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How Fox News is literally DESTROYING the Republican Party

billoreillyIt was the night of November 6th, 2012 and I had turned down invitations from a few Republicans to attend their “victory party” at a swanky club in Lafayette, Louisiana. After hundreds of hours devoted to making sure President Obama was re-elected, I knew how this story was going to end, and the last thing I wanted to do was be the sole happy person in a sea of people desperately doing the math that would make them feel better as Republicans.

So I sat home and watched Fox News with a few beers so I could enjoy this blissful moment of schadenfreude alone. As the events unfolded and the disbelief on their faces grew comical, I realized something — Fox News is literally destroying the Republican party.

Until the advent of Fox News, the GOP was center-right. Now, it’s Tea Party hard right and it’s going ever further towards the brink, despite what the establishment has done in their attempts to stop it. Fox News and their hardcore viewers forced Mitt Romney so far to the right in the primaries that he could never adjust back to the center in time to win the election. I believe that all along, they knew Mitt was in serious trouble and could not admit to it because it would hurt ratings and the imminent victory narrative they were feeding viewers. They could not concede that Romney’s campaign was in serious danger and get voters to the polls because it would contradict the story of Republican inevitability they had been telling for over a year.

The core GOP establishment overall isn’t necessarily all rabidly racist, xenophobic or intent on shrinking government to where it can be drowned in a bathtub. Just like Fox, they’re interested in money and power. That’s their only real common ground and ironically, common kryptonite. The combination of for profit media and politics has always been a toxic marriage. Going forward, if the GOP continues to rely on Fox and other right-wing outlets to be their media mouthpieces, they are doomed to political irrelevance sooner than later.

Fox cannot continue to make ratings by talking about bipartisanship and finding reasonable solutions to the problems we face as a nation. It cannot promote anything that contributes to the long term viability of the GOP because it is so concentrated on ratings and advertising money now. It is not in the interests of Roger Ailes to attract minority viewers or a serious chunk of the younger generations, which are the only hope for the future of the GOP, because it would alienate the Tea Party faithful that make up the majority of their audience.

The GOP absolutely cannot survive as a party by relying on Fox News viewers because that demographic is dying off. At the same time, they find themselves in a short-term Catch-22 situation by not continuing to pander to the faithful early evening viewers who believe Obama is the Anti-Christ Muslim Fascist Communist sent by Satan himself, because if that voting bloc does not show up, the whole house of cards comes tumbling down. They sold their party’s soul to the Dixiecrats and the religious right and it’ll be a long, hard road out of hell to make the trip back to relevance.

After the election, the Tea Party felt they had been lied to (and rightly so) and decided to boycott Fox. For a little while, it seemed that Fox was trying to swing back to the center.  Their ratings began to plunge, so what happened next? Suddenly we were swarmed with scandals, and now we have the hiring of Allen West and the return of Sarah Palin as contributors. Because they’re “fair and balanced,” dont’cha know. 

I watch Fox News for two reasons. Number one is for new material to write about, and number two is watching the slow demise of the empire of Roger Ailes as he takes down the Grand Old Party with him. Now, hand me another shot of whiskey with a schadenfreude chaser. I’m going to enjoy this.

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Manny Schewitz is a progressive from the Dirty South with an inclination to say it like it is. He is a co-founder of Forward Progressives, author of the Kvetching with Manny column, and an unapologetic Bernie Sanders supporter. Manny also maintains an active presence on Facebook, and you can follow him on Twitter as well. Be sure to check out Manny's archives on Forward Progressives for more of his viewpoints.
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  • Emmett Hoops

    Make mine good coffee, but I’m with you. While we’re here, allow me to suggest an even more appropriate term for what we are experiencing: rather than Schadenfreude, this is Untergangsfreude. The joy of watching someone’s downfall.

  • Joe P

    I wish I could say I enjoy watching Fox “News” but I can’t… It’s so bad, so full of lies, so unintelligent, so biased, so extreme Right, that it just makes me angry. Even worse, the propaganda they dish out works. The simple counter argument is always “well MSNBC does the same thing.” No, it doesn’t. It may lean left, but it doesn’t lie.

    • Lorelei Lee87

      Yes, it would be more amusing if so many people didn’t buy into it.

  • Wm Brown

    Sadly you are spot on, however Fox is leading a movement that endangers the USA. Also and here is the big point, THE Traditional Republicans are doing nothing to force the John Birchers toward the fringe where they once resided.
    Today we call the Birchers a rebranded Tea Party.
    The Traditional Republicans are buying into the extreme, as it is massively profitable for them. They have abandoned the LONG TERM that was the watchword of the GOP of Ike, and Rockefeller for short term profit.

