It’s official: Fox News was the most watched basic cable network in 2016. With an average of 2.43 million viewers in primetime and 1.4 million in total daily, it came in just behind the “Big Four” networks (NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX) in overall primetime ratings. It’s not as unbelievable as it sounds. Just factor in the wild presidential election, Donald Trump’s knack for incredulous statements and the incredible bias of Fox News’ journalists, pardon, commentators. Let’s not forget the news channel’s own sexual harassment scandal, adding fuel to the already-raging fire. Yes, Fox News sucks—but there are reasons behind it’s unfortunate rise in popularity.
1. Unabashed Conservatism
Every news channel basked in the limelight of this wild election, but Fox’s conservative slant spoke to the hearts of a growing demographic in America. The cable channel supports a right-wing agenda without shame or apology—most of its viewers are registered Republicans who rejoice in having their opinion affirmed on the air. Fox News has a soothing effect for Trump supporters: it validates their extremist beliefs in real time, and research shows that conservatives are more prone to believing baloney. So when Fox blasts dubious news like their take on the recent Quebec Mosque Attack, there’s a good chance loyal conservatives blindly agree without doing some much-needed fact checking.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: fakenews.sucks.
2. Thriving Off Trump
Millions of Americans tuned in to watch Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton square off, and the tone and voice of the presidential election is what Fox News thrived on. Known for its somewhat scandalous take on conservative views, Donald Trump was the ultimate brand ambassador of Fox News. The news channel applauded Trump’s latest remarks and the reality-star-turned-incompetent-president was happy to provide ample news fodder in return. In fact, it has now become clear that the drama brought on by our new president will keep Fox News’ blood pumping stronger than ever in 2017. Not convinced? Consider this: The O’Reilly Factor outperformed every other Fox News segment with an average audience of 4.1 million. Oh, and Bill and Donald are friends.
Do we even have to say it? DonaldTrump.sucks. While we’re at it, nepotism.sucks and OReilly.sucks, too.
3. Fox News is Also a Hot News Topic
Apart from covering election slander, Fox News was at the center of its own controversy. Gretchen Carlson coming forward with allegations of sexual harassment got the ball rolling, and Fox News was soon inundated with similar claims from a dozen other women. Several lawsuits resulted in settlements—or cover-ups, whatever you want to call ’em. But Fox News did end up cutting long-time chairman Roger Ailes loose. No worries, though… Ailes and Trump are friends too.
Then there was the bitter-sweet news of Megyn Kelly finally making the jump to NBC. The news anchor claims she was also sexually harassed by Roger Ailes but kept it to herself, afraid of committing career suicide. Her show The Kelly File was the second highest rated cable news program after his segment. Now that the one sane anchor has jumped ship, the Fox team will be loonier and more outlandish than ever.
Sexualharrassment.sucks, that goes without saying. RogerAiles.sucks big time, too.
4. Fox Knows How to Unleash the Trolls
As if the country hadn’t been divided enough during this election, social media provided an additional battleground for political feuds. And Fox News sure milked that cow. In fact, Fox’s Facebook page had the most user engagement in 2016 altogether, surpassing digital champs like NowThis and The Huffington Post. There’s no precise science behind this social media stardom, but a loyal fanbase, irritating internet trolls and a constant barrage of inflammatory posts seem to have done the trick. Fox News even managed to draw the largest social media audience to its America’s Election Headquarters on Facebook and Twitter, surpassing both CNN and NBC.
Trolling.sucks, and Fox News fans sure know how to stoke the flames whenever possible.
Unfortunately, it looks like Fox News won’t be ditching unethical journalism in 2017. With the president as their ally, the Trump White House icing out their competition and the loss of their most prominent liberal news anchor, you’d better brace yourselves for a tumultuous news landscape.
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