Major Garrett Admits that Fox News Wants to Keep America Divided

Former Fox Newser Major Garrett was on MSNBC’s Morning Joe talking about NPR’s firing of Juan Williams when he said something interesting, “For a certain amount of marketing points of view, Fox actually wants to keep that polarization and say, look, we’re different.” Keeping America polarized and divided is good for Fox News’ business.

Here is the video courtesy of Media Matters

While talking about the firing of Juan Williams by NPR, Garrett said, “Because of that longstanding relationship with Fox, it was becoming increasingly, I think — and Juan and I had had some conversations about this — that NPR was increasingly unhappy with him, because it was getting blowback from some of its listeners about seeing Juan so often on Fox. That speaks to a problem that neither Fox nor NPR can solve, because neither want to solve it, which is the polarization of American media. For a certain amount of marketing points of view, Fox actually wants to keep that polarization and say, look, we’re different. We’re dramatically different; you can see how we’re different. And if you like that difference, you better come over here and you better stay here. That is an embedded part of the marketing that surrounded what happens at the news division at Fox that’s been incredibly successful.”

Later he discussed why Fox News gave Juan Williams a big new contract, “I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the day it happened he got a huge contract at Fox, and Fox planted a flag in the ground saying he’s ours, he’s going to stay ours, and if you are outraged, this is where you need to be. That is an embedded part of Roger Ailes’ DNA.” Keeping America divided through media polarization is FNC’s brand strategy.

According to analysis of BrandIndex data done by Ad Age, Fox News Channel is the top brand among Republicans. Not surprisingly, FNC does not make the Democratic top ten list. Google is tops for Democrats. Some of you may be saying to yourselves wait a minute. Major Garrett was talking about media polarization, not political division. It is a chicken and egg argument whether media polarization fuels political polarization, or political polarization is responsible for media polarization. What is clear is that Fox News is the delivery mechanism for polarization.

In 1996 Fox News was launched during the early stages of America’s great political polarization, which has since deepened into a political ice age. Fox News is the love child of cable news and political polarization. This child has demonstrated an amazing ability to make money for its parents, which is why media polarization is all the rage now. The deadly side effect from all the media polarization in our environment is reinforcing and deepening of political polarization. This is a good thing for Fox News as they need to keep the country divided in order to keep those profits rolling in.

When Barack Obama talks about unifying America, he is threatening the very business model that Fox News is based on. Polarization and division are the heartbeat and lifeblood of Fox News. If America ever became more politically unified, FNC would go out of business. A suspicious and divided nation is good for FNC’s bottom line. Fox News does push the Republican agenda, and they do try to divide the nation, because that is how they make money. It’s not just about ideology and politics at Fox News. It’s also about profits, and when polarization stops being profitable, Fox News will cease to exist.

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63 Replies to “Major Garrett Admits that Fox News Wants to Keep America Divided”

  1. I can easily believe that, as they have chosen different groups to use as bogeymen, like mainly Hispanic immigrants, blacks, Muslims, and gays. They do their best to appeal to white grievances, not thinking about the fact that there are many more whites who don’t buy their nonsense. They appeal also to people who are having difficulty coming to terms with the fact that the demographics in this country are constantly changing. They stoke the fear and hatred in such people.

  2. Garsh! These’s a shocker!! And Jason, well said. Truer words were never spoken:

    “When Barack Obama talks about unifying America, he is threatening the very business model that Fox News is based on. Polarization and division are the heartbeat and lifeblood of Fox News. If America ever became more politically unified, FNC would go out of business.”

  3. The polarization existed before Fox News, Fox just came in and filled a giant gaping hole in demand. And that’s why MSNBC is failing in comparison, no one needs another left wing news outlet. There isn’t demand for that.

  4. hahahah. Seriously. How deluded are you?

    Fox = Propaganda

    NPR= Facts

    This has nothing to do with MSNBC, and everything to do with GOP PAC known as Fox News.

  5. It’s as I’ve said before. Multiple times. The people who watch Fox News are the same kind that’ll claim most mainstream television is immoral, never ever realizing most of the crap they hate is broadcast on a Fox affiliate. They are of the same ilk as those who believe professional wrestling is real. Fox is selling them filth on one channel and preaching against it on another. And they are dumb enough to buy it from both. I wish more liberal groups would use this against the fucking lies broadcast on the news channel.

