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Fox News Bias Explored: Examples of Media Bias

The three valuable things you need to know about Fox News bias are their history, how they got their success, and the valid criticisms. If you consider yourself a media activist, you can bring these facts when you make your arguments.

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Fair and Balanced?

What is Fox News

Fox News is an American cable and satellite news channel owned by Fox Entertainment Group. Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes established the channel in 1996 with its headquarters in New York.

Rupert Murdoch is an Australian-born American media mogul, born on 11 March 1931 in Melbourne. Ailes was an ex-political consultant of Republicans who appointed himself as the CEO of this news network but resigned in 2016 because of harassment charges from more than 20 women. 

Fox News presents 20-hour live news programs; most are broadcasted from Fox news headquarters in New York, while some are aired from Fox News studio in Washington, D.C. Its average revenue is estimated at around $6.66 billion this year, almost 11% higher than last year.

At the time Fox News aired its first broadcasting, almost 17 million homes viewed it. Its “fair and balanced” policy plays a vital role in achieving the milestone of most-watched news channels with 3.507 million prime times (8-11 p.m.) viewers in 2020.

How Fox News Found Success

On October 7.1996, Fox News started working by airing the first episode of The O’Reilly Report hosted by Bill O’Reilly. Hannity and Colmes was another live TV show broadcasted on 7 October 1996 by Sean Hannity and Alan Colmes. The show was initiated to cover liberal and conservative views on other news.

  • In 1998, the program was renamed The O’Reilly Factor that continued as one of the top-rated programs till 2017.
  • By January 2002, Fox News surpassed the News Industry by beating its competitor, CNN.

Since then the Fox News has been dominating the News networks while maintaining its top position. Fox News is acclaimed for covering almost every news story from fundamental rights to politics, from coronavirus to presidential elections.  They even have their streaming service, specifically tailored to their base.

Fox News Gone Digital

If you don’t know what that means, it means they have gone all-in on the “entertainment” factor. In May 2018, Jay Wallace, an American journalist, was appointed president of Fox News, while Suzanne Scott was promoted to CEO. In October 2018, Fox news marked a significant achievement by announcing it as an entertainment company, and now it owns almost 28 stations in the U.S.

We passed CNN at the end of January 2002 in viewership and the key 25-54 demo in both total day and primetime and never looked back. There is no other network in the cable that can lay claim to this level of consistent dominance with one of the most loyal and passionate audiences in the country
Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott and President Jay Wallacer
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Criticisms and Examples of Fox News Bias

The fact that Fox News is biased is not really debatable because they have admitted that they are biased for the sake of being an opinion channel. They admit that their anchors have opinions and viewers can be exposed to all different viewpoints instead of just one type of viewpoint. The people who watch Fox News are aware of this bias and they don’t want to hear news from any other point of view. This awareness of the bias is not only acknowledged by viewers, but also by Rupert Murdoch himself.

Fox News coverage of the conflict in Syria has been biased, presenting a strong pro-opposition slant to the conflict. One contributor for Fox News argued that “the Obama administration is actually supporting Al Qaeda” by being critical of opposition forces. Another contributor, appearing on Neil Cavuto’s show, likened President Obama to Adolf Hitler.

It has been reported that Rupert Murdoch told an audience that he wanted Fox News “to be a forum for the conservative point of view”. The problem with this idea is that there are two different types of conservatism. There is traditional conservatism that focuses on individual rights and libertarianism which advocates economic freedom and no government intervention (including results like deregulating Wall St, etc).

A news channel with a point of view can do both well or it can do both poorly. For instance, I think MSNBC does somewhat well in presenting multiple viewpoints because they have some liberal views along with more moderate ones; however, they take an extremely pro-labor position which they twist into a pro-worker position. In this way, MSNBC is missing some viewpoints and presents some biased commentary on workers’ rights.

In the case of Fox News, their bias does not come from a lack of attention to multiple viewpoints but instead comes from a focus on a specific viewpoint: conservatism.

A survey by Pew Research Center found that in the week leading up to the 2012 election, “92% of Fox News Channel’s Republicans and Republican leaners trusted Mitt Romney to do a better job improving the economy”. This statistic shows that there was very little diversity between conservative views at all other networks compared with Fox because everyone else had much greater trust for Obama over Romney.

There are many examples like this where it can be seen that Fox does not act as an “opinion-channel” but instead acts as a propaganda network.

Conclusion

Despite its top ranking, Fox News is criticized for its emotional headlines. Although Fox News claims that it provides accurate and neutral reporting, its critics allege Fox news for supporting Republicans. According to them, Fox news played an essential role in electing Trump during 2016 as it covered most of the stories favoring Trump.

When it comes to the authenticity of facts, Fox news is declared the least accurate news network by PolitiFact. Moreover, fox news bias is evident when it comes to conservative ideas and policies.

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