When it becomes clear that a business is so enraptured with itself and its disposition to accumulate wealth to the detriment of its own character, it’s time to write them off as part of the immoral morass that pervades society. FOX and those who own it and work for it have achieved this status as it becomes clear to most objective observers that their primary goal is to acquire a place in our social and political structure with the sole aim of increasing wealth for themselves despite how disruptive it leaves the political and social structure they exploit for personal gain.
The organization owned by Rupert Murdoch, managed by Roger Ailes and defended by a plethora of blond dim wits and white male plutocrats and their wannabes have consistently insulted the intelligence of their viewers by passing themselves off as a viable source of information in the news world. By pandering to an ultra-conservative crowd of people who think white supremacists and survivalists are real American patriots and all others are interlopers, the FOX crowd has demonstrated that being popular with a large segment of society is more important than being right about most things. It’s clear too that profiting from this narrow-minded audience is its own reward.
Ad revenue was up this last quarter for Newscorp who owns FOX. It appears that selling trash is profitable because their cable enterprises that present the world with the likes of Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck and beauty queen Gretchen Carlson saw ad revenue rise “5.7 percent to $8.11 billion in the quarter that ended June 30”, according to Bloomberg Business Week. It’s all about the bottom line inferred Chris Marangi, an analyst at Gabelli & Co. in Rye, New York when he was quoted in Bloomberg about Newscorp’s goal of “trying to figure out how to turn advertising- related businesses into subscription businesses”. According to Murdoch himself at their 2004 Annual General Meeting, ” FOX Television Stations Group [are] our single most profitable business” in his empire.
Before the Capitalist purist jump all over this comment, let’s be clear that the profit motive is not evil in and of itself. It is the lubricant for the wheels of industries that provide jobs and enable creative people to find ways to improve our lives. It becomes despicable though when the actions of some who seek it do so with little regard for human dignity. The health insurance industry is a classic example of this as has been revealed in their attempts to increase profits by paying employees bonuses for finding ways to refuse payments to policyholders for otherwise legitimate claims. They have essentially sold a product with the intent of reneging on it at some point in the future. FOX’s portrayal as a “fair and balanced” news medium is also a canard that appeals to people looking for coverage of events that fit their stereotypes, only to have reality rob them of their fantasy.
Newscorp is the only corporation that has made it clear that they support a political Party that they promote openly and serve as an outlet for their single-minded views. Anything fair and balanced here is merely based on the notion that all mouth pieces who broadcast their shows on the network have equal time to slander their political foes. The one area where fair and balanced can be found on the FOX network is its cable subsidiaries in the entertainment programming they provide.
Not only does FOX have a competitive lineup of TV programs that attract audiences outside Murdoch and Ailes’ political biases but they allow them the right to point out their foibles on their programs. This becomes clear for those who watch the FOX animated series “The Simpson’s”. On two recent occasions they mocked the cable news channel with fictional slogans plastered on a FOX News helicopter; one that read “Not Racist But #1 With Racists” and a week later with one that read, “FOX News: UNSUTIABLE FOR VIEWERS UNDER 75”.
This didn’t sit well with one of the white male plutocrats on FOX, Bill O’Reilly, who called the Simpson producers “pinheads” for such blasphemy. But don’t expect Ailes or Murdoch to ostracize those producers and their popular money making show anytime soon. If they can overlook the humiliating farce that is Glenn Beck and the deceit on popular cable news shows like Fox Nation, they are certainly not going to let this added stain to their corporate character affect them, at least not as long as its making them money. The “practical joke” the Fox Nation producers conspired in was when they reposted the first two paragraphs of a satirical Onion piece in their culture section with nary a sign as to its fictional nature, prompting many of their gullible viewers to e-mail the show and vilify the President yet again as a result of their own ignorance.
This all would be funny it weren’t true. It’s hard to believe that a large segment of Americans are so easily enticed into the naive perceptions of their own fantasies and then go out and vote on those fantasies, aided and abetted by crass businessmen and women who seem totally oblivious of their destructive tactics. But money makes the world go ’round in the minds of FOX viewers and knowing this is what both Ailes and Murdoch have tapped into to enhance their own fortunes. Business and journalistic ethics are only commodities in a free-market system to game for their own self-serving purposes, or so it appears.