  6. MSNBC will never get as popular as fox news. It just isn’t possible. Let’s consider this example and ask which is more entertaining to watch: Abortion.

    MSNBC: This is a very complicated and grey area and I can understand certain points of view. Some ethicists…say……blah blah… blah…., and… no nervous system, so…

    FOX: THEY ARE KILLING BABIES AND GETTING AWAY WITH IT! WHEN DID WE STOP BURNING PEOPLE AT THE STAKE FOR THIS?

    Pretty simple, really. People like to be entertained, and in general, news will only entertain the smart ones.

  7. Free speech is a sacred Constitutional right of the American people. Joseph Goebbels, PhD., the German Nazi politician and Reich Minister of Propaganda, spreading hate and dissent among the ignorant masses = Fox News and its followers of the twisted truths and boldfaced lies taking liberty of free speech. At what point does free speech become treason?

  8. Of course, the left is going to twist what Major Garret said about a business philosophy at Fox into a political philosophy. Stephen is right. There are so many hard core liberal media outlets, that Fox filled a hole. In what I see, they present much more of the libaeral view than the left media outlets present of conservative viewpoints – much more. It is much more than a figleaf. That is why they have such a large share of viewers. They are much closer to objectivity than their competition and they don’t insult viewers and voters like their competition does.

  9. I can give five examples of Fox lying from just last night. But you wouldn’t listen.

    YOu’ve been brainwashed to believe everything else is liberal, when in fact, everything else is called reality. That leaves only one conclusion about your precious drug.

  10. 1996 was a sad, sad year then. Fox News is basically a cancer that is bent on dividing a nation, and is actually owned by a person is a terrorist, or is affiliated with terrorists, but NO ONE cares about that. They only care about Obama who is an American, but is related to Muslims.

    If these republicans win in a couple weeks, we are all screwed. Simple as that. The Party of No will be more resistant, spiteful, and of course dishonest.

    http://omg.yahoo.com/news/is-jon-stewart-more-influential-than-president-obama/49548?nc

    Check that link out, you can at least have some hope. Stewart was voted most influential man. Maybe the Rally to Restore Sanity will help the elections. That is what I am hoping.

  11. It is sad to me, that a station like NPR can’t give boring unbiased news chock full of facts, and not be accused of being (shiver) liberal.

    Just because we’re not frothing at the mouth, doesn’t mean that there’s any agenda in our sanity other than keeping the country moving in a positive direction. I listen to Maddow if I want biased affirmation, the Daily Show if I want a brief moment of sanity, and NPR when I want actual news.

  12. Couple years ago I covered a campaign event for a local news outlet. Standing next to me was a Faux news team.
    When the event was over, the “reporter” did his stand-up bits (which together took up about 25 of the 30 seconds the event would get) and from start to finish and through multiple takes for multiple Faux affiliates, he flat out “white is black up is down” lied. He lied about the crowd, he lied about the makeup of the crowd, he lied about what the candidates said. On several occasions he even lied about his own name.

    His excuse? “When I cover these things I get a memo before I leave the office telling me what the story is and what we’re doing with it, and I have to give network what they want or I lose my job.”

  13. Ok if you actually watch Fox news you would realize that this entire article is nonsense and that statement is being taken completely out of context. They hired Juan because they always enjoyed having him on the shows. The reason being he gave a left wing perspective to the issues without being ridiculously far left. That way they can always be fair in offering both sides of the story when analyzing political issues. That statement about polarization is about that. Offering both sides of the story, not some evil plan to crumble society as we know it.

  14. Going to make one simple statement with regards to fox news. All of the show hosts have Havard educations or something close to it. They are extremely intelligent people who actually know what they are talking about and have facts to back up their arguments. If Einstein told you your ideas about science were stupid and false would you call him evil, hellbent, and out of his mind? I think not.

  15. when everyone else has a different set of facts, and only one station is politicking from their network, and only one has contributed millions to the RGA, and only one is reviled by the entire thinking world, it should tell you something.

  16. The moment Juan started getting his paycheck from Fox was the very same moment he lost any credibility for any of the words coming out of his mouth.