  • A

    While I don’t disagree with the fact that Fox News has no sense of actual reporting, and they are in fact revenue driven. To imagine that CNN is any different is hypocritical. They both have the same approach, the same lack of journalistic integrity; but Fox News just picked the side with less popular ideas. Both destroy any ability to have a moderate discussion in this country, and both spin stories to their viewer base. I agree that Romney was dead from the start, much like McCain was. Who I wish had run as the guy that lost to GWII, because that was a person worth voting for 10 years ago. However mainstream media as a whole, is the greater problem to democracy.

    • Joe P

      This is exactly the type of post I spoke about above. The simple argument that MSNBC or CNN is the same as Fox “News” is absolutely wrong. I don’t care about news organizations leaning left or right. Fox “News” outright lies and misinforms. People have won Pulitzer Prizes for writing about the lies Fox “News” touts as news. In Canada they have laws around news organizations. You cannot be licensed as a news organization and lie on TV without facing criminal charges. So Fox refuses to get a license to carry the news in Canada. The other organizations have no issue with this. That is the difference. Fox “News” isn’t news in the slightest, it’s a Conservative propaganda machine. Period.

      • dwb1957

        There is, in Canada, Sun TV, a Fox News wannabe, and is in fact referred to derogatorily as Fox News North. It used to be on basic cable in the Rogers market (I’m in Toronto) but thankfully was moved up to subscription space, so I couldn’t be tempted to surf over just to shake my head and laugh mirthlessly at the all the Fox News of it.

      • mark.saylor

        I love the fact that fox ‘news’ is not permitted to broadcast in Canada.

      • Aimee Barfield

        That’s not true. Fox News is on television in Canada, it’s on Cable television. You can check Snopes to fact check me if you want. It’s a pure myth that FOX is not aired in Canada.

      • EdieR

        Just to let you know, Fox doesn’t have a news license here in the United States. They only have an entertainment license. They actually won a lawsuit, on that basis. So they don’t have to report ” news” factually.

    • MrLightRail

      CNN actually has started to lean more right, not as far as Fox, but they are NOT Centrist or Left anymore.

      • Derek Thomas

        I’d still consider CNN centrist. Which I like.

    • ShinjisSecret

      CNN is trash, but they do not distort and inflame their viewers anywhere to the point Fox does.

  • Bill Heller

    The victory predictions of Fox News prior to the 2012 elections reminded of the delusional triumphant proclamations of Baghdad Bob as US tanks were racing across Iraq to invade the city.

  • Glenna Jones-Kachtik

    So, when Obama’s term of office ends, & the GOP have no one that they can “run” for Pres because no one who is conservative enough, or Christian enough – that can win & the Democrats win the house again, what ARE they going to do? The main reason most of them hate Obama is because he is black. I cannot fathom they would do this to a white guy. Just can’t believe the dumbness.

    • http://www.facebook.com/belljt John Bell

      Yes and no. They criticized Bill Clinton even before FNC was a player, but yes, it’s worse for Obama.

      • Aimee Barfield

        I think it’s because they can’t fathom that a Democrat has the *audacity* to win. I do wonder with Clinton if it had anything to do with him beating an incumbent?

      • http://www.facebook.com/belljt John Bell

        I suspect they also hated that a white Southern man didn’t agree with them on everything and was stealing their thunder.

    • MrLightRail

      It’s going to be darn hard to see the House flip, with Republicans gerrymandering districts. Here in Oklahoma, Democrats are so disheartened that they hardly go to the polls, and when they put up a challenger, he/she is laughably bad. (The good ones don’t want to run)

      • ccaffrey

        Y’know, the Constitution says only that reapportionment must be done AT LEAST every ten years. It can be done more frequently as was shown by Tom DeLay’s coup (coupled with a full scale coup on judicial elections) in Texas. Also, each individual state has the option of deciding the body that will conduct redistricting. Many states have opted for independent redistricting boards independent from the party in power. Sounds like its time for a citizen coup in both states. NOT VOTING should NEVER be an option. The opposition is counting on that. We’ll cheer you on if you’ll do the same for us. Gov. Goodhair down here has decided to throw abortion legislatoin into the last two weeks of the special session dealing with redistricting. Time for these jokers to go and time for us all to get more savvy. We got caught offguard in 2010 midterms, the WORST possible time to stay home from the polls considering it was a redistricting year. The GOP knew it and used it. We didn’t and we got pummelled. Dems were only 4 seats away from regaining the House coming into 2010; afterwards they couldn’t even break a quorum. We at least got that back in 2012 but we need to be the initiators on this fight. Yeah?

      • Aimee Barfield

        In Florida we voted against gerrymandering, districts must be compact and not divided for political means. I think it was 2010 when we did this, and it still hasn’t happened. Sadly, I can’t entirely blame this on the GOP, we have 2 house members who have tried fighting it in the courts, they have not been successful, A GOP house member from S. Florida and long time, totally gerrymandered Democrat Corinne Browne.

