Fox News is a Big Part of What’s Wrong With the Republican Party

fox-news-poor-you-knowBelieve it or not, I do know moderate Republicans. Heck, I know several former Republicans who are now Democrats because the GOP has become far too extreme. And while Democrats and Republicans have typically always differed on many issues, we haven’t seen a political divide like this in decades – if ever. We’ve literally approached a point in our government where we can’t get anything meaningful accomplished because “compromise” has now become a negative thing.

Even in the days of Ronald Reagan (who had a Congress which was mostly controlled by Democrats) and Bill Clinton (who dealt with a Congress mostly controlled by Republicans), we got things done.

Not anymore. But why is that?

Well, a big reason for that is Fox News. It is undeniable that the Republican party has progressively gotten more right-wing and extreme over the last 18 years – which just happens to coincide with the creation of America’s most watched conservative entertainment channel.

The best example of this I can think of came during the 2012 presidential election. Outside of Fox News and the conservative media, all signs pointed to President Obama heading for an easy victory over Mitt Romney. Yet, on Fox, I often saw “experts” pushing the idea that President Obama and Romney were “neck and neck” or even some who claimed that “polls” showed Romney beating Obama.

Naturally, when President Obama cruised to an easy victory over Romney, conservatives were infuriated. Even worse, many of the ones I encountered weren’t just upset that President Obama had won, but that they felt the election had been rigged.

After all, why wouldn’t they believe that? They had been lied to by the conservative media for months heading into the election about Romney’s chances, so when he lost they clearly thought “foul play” was involved. Heck, the conservative media was so desperate to push the lies about Romney’s chances that they were literally telling people all of the polls showing the president heading for an easy victory were “liberal-leaning” and shouldn’t be trusted. You know, the polls that were completely accurate. 

Another example of what I mean can be observed in Donald Trump, the hideous result of the idiocy and rhetoric that’s been pushed and supported by the conservative media for years. Hell, he was given a weekly spot on Fox News’ Fox & Friends before he announced his candidacy for president.

Now they’re desperately trying to destroy him. I found it interesting how his sexist comments from his past were brought up during the GOP debate – yet those same comments didn’t seem to impact their infatuation with “The Donald” prior to his candidacy. It’s ridiculous to call out someone for being a sexist when that same person was a frequent guest on your network.

Not to mention Erick Erickson acting outraged and disinviting Trump from a RedState candidate forum in Atlanta. This is the same Erick Erickson who once insisted that males should always play the dominant, “breadwinner” role in relationships and women should be submissive, among a long list of other sexist comments he’s made in the past. Hypocrite much, Erick?

The fact is, Fox News has been profiting heavily from pushing this extreme right-wing rhetoric. The only reason why they’re suddenly “anti-Trump” is because his bigotry, sexism and racism have propelled him to superstar status among the far-right – the same people to which Fox News has been pandering. It’s really difficult to claim you’re not pandering to the worst parts of our society when the guy who’s being called out nationally for his hateful rhetoric is becoming increasingly popular to the very same people who watch your network.

In other words, Fox News is now trying to bring down the very “monster” they were largely responsible for creating.

But there’s a reality which rests at the root of the problem: while American society as a whole continues to become more liberal, Fox News continues to push the myth that we’re actually becoming more conservative. And that’s where a lot of our issues in government are coming from.

Republicans in Congress can’t even think about working with Democrats to pass anything, because by doing so they would be hammered by Fox News and the conservative media for “selling out conservatism,” and those who did dare work with Democrats would be targeted by the tea party as soon as their next primary rolled around. Quite literally there are many Republicans in Congress who would risk their political careers by simply listening to the majority of what most Americans want – simply because that’s not the audience to which Fox News panders.

As Fox News continues to be a huge influence on conservative voters and Republican politicians, the functionality of our government continues to deteriorate.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • Nancy B

    Ah, you can’t totally blame Fox. They’re just taking marketing advantage of the diminishing education standards in this country. Critical thinking is going the way of the dodo bird.

    • kathy_lowen

      Yeah, the irony is that everyone praised the growing “democratization” of information thru the internet and other assorted ‘new media’, never realizing that it also might be “re-purposed” to feed the appetites of the legions of folks only interested in validating their own prejudices and being told “what they wanna hear”.

  • markthetog

    Rupert Murdoch saw a market in capitalizing on what had been started by Karl Rove et al. back in the days of Reagan and later Gingrich. By stoking the fires of fear and bigotry among an aging and ill educated (but economically significant) bloc of voters, they saw a huge opportunity to drive GOP behavior in this country. When you peddle fear, you also make sure that you will sell the antidote to fear. Moreover, to keep the fear narrative going you need to create new narratives that support the basic premise that the nation is being taken over by socialists who, once they have complete control of the country, inexplicably wish to destroy the country because “they hate America”. A rich irony in this is the unintended consequences of this strategy is that the profit/power broker impulses driving their vision are being used by the Donald in a disruptive way. I chuckle because it is the GOP who bleat about unintended consequences and wail about the lack innovation in America.
    In case they hadn’t noticed both of those things have just gored their elephant.

    • Artist in Resonance

      Implanting Fear and then selling the antidote is a textbook example sales technique from the insurance game. Pure manipulation. I have no sympathy for the Repubs now that they have Frankentrump on their hands. They made him from the worst parts of themselves and right now they can neither control nor stop him. His campaign manager just quitting in disgust is interesting to note. The abrasive windbag could self destruct at any moment but until then, pass the popcorn.

  • Rael Imperial Aerosol Kid

    Continuing to tell people that Romney was a sure win and that their “polls” showed him as the winner was a tactic to de-legitimize the eventual Obama presidency. As the article states, Fox’s plan was to implant the idea that Romney was a sure thing, and then when Obama finally won, the only explanations were voter fraud (win: Republicans), the “liberal media lies” (win: Republicans) or Obama cheated (win: Republicans). No matter which option you pick, it casts doubt on the election and on Obama himself, destabilizing the Presidency (win: Republicans). It was a sure-fire plan that worked perfectly.

    • Guest

      No. Obama’s failures are all his own. Not “Republicans” or President Bush or anyone else’s.

      • Rael Imperial Aerosol Kid

        Typical low-effort thinker: you’ve completely missed the point.

  • Guest

    What’s “wrong” is that Fox has too many liberals on.