    Do you honestly believe that he isn’t going to be saying exactly what his producer tells him to?

  17. Facts? LOL FoxNews hasn’t used a fact since dirt was new. How many times do they get caught lying and manipulating video before you wake up?

  18. Rachael may lean left, but her fact checking is beyond reproach. The same for Olbermann. You may not like what they say, but you can bet its factual.

  19. …and I can go to Fox’s website and hear the exact opposite from them about most of you. Both sides are saying the exact same thing. “We’re the good guys, they’re the bad guys. We’re telling you the truth, they’re telling you lies.” Both sides have agendas and I’ve heard the same lies from both sides because everyone wants what they want regardless of what it means to the other half. You all remind me of a bunch of spoiled kids who won’t listen to both sides of an argument and be reasonable.

    You’re all babies.

    And so are they.

  20. Not in the least. I’m not a fence-sitter. I’m observing that the two sides are so polarized that they’ve lost the ability to be objective and admit that the other side might have a point from time to time, or they live in fear of giving up ground by admitting it.

  21. In fact DC, you prove my point by trying to put words in my mouth and going for a personal jab with a sarcastic tone.

  22. So say you from your high perch from which you call us all babies. I guess that makes you Mr Reasonable in your own mind. For someone who says he’s all about hearing other sides, it seems you only have one side – Yours.

  23. Shivabeach wonders why educated people cannot use the “Reply” key. If this site wants I will set up daily classes for this subject

  24. He drinky the KoolAid and froth at mouth believing whole world is against him because he is the victim here. Stomping on people, getting Dr Tiller murdered, arresting journalists, it’s all part of the Pox Network’s agenda of stomping out anyone who provides those super threatening facts.

  25. Oh, so now DC was sarcastic to you, when you were so nice, calling everyone babies. Gosh, the world is out to get you. I don’t know how you stand it. CRY BABY.

  26. Of course, since we all know God is on your side. LOL. By the way, what’s the difference between Islamic terrorists and Christian terrorists?

  27. Blaming Mr. Paul for actions of his supporters is a bit overboard. His campaign did in fact condemn the actions of that supporter.

  28. Did anyone here listen to the entire clip?

    Joe Scarborough, at the end of the clip speaking of Roger Ailes, says “Another LIBERAL MEDIA OUTLET blundered their way right into his hands.”

  29. Al Jazeera

    is more liberal than Fox News. actually more comprehensive reporting done, and does a lot more for international journalism than Fox News would ever do. Its insulting to the network to compare it as the Islamist terrorist version of Fox News.. Its based out of Qatar for christ sake!!! and on top of that their english division is based out of DC!!!!!!!!

  30. You’re right, Al Jazeera is an excellent news organization and I wish we had comparable intelligent international news coverage in the USA. I wasn’t implying that Al Jazeera is in any way the equivalent of Fox News. I was making a point about American “Christians”.

  31. I got your point right away, but that was still a good clarification. Of course, everything Islamic is extremist in their minds, unlike Fox which is actually extremist propaganda politicking.

  32. CNN took FOX “news” to court for their lying, and lost because there’s no law against a TV station lying. Fox said their an entertainment Co.

    Also, today (Wed.) they announced they lost 24% of their audience. MSNBC gained. CHECK IT OUT! I only state facts.
    Christ people, smart consevatives watch BBC America for their true news. Try it!

  33. Pay attention to what Major Garrett actually said: “That speaks to a problem that neither Fox nor NPR can solve, because neither want to solve it, which is the polarization of American media.”

    While he is specifically speaking to the fact that Fox wants to maintain polarization, he is implicitly saying that NPR is engaged in the same practice. Polarization is great for brand identity and consumer loyalty. The reality is that both NPR and FOX News are very capable of delivering factual news reporting… when what they are engaged in is simple reporting. It’s the other programming, the opinion, editorial and commentary programs, that feed the polarization.
    Neither NPR or FOX spend the majority of their program schedules simply reporting the news. Most of the program day is devoted to mediating that news to the viewer/listener via editorial commentary. And neither FOX nor NPR can be said to be pushing a “centrist” viewpoint. They both tend to push an ideological position that reinforces the prejudices of the target audience. This is what builds the brand loyalty with the consumer. It’s probably more noticeable with FOX then NPR simply because the FOX message is so much more clearly out of step with the rest of the media.

