Friday Fox Follies – Do Ratings Equal Truth?


According to a recent headline, Fox News is the most watched cable news channel – for the 159th month in a row, which makes 13 years, 3 months of ratings dominence. Cue the balloon drop and confetti cannons. Whoop-dee-doo!

However, what does that really mean when the station’s lies pile up like cordwood as The Fox News Campaign To Defend Indiana’s Anti-Gay “Religious Freedom” Law went into sudden death overtime? What does it mean when “It’s A Conflict”: Tucker Carlson Admits He Won’t Let His Daily Caller Employees Criticize Fox, yet Fox News [says]: We Don’t Care if Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller Criticizes Us? What does it mean for ‘Merkin society when President George W. Bush could do no wrong, but President Obama can do nothing right?

It means Fox “News” is right not to care about criticism, this column included. It has long ago come to the conclusion that its brain-dead audience is far too incurious to seek out any truth for themselves and will believe any lie Fox “News” spoon feeds to them, starting with the slogan “Fair and Balanced.” By stoking fear and resentment, Fox “News” is more concerned with manipulating the viewer. The biggest lie Fox tells after “Fair & Balanced” is, “We tell you what the mainstream media won’t tell you.”

Dudes! You are the mainstream!! You’ve been the mainstream for — at the very least — 159 months now!!!

Fox “News” has proven one thing: propaganda will always work against the low information viewer. Studies show Conservatives tune into various media to have their opinions confirmed. Liberals consume news differently; to learn, to test their opinions, and to get the facts. Consequently they tend to be grazers, sampling many news sources and deciding for themselves where the truth lies. Whereas the Right Wing locks onto stations and stay there.

Yet, by the simple rules of tee vee, Fox “News” is wildly successful. Never forget: the product of tee vee is the commercials. The commercial airtime — what the station can charge for 30 seconds — increases in value when you have more bums in the seats. However, by the only measure that really counts — being honest and truthful with the viewers — Fox “News” remains a FAIL.

LOOFAH LAD AT WAR: While Bill O’Reilly’s Cameraman Contradicts His Argentina Riot Claims, Friday Fox Follies had the honour of communicating today with someone who has done battle with The Falafel King — and lived to tell the tale. In this FFF exclusive, John Doyle of The Globe and Mail, Canada’s national newspaper, lays it all out.

Some brief background: Back in 2004 the Canadian Radio and Television Commission (think: Canuk FCC) was hearing public submissions on whether it should add Fox “News” to the cable dial. Doyle picks up the story:

I made fun of the channel in my columns. In particular Bill O’Reilly and said he was hilarious, comical, and Fox News was so crazy right-wing it was hilarious.

Bill O’Reilly saw it & responded on-air, calling me names and claiming the Globe and Mail was “left-wing.” I then got thousands of abusive e-mails from Fox News supporters in the USA. I wrote about this and the foul language and threats. O’Reilly kept attacking me on-air. Some other publications picked up on the issue , next I started to get tons of e-mail from Americans apologizing for Fox News.

The New York Times noticed the battle and did a Feature story about it for their Sunday edition. This resulted in me getting more thousands of e-mail from Americans apologizing or attacking me again.

This was before the perpetual hyper-outrage Twitter and Facebook machines. Imagine if this were to happen today. Doyle pointed me to the NYT’s article, When a Canadian Insults Fox News, Them’s [Expletive] Fighting Words!:

“The other day I read in this newspaper . . . that some honchos in the cable-TV racket are applying for permission to offer the Fox News Channel in Canada.

“Beauty. Bring it on, I say. We’re all in need of a good laugh. The barking-mad Fox News Channel is something that most Canadians have only heard about. It’s time we saw it for ourselves, and made up our own minds about the phenomenon. We’ll find out if this Bill O’Reilly fella is as stupendously pompous and preening as he appears to be in the rare clips we see of Fox News.”

That prompted Mr. O’Reilly to respond in kind on his evening program, “The O’Reilly Factor.” Noting that Canadians only occasionally get glimpses of Fox News, Mr. O’Reilly takes aim at the “far left” Globe and Mail.