        Florida voters have spoken, and still we wait. The courts have said no, the Senate has drawn up the plans, the house? Not so much.

    • StephanieAndDavid

      Do not underestimate the GOP in winning elections. I think they made some bad mistakes and are still making them, but the truth is that in the next election, unless the Dems stay focused and gets out the vote, they can lose the Senate and not take back the house. (Check the seats up for re-election in the Senate – more Democratic seats are on the line than GOP.) The biggest mistake in politics is to underestimate the opponent.

      • Roland Duca

        yes, the republicans are very smart that through gerrymandering, they can hold the congress and remain entrenched and in power even though they will keep on losing presidential elections. And if these voters’ suppression are not stopped, even winning the presidential elections will be tough by just keep a lot of democrat voters out of the voting precincts by default…indeed republicans are very smart in machiavellian way.

        They cannot do it in any other fair way but by making it difficult to vote.

    • Donna Schultz Koleski

      Well how do you think the Republicans will react in 2016 if a WOMAN takes the white house? It will be more of the same bulls#@$t. I am so sick of all of them…..I don’t think it will matter because they will not be happy if they do not win the election.

    • Alice Wheeler

      They did it to a lesser extent to Bill Clinton! Remember the white water bullshit? And the big ol deal they made out of a BJ? Like not one of them ever turned down the same thing! That is when I lost total respect for the GOP, the Obama Ordeal has just cemented my disdain!

  • http://rantcaster.wordpress.com/ Rantcaster

    From the inanity of Hannity
    To the dreck that spews from Beck
    From doofus Doocy’s brainless quips
    To O’Reilly’s artless blech
    No truth in sight, all fact-free spin
    A carnival of shocks
    Murdoch’s gift to feeble minds
    Nobody…does stupid…like Fox

    • BB-Mystic

      That’s good. I’m going to post that to Facebook, if you don’t mind.

      • http://www.facebook.com/wlvalenti William L. Valenti

        Please do so! Glad you liked the ditty!

    • MelanieMariner

      Hope you don’t mind if I share. Too good to just let it sit on one page.

      • http://www.facebook.com/wlvalenti William L. Valenti

        Please share! Thanks!

    • Eric

      This is so incredible, I must share to Facebook lol. Many thanks, hope to see some more 8)

    • disqus_6AeSbMRBY2

      Very talented; was it meant to be sung to “Halls Of Montezuma?”

      • http://www.facebook.com/wlvalenti William L. Valenti

        Haven’t tried singing it, but might just take your suggestion!

      • disqus_6AeSbMRBY2

        Shared it on my FB blog, (Just Sayin’,) with credit to you, of course. Well done!

    • Patricia Brandt

      That’s awesome!

    • leigh

      Awesome!!

  • MrLightRail

    I’m hoping that Fox delivers on their threat to go to cable, due to Aereo. Might seriously cut into their redneck viewer base, that only can afford OTA TV. :)

  • streips

    Call it what it is: Faux News!

    • mark.saylor

      Personally I always write their name a s fox ‘news’. lol

      • Eoin

        I prefer Jim Carrey’s “Fux News” when I can get away with saying that.

  • mueizzathecat

    …Go Tea Party Go….Go Fake News Go….the quicker they are dead as a door nail the quicker our country can get back to it’s business getting done.. RIP…GOP…”stupid is a self-inflicted fatal wound..”

  • jericho

    Cable news (from all networks) is a national embarrassment.

    • donsteiny

      The fact that so many people watch is is the embarrassment

  • Ray Fischer

    Fox sells hate. That is their product. But hate destroys and, soon enough, one way or another, the GOP will be destroyed.

    But the people who control Fox don’t care because they don’t need to care. The people who matter have no allegiance to any nation or any political party. Their only allegiance is to money and, because they are already rich, they don’t need to care what their empire destroys. They will always be rich, and there will always be stupid people who want to buy hate.

    • NYPRPhD

      When profit is the only morality destruction is the only outcome.

      • mark.saylor

        I agree with your comment about selling hate. I have a now, ‘former’ friend that I and most of my other friends have gotten over. This person works from home and has fox ‘news’ on the entire day. Absolutely EVERYTHING (weather, a car accident) is not a political rant. My now deceased father starting watching fox ‘news’ when he started getting Dementia (honest) he became a nasty, hateful old buzzard. Anytime he heard something that differed from what he had heard on fox he would start yelling “LIES!”. I have actually seen Yahoo comments from other who write ‘LIES, LIES!’ as their response to things that most of us know are the absolute truth.

  • NYPRPhD

    The GOP chose to ride the Fox-TP tiger for short term political gain. But now that ride is turning ugly. Those who mounted the beast forgot that it’s hard to climb down without being mauled.

