The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Monday, November 20, 2006

Fox News: With circuses like these, who needs bread?

There was always a creepy dichotomy between Fox broadcasting and Fox News. When the former was rolled out in the late 1980s, they were often criticized for plumbing the depths of lowbrow-- more sex, more violence, and all the attendant worries about the imminent collapse of Western civilization. Things people associate with the evils of Hollywood, which equals "liberal permissiveness." When Fox News came along, it had plenty of sex and violence, too, (described pretty frequently in recent years as the 'missing white woman' channel) but with a reactionary tilt. Of course, Baywatch was notably high-rated in the world's most conservative areas, reminding us once again that titillation and sanctimony are intimate playmates.

Which leads me to this headline: Fox News Covered O.J. Interview As Much As CNN, MSNBC, Headline News Combined.

. . .Bill O’Reilly attacked the “far left loons” who linked Fox News with the O.J. Simpson interview. According to O’Reilly, these people are “kool-aid zombies” who are “doing the bidding of far left fanatics” who want "to tie Fox News in with the O.J. Simpson situation."

But there are close ties between Fox News and the O.J. Simpson situation. According to a database search, Fox News referenced the Simpson affair as many times in the last five days as the other three leading cable news networks combined. According to TVEyes, there have been 417 references to Simpson between Nov. 15 - Nov. 20 (3:30 PM). During the same period, there were 414 references to Simpson on CNN, MSNBC, and Headline News.

But Fox News is also planning some intentional comedy for the network:

Now Fox News Channel, a primary source of material for Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, is teaming with the exec producer of "24" to try its hand at a news satire show for conservatives to love.

Joel Surnow, co-creator of "24," is shooting two half-hour pilots of a skein he described as " 'The Daily Show' for conservatives," due to air in primetime on Saturdays in January.

Comedy will not ensue.