Fox's outsized political clout is due to the MSM "echo chamber" that salivates over the red meat that the News Corp property tosses into the Beltway arena. MSM coverage increases as Fox reports become more outlandish.
Fox fans see the nation under constant siege. It's a world where the U.S. is illegally led by a Kenya-born, closet Muslim who likes nothing more than to pal around with terrorists and throw tar balls on beaches on the Gulf.
Buttressing President Obama are communist/socialist-loving Democrats hell-bent on destroying the private sector.
In FoxLand, a motley crew of Tea Partiers, birthers and healthcare-bashers mustered under the banner of Sarah Palin is ready to ride to the nation's rescue.
Global warming is a farce. Knucklehead Rand Paul is portrayed as the real deal. Up is down. Down is up.
Though Fox claims bragging rights as cable's No. 1 "news" channel, its median viewership of 2.1M is tiny in a nation that has more than 250M people over the age of 15. To Pollak, coverage of Fox by the rest of the media magnifies the network's "hyper-conservative message, making sure that tens of millions who might otherwise never encounter it do."
Newspapers, magazines, TV, radio and websites "track Fox as if it was the Sixth Estate," Pollak notes. They genuflect before the image of Roger Ailes, praising him as the man who changed media.
Left unsaid, it's a change for the worse.
What's with the fascination? Should we really care about Bill O'Reilly's scraps with Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert and MSBNC's Keith Olbermann. Time gave those tussles major play as if they were earth-changing events.
The Washington Post reported about Glenn Beck's invitation to give a commencement at Jerry Falwell's fundamentalist Liberty University, an invite that Pollak believes "is about as surprising as Amen at the end of a prayer." A tearful Beck put on a great show, the same one he puts on at NRA conventions.
When media jump into the ring with Fox, Pollak believes they help "promulgate the network’s willfully false portrait of the political landscape."
Fox shouldn’t be completely ignored. Pollak wants the media to periodically chart Fox’s “egregious distortions,” set the record straight and then “move on to more challenging and instructive sources of news.”
Pollack’s piece is called "A Confederacy of Foxes." A more apt headline is "A Confederacy of Dunces," a tribute to John Kennedy Toole’s masterpiece.