Saturday, March 10, 2007

Fox On The Run

Democrat party officials in Nevada have pulled out of a planned presidential debate involving Fox News, after its controversial chairman Roger Ailes made an ill-advised joke comparing Barack Obama to Osama Bin Laden (who, by the way, is 50 today, wherever he is). As the liberal campaigning website ratchets up its anti-Fox rhetoric, this won't be the last spat between the left and right-wing media before polling day.

This is exactly what Fox needs. For six and a half long years it's had its man in the White House. Fine after September 11th, but more recently it's struggled to continue its traditional stance without sounding increasingly forlorn. During the Katrina fiasco, it really didn't sound like the presenters' hearts were in backing Bush any longer. Fox has long since stopped being the brash upstart, and is now firmly in the establishment.

Much better then for Fox to do what it does best, and slag off Democrats. If Fox is going to maintain its ratings lead, it's going to need to spend the next 18 months cheerily getting at Hillary and the rest, especially as the main Republican candidates aren't particularly to their taste. Beyond that, it will probably be better for Fox as a channel if a Democrat becomes president. Then it can resume its original role of an outsider tackling what it could again convincingly call a 'liberal' establishment.

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