Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes launched Fox News 25 years ago Thursday.
For all the rightful scrutiny of Facebook in recent days, let’s recognize that Fox is corrosive too — maybe even more so. Fox is spawning so many copycats, like One America News, that it’s easy to picture an entire right-wing media universe with Murdoch’s creation as the foundation. So Fox’s quarter-century anniversary is a chance to consider its impacts on the country.
But for the families that feel like they’ve been torn apart by Fox, this is not a happy anniversary.
Rupert deserves credit…
At the time, nine months before launch, Carter’s story for the NYT was spot on. But I wondered how Carter, now a CNN media analyst, felt about seeing his old story newly invoked, so I emailed him, and here’s what he said:
“The landscape of TV was obviously very different 25 years ago. When I wrote that piece many sources doubted whether another cable news channel would be viable — and they were right. And Rupert Murdoch clearly agreed with them because he didn’t start up another news channel, he started up a conservative opinion channel. And he deserves credit for prescience in understanding that a market existed for that. That decision has generated untold riches for Mr. Murdoch, along with untold side effects for the country. But nobody really thinks that either 25 years ago, or now, it has had anything at all to do with ‘news.'”
Trump says congrats
“Congratulations to Fox on 25 great years,” Donald Trump said in his taped vignette for the channel. For all of his gripes and rants and insults directed at Fox, it’s clear that his candidacy was enabled by the channel and his presidency was programmed by the channel. Trump is Fox’s biggest contribution to American history to date.