“So they see rare clips, but think we’re laughable. The Globe and Mail sounds like a real responsible enterprise, doesn’t it? Hey you pinheads up there, I may be pompous, but at least I’m honest.”

Back then even O’Reilly’s thought he was honest. That’s probably no longer the case. Every word he utters is compared against every word he’s ever said or written.

Giving the last word to Doyle from today’s email correspondence:

It was all very, very funny. There was coverage in Australia and the UK and other places.

Right now, I still find Fox News hilarious, often demented. And i was correct – Fox News has been easily available in Canada for years but hardly anybody watches it. A Canadian version of Fox News, Sun News, with similar right-wing ranting lasted for a few yeas on cable but went out of business a few months ago. There just isn’t the appetite for it in Canada.

INDIANA WANTS ME; LORD, I CAN’T GO BACK THERE: Tucker Carlson Attacks Opponents Of Indiana ‘Religious Freedom’ Law As ‘Jihadis’ Who ‘Want To Make You Obey’Megyn Kelly Hosts Leader Of Anti-Gay Hate Group For Second Straight Night To Defend Indiana’s “Religious Freedom” LawMegyn Kelly Really Goes To Bat For Indiana’s ‘Religious Freedom’ Law – But Not So Much For The TruthFox’s Hume: Indiana Anti-Gay Bill Not Discriminatory Because “It Never Mentions Gay  People”Bill O’Reilly Tries To Link Opponents Of Indiana’s Anti-LGBT Law To Terrorists Targeting Christians In KenyaSteve Doocy: Mike Pence Had ‘Good Intentions’ In Crafting ‘Religious Freedom’ LawFox Host Links Backlash To Indiana’s Anti-LGBT “Religious Freedom” Law To Terror Attacks Against ChristiansO’Reilly: Religious People In America Are Getting The Hell Kicked Out Of ThemO’Reilly: Divide Over Indiana’s Anti-Gay Law Is A “Cultural Civil War”

A little foot-tapping nostalgia for the Old Folks:

FOX BYTES: When Fox Likens Obama To Neville Chamberlain, They’re Really Calling For War With Iran32 Reasons Fox Is Wrong About Global Climate NegotiationsRussell Brand Explains Why Fox News Pundits ‘Have To Attack Bowe Bergdahl’Megyn Kelly Throws A Hypocritical Hissy Fit Over Harry Reid’s Comments About Romney’s TaxesFox’s Gutfeld Accuses The NY Times Of Breaking Hillary Clinton Email Story Now So They Can Shill For Her LaterFox Regular Brad Blakeman: Obama Has “Inserted Racism” Into AmericaHoward Kurtz Wants You To Think Fox Got The Better Of Jon StewartO’Reilly: Ending Stop-And-Frisk Has Led To More Shooting Deaths “In East New York, Which Is A Ghetto Situation”Fox Guest: Obama’s ‘Just Inciting Some (Birther) Chatter’ By Visiting Kenya

Headly Westerfield worked a decade as a News Writer in Canadian television, but has never met John Doyle.

20 Replies to “Friday Fox Follies – Do Ratings Equal Truth?”

  1. Something that seems to get lost in this debate is the fact that many hospitals, auto repair shops and other places where people are waiting are all tuned to Fox. Why, I do not know. Many TV’s are blaring, with nobody watching. I personally resent being stuck someplace that promotes this “entertainment” with no backlash. Typical right wing pap, truth is rare, just propaganda. I still think lots of men tune in to see the barely dressed women, with skirts hiked up. For Christian women (Liz Hasselback) they sure seem to be exposing their assets more than is seemly. For a mother of 3, she has no dignity. One yellow top she wore looked as though she had been breast feeding two babies right before air time.

  2. Best thing ever televised by Fux news was Turd Blossom
    Rove’s meltdown on election night 2012! That was such
    sweet truth comin’ home to roost.

  3. I believe their hatred of Obama is, in part, due to the millions they’ve flushed trying to beat him. They have blown so much money for nothing and now they’re getting desperate, they cant afford to lose like that for the third time.

