterances is remarkable; It dictates the entire democratic agenda.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is also a coward who is afraid of members of Congress carrying arms.
Black people are mostly violent criminals, with the exception of those who appear as conservative commentators on Fox News.
Antifa is … everywhere.
Hollywood stars are ahead of everyone else to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Biden's cancellation of the Keystone Pipeline is a job-killing political catastrophe that will mean the fate of the Democratic Party.
Biden and his son Hunter have committed unspecified crimes in Ukraine that included a seedy corporate contract that made Biden millions. This information is all contained somewhere on a laptop.
Democrats abused the National Guard during the inauguration.
Biden will stick to whatever China wants.
China is a threat to us in space war.
Karl Rove is a wise voice in economic policy.
Glenn Greenwald says Democrats are the real fascists. Because he was once considered a liberal, he must be right.
Arms deals with Russia are bad.
Joe Biden answering questions from select reporters is bad.
QAnon believers are persecuted.
A sheriff in Cochise County, Arizona noted that "illegal" border crossings had "increased" after Biden won the Democratic primary.
Neera Tanden is bad and dangerous for some reason.
Pamela Anderson believes that "big tech" is trying to control your brain.
Anthony Fauci is the highest paid member of the federal government, and that's bad because Fauci is bad.
The common theme of all of these imaginary persecutions and insults made up by Fox News is Eternal Sacrifice, as former Fox anchor Tobin Smith noted in November 2019, writing in the New York Times about Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman's smear through the network he testified during the first impeachment trial.
Gun-linked and tribalized political video narratives in the hands of Fox News producers can turn into something of a substance abuse epidemic – keeping addicts to this conspiracy theory high and learning more.
Belief in conspiracy theories is a psychological construct for people to regain a semblance of control in their lives. It increases their sense of importance. They feel that they have access to “specialist knowledge”, that the rest of the world is “too blind”, “too stupid” or “too corrupt” to understand.
Fox viewers are consistently taught to believe they are under constant attack and so they must continue to tune in for the good of themselves and the nation. It is a cynical psychological scam that has paid huge dividends to the Murdoch family and nearly ruined our country by distorting the minds of tens of millions of Americans.
When history looks back on the events of January 6, it is easy to conclude that they occurred as a result of Donald Trump and his personality cult. But without the full support of Fox News, Trump's entire presidency, let alone his unfounded claims of election fraud in the final, would never have had enough oxygen to feed itself.
Fox News and everyone who works there is just as guilty as he is.