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Wednesday, April 04, 2007
How to Reach Out to Fox News Viewers
Fox News chief Roger Ailes must be still smarting over the Dems' decision to drop Fox News as a sponsor of a Democratic primary debate. These loaded questions on a recent Fox News poll are evidence (this is especially ironic since Ailes falsely accused PIPA of doing "an old push poll" when the group's survey research found that the more people watch Fox, the more ignorant they become). The spin by Ailes and Fox News sympathizers is that Democrats squandered an opportunity to "reach out" to Fox News viewers by kowtowing to liberal bloggers and groups like MoveOn.org. Their reasoning is that by marginalizing Fox News, Democrats blew a chance to state their case to an important media demographic: the Fox News Viewer. The idea that by marginalizing Fox News and appealing to Fox News viewers are mutually exclusive is a prime example of a false dichotomy. Let me explain by first discussing the difference between loyal and casual Fox News viewers.
The Casual Fox News Viewer Versus the Loyal Fox News Viewer
Let's forget about appealing to the loyal Fox News viewer. As a group, they voted for George W. Bush over John Kerry by 88 percent to 7 percent. They are the "30-percenters" who think that George W. Bush is doing a good job. They are hopeless.
On the other hand, there are the casual Fox News viewers. These are people
who are not particularly politically informed (that's not necessarily a bad thing). They get home from work and surf the channels for interesting shows, regardless of the channel. They watch Fox, but they also watch legitimate journalistic outlets. They don't pay enough attention to know about Fox News' agenda and lack of journalistic legitimacy.
I have a friend who is typical casual Fox News viewer. I told him about
Fox News and he was shocked. He had previously thought of Fox as similar
to CNN or MSNBC. He was outraged and vowed to take anything he saw on Fox with a grain of salt.
Reaching out to Casual Fox News Viewers by Marginalizing Fox News
By marginalizing Fox News, we can get the word out to the casual Fox News
viewer that Fox is a pro-GOP political operation masquerading as a news outlet. This will turn many casual Fox News viewers into a non-Fox News viewers--leaving Fox News with a rump viewer demographic almost entirely composed of true believers, which will further marginalize Ailes and company.
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