It would appear that the end of Fox News as we currently know it is just around the corner.
Editor’s Note: Samuel Warde is the editor-in-chief of Liberals Unite (recently re-branded as The Art of Living) as well as a contributor to Mindy Fischer, Writer. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own. You can view a list of his articles here.
Fox News reportedly planning to pull back on acting as Trump’s personal propaganda machine.
Vanity Fair reported this week that Fox News may be moving towards offering less support for the Trump administration in the upcoming weeks and months.
Trump’s attacks on Fox have widened the chasm between the network’s opinion hosts and the news division, which have been fighting a cold civil war since Roger Ailes was ousted in July 2016. Fox journalists, bristling at being branded an arm of the Trump White House, are lobbying Fox News C.E.O. Suzanne Scott and President Jay Wallace to rein in Fox & Friends, Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs and Pirro. “Reporters are telling management that we’re being defined by the worst people on our air,” a frustrated senior Fox staffer told me. [Vanity Fair contributor Gabriel Sherman]
The final say on the matter will be decided by Fox Corporation Chairman and CEO Lachlan Murdoch, Rupert Murdoch’s oldest son.
Sherman reported that:
Sources close to Lachlan pointed out that Lachlan is a libertarian conservative, not a MAGA diehard, who in private has expressed annoyance at Trump. “He doesn’t like Trump,” one person who has spoken with Lachlan told me. “There’s a lot of talk of the direction of the network changing under Lachlan,” the senior Fox staffer told me.
Providing further fuel to the speculation, Sherman also reported that:
Sources pointed out the hiring of Donna Brazile and the appointment of Trump critic Paul Ryan to Fox Corp’s board as signs of Lachlan’s view on Trump. “Donna is a shot in that direction. Management knows they have an image problem.” (A spokesman for Lachlan declined to comment.) Indeed, at an advertiser sales event in recent days, brands complained to Fox News executives about the network’s association with Trump, a source briefed on the meeting told me…
Two sources close to Lachlan told me that he has likely waited to implement any editorial changes at Fox News until the Disney deal closes on March 20, for fear of antagonizing Trump into opposing it. (The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer recently reported that Trump had told former economics adviser Gary Cohn to direct the Justice Department to block AT&T’s takeover of Time Warner. Cohn reportedly didn’t act on Trump’s directive.)
Conservatives have been predicting the end of Fox News for years.
There have been rumors floating around in conservative circles for the last few years that the end of Fox News is near.
World Net Daily (WND) published an article in June 2015 predicting the imminent end of Fox News, at least in its current format.
That prediction was particularly interesting considering the ultra-conservative slant of WND. For instance whacked out racist gun-nut Ted Nugent is a frequent contributor, as was anti-feminist Phylis Schlafly and other noteworthy conservatives, such as Pat Buchanan, Ann Coulter, Bill O’Reilly, and Chuck Norris.
According to Joseph Farah, the founder, editor, and CEO of WND the passage of control of Fox News from Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch would mark the beginning of the end for Fox News, at least as it has been managed so far:
That will leave the fate of Fox News to the Murdoch children who have no use for it. They don’t care how much money it makes. They are embarrassed by it. Raised with silver spoons in their mouths, it’s not about the money. It’s about politics and social acceptance. They care more about being invited to the right cocktail parties in New York than they do about the ratings and financial success of Fox News. Much more.
So now begins the death march for FNC. [Fox News Channel]
It is also noteworthy that Farah has been predicting the end of Fox News as early as 2013, when he claimed that:
although Fox offered points of view and reporting that so-called “mainstream” news outlets avoided, things would be changing in the future. I offered that only two people, then both in their 80s, were totally responsible for the Fox’s different approach to covering the news and that when they inevitably moved on in the next five years, the “fair and balanced” channel would morph into becoming more like CNN.1
FOOTNOTE 1: This quote was taken from an interview at the Prophecy Summit at Pikes Peak, July 26-28, 2013.
I have to tell you…this may be a little controversial, but I believe, a lot of people look at Fox News as, you know, their alternative choice for TV and I think Fox has a lot of limitations and I am not particularly excited about it but one thing I do know is that whatever it is doing well right now it is not going to continue doing well into the future because it depends on two human beings who are both in their 80’s, Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch, they’re not going to be around forever and when they leave, inertia, that is very familiar to me from my many years in the main stream media, will take Fox News right where CNN is and the New York Times and everybody else. And the children, the Murdoch children, have said they can’t wait to make Fox News more like CNN. Now why would you want to make the successful Fox News more like the unsuccessful CNN? Because, you get invited to better cocktail parties in Manhattan when you do that – it’s that simple. So we want to be there with a video alternative – a TV alternative – when Fox News inevitably implodes. It’s that simple.