FOX News-bashing dwindles on CNN, dying network’s competitor smells blood

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A recent article, written in the strongly left-leaning publication Mediaite, noted that since Jeff Zucker resigned as president of CNN on Feb. 2,  the network has been “less focused on covering its competitor Fox News.”

“In January, CNN mentioned ‘Fox’ on-air an average of 100 times per week. But in the first three weeks of February, the average number of ‘Fox’ mentions dwindled by two-thirds down to 34,” the publication’s editor at large Colby Hall wrote. “If one looks at average daily mentions, Fox was uttered roughly 13 times per day from Jan. 1 to Feb. 2, and five times per day, on average, since.”

While the mentions dropped significantly — to be clear, the focus on Fox News was a harsh critique of the network in almost every instance by a competitor trailing far behind in ratings — is it possible that Mediaite is taking the baton from CNN? And if so, what motivation would the Dan Abrams-founded political and media news website have?

Granted, Hall’s piece was listed as “opinion” — Mediaite took care to note that the “views expressed in this article are those of just the author” — but he rips into Fox News several times, essentially justifying Zucker’s targeting of the network as “state-run television” by saying the claim is “not that far off given the cozy relationship [Donald] Trump had” with some of the opinion hosts on the network.

Hall reserved special ire for Tucker Carlson and the “consistently absurd and asinine comments” he has made on air. He also sympathized with the “challenge that CNN faces in covering Fox News,” ridiculously touting the former as “a much stronger news-gathering operation” while calling Fox News “a strange, partisan lifestyle channel packaged as news.”

Bear in mind, that as Hall besmirched the network’s legitimacy as a news source, Fox News reporter Trey Yingst was on the ground in Kyiv, Ukraine. The journalist was reporting from the front lines over the weekend amid increased shelling from Russia. Yingst was also on the ground during the debacle in Afghanistan a few months ago. And for months, Fox News reporter Bill Melugin has been reporting from the southern border, having personally witnessed Border Patrol agents come under machine-gun fire from across the border — the network is all but alone in covering the border crisis.

The writer went so far as to suggest that Fox News was somehow to blame for CNN’s downfall because the scandal-ridden network was drawn into “a pro-wrestling dynamic” by Fox News hosts that was a “turn-off for viewers.” Seriously.

But why the sudden anti-FOX bombast that suggests Mediaite has suddenly become Media Matters-light? Interestingly, another hard-left sight comparable to Media Matters, Daily Kos, is now picking up articles from Mediaite.

As it turns out, there appears to be a substantial motivation in Mediaite setting its sights on Fox News. Abrams has his own show, “Dan Abrams Live,” which aired weeknights on NewsNation in the 8 PM/ET time slot — this being the same time “Tucker Carlson Tonight” airs.

It’s been almost a year since the show launched, but Abrams is averaging a dismal 56,000 total viewers for the month of February, according to Nielsen Media Research. Carlson, by comparison, averages well north of 3 million viewers. Turns out, Abrams will no longer have to contend with such an embarrassing contrast, as it was announced on Thursday that his show will be moving to the 9 PM/ET time slot.

It’s fair to ask if the sudden campaign to discredit Fox News is an attempt to steer viewers to Abrams’ NewsNation show? A failed attempt, at that. What’s more, Abrams show is fairing worse than the show he replaced, from the same time last year, down 36% in total viewers and a whopping 62% in the demo, Nielson reported.

Earlier this month, Abrams himself went after Fox News on his show for reporting on U.S. Rep. Troy Nehls, R-Texas, accusing Capitol Police of illegally surveilling him — Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., plays a role in Capitol Police oversight.

“Turn on Fox News these days and you’re likely to see the Capitol Police or the FBI being thoroughly excoriated by the network’s hosts and contributors,” Abrams said on his February 9 show. “Yesterday, a claim from a Republican congressman that the Capitol Police spied on him, a claim that was made without any evidence. It gave Fox News personalities a golden opportunity to bash the people who put their lives on the line every day to protect our country’s lawmakers.”

The former host of Live PD aired a montage that included Fox News host Jesse Watters “echoing the baseless allegation that ‘Capitol Hill police officers have been caught illegally spying on members of Congress,'” Mediate reported, in covering Abrams’ reporting.

The montage also included Carlson stating, “Since Jan. 6, the Capitol Hill police force has been subverted by Nancy Pelosi, who oversees it and Joe Biden, the new president, to become a kind of secret police force that acts on behalf of the Democratic Party. Think we’re overstating that? We’re not.”

“Suddenly Fox is the ACLU,” Abrams opined on air. “All of that police hate was just one day on Fox News. Now they can try to link it to Nancy Pelosi all they want. But what they’re really doing is accusing all of the men and women who serve and protect being part of a ‘secret police force that is engaging in un-American and almost certainly illegal conduct.’ So they’re basically accusing the cops of being dirty, corrupt.”

The left can turn on a dime when it comes to law enforcement. In one breath, police are demonized amid calls to defund them, on the other hand, when being pro-police can advance their anti-Trump, anti-Fox News agenda, liberals are suddenly a cop’s best friend. Of course, Abrams deserves special consideration here, given his ties to law enforcement via Live PD.

As for critiquing the coverage of the story of Capital police surveilling Republican lawmakers, as Nehls alleged, Fox News reported on what would be a game-stopper if the circumstances were reversed and it was a Democratic lawmaker making such accusations. The story would lead the evening news on the major networks and the coverage on CNN and MSNBC would make Carlson’s “secret police” assertion look tame.


Tom Tillison


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