  • Dave Lanson

    I used to watch Fox News for the novelty of it all, a far-right network of mostly dunderheads (see “Fox & Friends”) who know little about politics, sociology or even everyday common sense. But eventually the novelty wore off when I realized some people actually believed the political feces being pumped into our living rooms. Besides the anger I felt watching these boobs was not good for my blood pressure. So I removed Fox from my TV. It’s programmable so it was very easy. I also turned off its so-called business channel. All I hear now about Fox is second hand and I sleep better at night and my blood pressure is normal. Remember, Just Say NO to Fox.

  • dsdjkhjb

    why do you spew such hatred..

    • Catherine

      guess fox is reaping what it has sowen…

  • NyteShayde

    Hard line right conservatives are lemmings, and there’s a cliff with their name on it.

  • Nihilist

    fox/ newscorpse, is a symptom. the disease is the GOP. allowing the kockbros owned heritage, and scotus has turned this country into a plutocracy that can only survive by divide and turn attention away from real issues facing us. for anti science, taliban like jesus to take hold, these oligarchs use the rwnj media, and even the other cables and so called librul news, to do what they are doing to all of us. dont think for a second time/warner/comcast, or GE have any interest in real news. as long as they sell their infotainment, and silly side shows, the lowering of IQ, and educated, they will conquer us without a shot fired….

    we have found the enemy, and it is us.

    • Eoin

      …I agree, but that was rather difficult to read, grammatically.

  • Derek Thomas

    I’m not a liberal. I’m actually fairly conservative. I’d describe myself as an old school democrat. Think FDR. But I can’t celebrate enough everything this article just accurately stated.

    • Ray Fischer

      I don’t celebrate it. One party rule is not good. But now that the Democrats have moved right to where the GOP once was, who will take the place on the left that the Democrats once occupied?

      • Derek Thomas

        People are too paranoid about one party rule. This isn’t china or the soviet union. If anything it might just weaken the necessity for political parties if everyone labels as democrat. It’s America and there’s a certain culture of freedom. Eventually, people will start to vote again based on the individual running. I think that’s the most likely outcome.

  • Duane

    Unfortunately they’re taking the nation down with them. Infrastructure is crumbling, we have continued long term unemployment of people who may NEVER make it back to the middle class, and an increasing reliance on money wasting private enterprise solutions to problems clearly within federal, state and municipal governments’ purview. A pox on Roger Ailes’ house; a pox on us.

  • Aruana Zeelie

    Conservatives are forever trumpeting Fox News’ ratings as if that is proof that everyone thinks the way they do. If this was true, they would surely have won the election? I’m always told “look at MSNBC’s ratings!”. “Nobody watches them”. So, how do they explain that?

    • Aimee Barfield

      A side note: MSNBC is not carried on all cable networks like FOX is.

      • Derek Thomas

        MSNBC is just as biased and insane as fox. Just in the other direction. As far as cable news goes, CNN is where it’s at IMO.

      • Aimee Barfield

        It’s also not a news channel, it’s discussion/commentary channel, I’m not sating there isn’t a bias but it’s not factually incorrect in its information. So there’s a difference. The Channel clearly calls itself ‘The Place For Politics’.

        When breaking or international news happens it’s usually Pete Williams that shows up, it’s not Maddow or Sharpton giving you the news. Pete Williams is also always spot on. Richard Engel is excellent in Middle Eastern coverage.

        CNN used to be decent and it used to mostly a news channel. I’m not sure what the heck it is now but 6/10 times it’s not accurate anymore. Thank goodness for Anderson Cooper I suppose.
        News is what finds on the internet more often then not and through various sources where it can be fact checked.
        If I want commentary, I go where I find like minded commentary, such as this site.

    • Derek Thomas

      Fox news is as fair and balanced as an elephant riding a unicycle covered in coal dust.

      (fair used to mean, white or pale colored.)

  • cloudshe

    waiting for the “how the obama administration is literally DESTROYING trust in the federal government” article

  • sharongibson

    And don’t forget the popcorn.

  • Anon

    “Please continue, Governor.”

  • Schuyler Thorpe

    EPIC. JUST EPIC.

  • Areader

    The Republican Party has allowed this to happen. When one looks at the Republican Party today they see two party’s within one. The Tea Party started as a movement, quickly became a caucus, however, they operate as a party with their own media outlet being Fox News!

    The likes of Michelle Bachman, Allen West, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz have destroyed and continue to destroy the Republican Party with this movement, caucus whatever one wants to call it.

    Oh, sure they can get elected in their own districts, fire up the base, however, when they attempt to run big, say, for the office of President they get their clocks cleaned. However,

    What the Republicans need to do is force them out from under the Republican Party, you want to act as a party, endorse candidates, have super pacs that fund you. Then by all means become a party and stand on your own….they would then quickly disappear!

  • EverTheGreen

    In the end, Fox will bring down the House, and hand it to the Democrats. Good.