The Myth Of Biased Network Broadcasting
Fox LIES!! How often do you hear that phrase? You rarely if ever hear CNN LIES, or MSNBC LIES. Why not?
Because Fox is the big dog in the meat house. Belittling lesser networks carries no weight.
Today I want to dispel all the tired old arguments that news channels are political and biased. They’re not. Here’s why.
It’s Business —Not Political
Fox News is an American cable and satellite television news channel owned by the Fox Entertainment Group, a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox. It’s a big company.
Fox News started broadcasting on October 7, 1996 — 21 years ago.
After a few years Fox News moved to the top of the cable news ratings toppling CNN that had become number one during the first Gulf War.
Why The Popularity Of Fox?
The boardroom occupants at Fox News saw something missing. Almost all news channels at the time had a left or liberal slant.
Fox felt there was an opportunity to exploit that by taking an opposite slant and having both liberal and conservative guest debate points of view. It worked.
It’s Still A Business — Not Political
While Fox is number one almost all day every day that fact alone has little to do with how the business is run and what makes it on the air.
In mainstream entertainment television the networks often copy each other. At one time there were westerns all week, then detective shows, then corporate dramas, then lawyer shows, then mindless sitcoms and award shows. Cable news is a different animal.
It’s not numbers of viewers for cable news — it’s demographics. The audiences are smaller. What message will reach a smaller group of listeners that advertisers want to reach?
While Fox dominates the ratings they don’t dominate all demographics and that’s why many other networks have not copied their winning ratings format.
MSNBC reaches a particular demographic and their reporting and news shows reflect that demographic. While news is mostly politics it’s also entertainment.
So the message and the people delivering it have to reach a receptive audience and be entertaining in order to sell that networks adverting.
The more general the advertising — such as life or car insurance — the more attractive Fox becomes.
But if you’re selling products only to women or to men at certain income levels or age groups then many advertisers look to the demographics of MSNBC, CNN, or others lower rated networks that are the best match to their customer.
Or, they look to target their ads to specific shows. Rachel Madow, Chris Matthews, Tucker Carlson, etc.
The politics of any network is not personal — it’s business. If Black Lives Matter were a huge demographic that advertisers wanted to reach you’d see Black Lives Matter all day long on Fox and everywhere else.
It makes good business sense to reach the demographic that the networks have deemed as most profitable to their network.
Liberal or conservative views have almost no bearing whatsoever on what goes on the airwaves. It’s whatever message is profitable that people are receptive to that makes the cut.
News has gone from boring to entertaining. Shock value, high-speed glittery graphics, and instant coverage of breaking events are the selling point. Who’s first with the most.
When news is happening viewers turn to the news outlet that fits their point of view — not the most popular.
But that coverage is always created and written to favor the demographics of the viewers and advertisers of that network. It’s a business — not political.
In essence viewers are buying their news by the purchase of advertised products and services they see on their channel of choice.
Some Final Thoughts
The next time you tune into your favorite news outlet look at what’s being advertised on that channel. Do you fit the demographic?
Some companies, like insurance, are going to blanket all news sources but many other ads are specific to your age, income, and education.
I know it’s hard but try spending a week going around the dial to the other channels and see if there’s a difference in advertising.
It’s a business — not personal —not political. Comments below