  34. Lets not forget that the AJ English is not the AJ of the ME. Reporting is totally different.

    @unspinner
    Newt Gingrich, Sharron Angle, Sarah Palin, Huckabee and the list goes on.

  35. Whatever. If that were the case you would see Obama going after MSNBC too. Don’t make that ideologue out to be some kind of unifying hero. I believe Obama has publicly said and done more to divide this nation than any president; and certainly more than Fox News has. It never ceases to amaze me that the people online that attack Fox News are absolutely apposed to actually watching it. Because if they actually watched it they’d learn that it’s just forum of conservatives designed to diametrically appose the very people in this interview but at least liberals are included in the forums. There is absolutely a place and need for that because, contrary to what Joe likes to think about his show, it doesn’t happen on MSNBC. The fact that Fox gave Jaun a contract and stands behind him for sharing his opinion openly should speak to Fox’s commitment to the truth and their contributors that are willing to step out there and tell it. My news multi-view is set to monitor all the cable news channels as well as CSpans 1,2,and 3. I can tell you that I here much more demagoguery on MSNBC than I do on Fox. Without question, it exists on both left and right leaning respectively but if I really want to know the truth about what is happing politically, I’d tune to Fox over MSNBC every single day and twice on Sunday.

  36. If you want your opine to be taken in a serious, and intuitive manner you may want to check your grammar. With that being said every comment here can be said of every other cable and network news companies – just remove “Fox” from every statement, and enter your favorite news group. Where is the argument that MSNBC doesn’t want a schism of viewers/citizenry? Let’s be factual and non-partisan. Let’s also talk facts – Fox leads in viewership over any cable news networks, and commentator shows. I believe Garrett is being disingenuous with his comments, since he stated to his audience that he was leaving to return to print journalism – when he instantaneously went to the left-wing news groups and started spouting off against his former employer. It is obvious that there is a slight animosity and envy of Juan William’s contract. A contract for an outspoken Liberal journalist/commentator in itself negates this entire argument about dividing a nation by Fox – how DARE they hire a Liberal journalist! No matter what the state of affairs were, Fox still made a noteworthy venture for a mouth piece of the left. When was the last time you heard about the left media doing such a thing? You haven’t because it hasn’t happened! Williams’ hiring came well after Garrett’s departure – and Garrett’s sour grapes will indeed impeach his credibility of any future endeavor that he decides to inundate himself. He lost a lot of dyed-in-the-wool viewers, and readers with his spiteful commentary – I for one lost reverence for what I believed to be a plausible correspondent – this I can admit that I was clearly wrong!

  37. Well you state something as fact, why not cite?

    Clearly you are wrong: http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2010/11/22/cable-news-ratings-for-friday-november-19-2010/73084

    But, that’s tolerable since you are evidently a Democrat, and are just following the rhetoric set by your party – that if you say something enough, people will buy into it.
    Where is this lawsuit you spoke about? You may be getting perplexed (understandable to the lack of academic intuitiveness by those of your ideology).
    It is Fox that sued a Democrat and it was reported on CNN. Again, you cite nothing – but purport everything else! http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2010/09/16/fox-news-files-suit-against-carnahan/

  38. You use capitals for Fox – “THEY ARE KILLING BABIES”! I can’t tell if you are mocking FOX or emphasizing that abortion coverage is basically about KILLING BABIES! I hope it is the latter. In any case, that is why so many prefer to watch coverage on FOX, because killing babies is abhorent!

  39. Isn’t it funny that the left never sees the BIAS coming from their LAME STREAM MEDIA. I am thankful we have FOX NEWS to balance out all the left wing media outlets.

  40. Ann said on 10-25 that fox news makes hispanics,muslims bogey men that is such crap Cant these people realize its not hispanic but ILLEGAL HISPANIC and anyone else here illegally also as far as muslims THEY say over and over radical muslims and also that moderate muslims dont voice their objections and condemnation of the radicals, You seem to not listen ANNIE You only hear fox and they are the real BOGEYMEN TO YOU

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