In which countries is FOX News prohibited?

Opinion-making at Fox News: News channel with no news

Fox News has the best answers for middle-right Americans. To what extent does the ideology of the moderators shape the politics of the country?

Just on the street, now with a clear opinion on TV: Ex-judge and Fox News presenter Jeanine Pirro in 2006. Image: imago / ZUMA

Hollywood loves the fight of good versus evil. It's a simple world where hero and antihero meet and the hero wins in the end. What is successful on the screen can also work in the news business, thought Rupert Murdoch when he founded the 24-hour broadcaster Fox News in 1996, as a voice against the otherwise - from the point of view of Fox News makers - left-wing media landscape in the USA . Since then, the station has become the most successful news channel in the country.

Around the clock, viewers at Fox News are provided with reports and programs that incite against Barack Obama, provide a forum for climate change deniers, or reject abortion and gay marriage. Those who turn to the democratic party and are looking for left-wing ideas and classifications will find a home in the mainstream at MSNBC. In between, CNN is not moving with a clear political stance, but rather an attempt to live up to the label “news broadcaster”.

But CNN and MSNBC have not made it into the quota against Fox News for a long time. And the recipe for success of clear opinion-making and simple worldviews can be turned even further in times of terror.

It is January 7, 2015, the attack on the French magazine Charlie Hebdo just happened, the perpetrators are still on the run. On Fox News, several moderators and experts discuss the consequences of the attack on the talk show "Outnumbered".

Shannon Bream is the station's Washington correspondent and reports on the Supreme Court. On this day, however, she acts as an expert on how to recognize typical terrorists. “They wore ski masks. Do we even know what skin color they were, what the tone of their skin looked like? I mean, what if they don't look like the typical bad guys at all as we define them when we start thinking about terrorist groups? ”The assumption that a person's skin color can identify them as a terrorist doesn't bother anyone present. After all, presenter Kennedy Montgomery only has one tip for viewers to protect themselves. "I think the best Americans can do is arm themselves."

Good muslims

Only a few days later, Jeanine Pirro called in her program "Justice with Judge Jeanine" to kill all radical Islamists and, in the best case, to arm the "good Muslims" and simply look the other way. There is no agreement in the Fox News cosmos who these good Muslims are. In various broadcasts, it is often falsely reported that there have not yet been any delimiting statements by Muslim groups after the attack.

Steven Emerson, referred to as an expert, goes so far as to describe British Birmingham as a “totally Muslim city” that non-Muslims would no longer dare to visit. In addition, this is not the only "no-go zone" for non-Muslims in Europe, France's capital is also affected.

For this he earns ridicule in the social networks and worldwide criticism, so that Fox News finally apologizes - on Saturday evening, when the station has the fewest viewers. Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris, announced this week that she wanted to sue the broadcaster and its statements.

In spite of racist lapses, the Murdoch company's mood makes its way in the USA. According to the State of the News Media report in 2013, an average of 1.75 million people watched Fox News at prime time. That's more than CNN (543,000) and MSNBC (619,500) put together.

Everyone is talking about Pegida, but no one has yet fully answered the question: Why Dresden? The cover story of the taz. On the weekend of 24./25. January 2015. And: How the death of the Eritrean Khaled Idriss Bahray in Dresden calls into question many certainties. Also: Suhrkamp chief editor Raimund Fellinger on good traditions, great authors and missed opportunities. At the kiosk, eKiosk or with a practical weekend subscription.

Murder, assaults, accidents

While the rate is relatively stable during the day, all three news channels have been losing viewers in the evening in recent years. Unlike in Germany, for example, there is competition for the broadcasters from within their own ranks: the evening news from the local television stations. Your rate has risen again for the first time in years. The main cable networks ABC, NBC and CBS have local branches in every major city and region, and they all compete with Fox News and the other channels with both morning and evening news. And the issue reflects the quota pressure: murders, robberies, accidents, these are the quota generators for the local. And then straight to sports and weather.

Only Fox News can counter this with its loud market coverage. Its makers manage to ideologically bind viewers to the broadcaster. A study of viewing habits shows that 88 percent of those who consider themselves conservative trust Fox News. For 47 percent of them, the station is the main source of information. The study by the Pew Research Center also shows that the tendency for more liberal voters is the opposite: the respondents obtain information from various news sources.

Fox News has the best answers for middle-right Americans. Because they are simple and correspond to the viewer's worldview. It is no longer a matter of conveying news, but of analysis and prosecution, which only ever knows one political direction. According to research by the company SNL Kagan, this brought the station an increase in revenue of 5 percent in 2013, despite dwindling ratings. The station brought in a whopping 1.89 billion dollars (1.15 billion euros), CNN is 1.1 billion dollars, MSNBC only at 475 million dollars.

"Fair and balanced"

Fox News still adorns itself with the slogan “fair and balanced”, “just and balanced”, the reality is different. But does the ideology of the Fox presenters shape the politics of the country? A scientific paper suggests that at least the voting behavior of viewers is influenced by news channels.

Those who only watched Fox News four minutes more a week before the 2000 presidential election were more likely to vote for Republican George W. Bush, write authors George J. Martin and Ali Yurukoglu. The basis for their survey are different statistics and surveys on voting and television behavior.

What is interesting about the study carried out by the scientists at the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge is that viewers do not specifically tune in to Fox News or MSNBC and are thus influenced in their voting behavior. The program allocation assigned by the cable provider is decisive. The lower the channel number, the more likely it is that Americans will get stuck while zapping. Older channels such as ABC, CBS or the sports channel ESPN traditionally have lower channel numbers, the cable channels are distributed differently across the country depending on the provider.

Evil muslims

Fox News influenced the 2000 election, which George W. Bush narrowly won against Al Gore. "If Fox News had been switched off during the 2000 election period, the average for Republicans would have dropped 1.6 percent," the authors said. MSNBC did not yet play a role, as the broadcaster was only given its clear left orientation in terms of content in the early 2000s.

Basically, in their study period from 1998 to 2008, the researchers found that Fox News viewers were more likely to be persuaded to vote Republican than MSNBC was able to induce more conservative viewers to rethink. The drop in ratings at MSNBC on the one hand and the success of Fox News on the other underlines the loyalty that Fox News viewers have for their station.

And Fox News returns that loyalty with a continually one-sided ideology. Last weekend, moderator Neil Cavuto asked himself, just days after the Birmingham scandal about expert Steven Emerson, how to find “moderate Muslims”. By responding to controversial Mohammed cartoons? "Just kidding, of course," said Cavuto.

The expert on the show, Wayne Simmons, had a very serious proposal to at least eradicate the notorious "no-go zones" and thus the evil Muslims. Simply pull up the barbed wire, turn off the water supply and wait for everyone to come out - and then catalog the Muslims. The man used to be a CIA agent.