  4. There once was an email address we could report businesses to that were tuned to FOX news. I reported my hospital, as I can’t stand the lies on that ENTERTAINMENT channel. They no longer keep FOX news on. We need to remember that they are NOT RATED A NEWS CHANNEL. That removes them from the running for top news channel. They give nothing but lies, no news. They are a really screwed up bunch there and doing its best to screw with everyone else’s brain too if they are nutty enough to watch.

  5. Hot dogs sell better than broccoli. Does this reflect on the quality or nutritious components of each?

    Ratings reflect more on the viewers than on the shows.

    In the case of Fox, other than being the only fully conservative network, their viewers are angry, foaming at the mouth rabid conservatives in need of their daily fix of outrage and hatred to justify their anger.

    While liberal viewers, the “live and let live” crowd, can only stomach so much hammering on the same nail as done on MSNBC, even when it is justified.

  6. I will watch Fox News when I want a good laugh. Fox News has been spewing out the hate for years and even more since Obama became president. After a while you have to laugh because its been the same BS for years.

  7. don’t you think it is interesting that more people watch Fox News at any time during the day than the other networks combined. MSNBC which is the liberal alternative to Fox News has horrible rating. ask yourself why no one is watching msnbc and fox is number one in all time slots. People watch the news channel they trust more. There are inside talks now to cancel more MSNBC shows to try to save the network. I predict there will be more conservative shows coming if they don’t the network will not survive.

  8. The key word here is “brain dead. Those who have brains can see FOX News for what it really is, garbage. And we know anything can be found on cable tv, especially garbage. FOX News reports not real news but junk that these conservative idiots want and need to hear. And the saddest part of it, is hardly any of Romney’s 1% watch it, it’s watched mostly by those who have nothing. Those of those who don’t have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of. Idiots who are willing to bite off theirs noses to spite their face.

  9. Ok why aren’t more people watching MSNBC. Why do rating continue to spiral downward.the ad revenue for fox is at a premium. The ad revenue for the other networks is way less.

  10. Conservative news & radio is much more lucrative than progressive or liberal news & radio.

    I imagine that some of the characteristics of the Fox audience are people who by nature are filled with fear & suspicion, not well-education & have a chip on their shoulders about someone else getting something that they themselves believe they should have gotten. I’m sure there have been studies on this.

    If anyone constantly says the same things over& over for 5-10-15 years whether it’s true or false, it will do something to the recipient’s mind.

    Look no further than Memories Pizza in IN or the cop who shot Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO to see how lucrative being a conservative victim can be.

  11. I’ve noticed the same thing over the years. I worked as delivery driver for a local courier and would walk inside 20-30 various businesses everyday, ninety nine percent of businesses would have Fox News on in the background, most of the time hardly a person watching.

    Didn’t matter if it was a hospital clinic, restaurant franchise, dentist office, warehouse outlet,department store,car dealership waiting room, all were tuned on to Fox News.

    Makes one wonder if the fix is in.

  12. I hate going to the hospital too, because they force feed you that Foxy Nazi trash. I’d prefer absolutely no TV to being forced to digest that garbage.

  13. They reached $849,000 today before shutting down fundraiser. Not bad since Wednesday; esp. since they claim their closing is only temporary. I hope the IRS gives them a call as this is untaxed income.

  14. I should be a CON and cry I am a victim. Because when you do you get paid. I was reading the other day that Bristol Palin has her house for sale at over 500 grand. Now how the f$ck can someone who didn’t graduate high school can buy a house that much?

  15. Technology allows us to create Remote TV zappers that can turn off Public TV’s when they’re blaring the crappy POX News.

  16. I remember my grandfather loved watching “wrassling” on TV when I was growing up. At least my Granddad knew it was not real, but he enjoyed it nevertheless. Sadly, a great majority of Faux News viewers mistakes it for actual truth, and it is THE only source they use for information. Critical thinking is the second national deficit!

  17. I have been told it is because these business places get offered a free TV if they keep the channel on FOX. Can someone else confirm this?

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