Fox News chief Roger Ailes is a person whom I deeply respect for the huge audience that he has built for the nation’s No. 1 cable news network. Liberals everywhere wish they had a Fox News in their corner.
That’s why I humbly offer this friendly advice to Roger: lose the “fair and balanced” slogan.
That theme was perfect during the formative years of Fox, presenting it as a counterweight to CNN, which some perceived as left-leaning. But since all standards of F&B at Fox have been totally jettisoned, retention of the slogan only builds ridicule and damages what’s left of the network’s credibility. C'mon Roger, give Fox viewers a change of slogan that they can believe in.
How can Fox trumpet F&B when it employs four potential Republican presidential candidates (Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum) as political contributors? Everyone knows that it’s only a matter of time before Mitt Romney joins the fun. Millionaire Mitt doesn’t need the money, but Fox’s exposure would go a long way to bolster his chances.
And then there is the matter of Fox News lodging a lawsuit against Missouri’s Robin Carnahan, who is running for the Senate against Roy Blunt. Its complaint focuses on Carnahan’s use, in a campaign ad, of a clip from a 2006 Chris Wallace interview with Blunt. In that piece, Wallace suggested that Blunt was too close to the tobacco lobby and to then-super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
Fox charges Carnahan with copyright infringement and alleges her use of the clip could damage Fox’s “reputation for accuracy and objectivity.” What a laugher? Fox News’ constant anti-Obama coverage plus its fawning support of the Tea Party and cheerleading of political loons like Christine O’Donnell damages any inkling of reputation for accuracy and objectivity a thousand times more than Wallace’s clip. The silly lawsuit reinforces Fox's GOP partisanship.
Time is of the essence, Roger. Election Day looms. Fox is bound to become even more "strident and unhinged" (a pretty snappy slogan for anti-Foxers) as that Big Day approaches.
Engage your growing audience. Run a contest to suggest a new slogan for Fox, one that rightly positions the network in the political space. Kicking things off, I toss the “Toast of the Tea Party” into the hopper.