Not everyone agrees on the state of play there, but there does seem to be a consensus on one thing: Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse) is worth covering in its own right, such are the goings on at the broadcaster.
One happening recently was the move to Fox of former CNN man John Roberts, who is so far loving his time there, enthusing “This is really a terrific place to work”. He does, though, also say “It’s really interesting to work for a place that has the vision of one person that immediately gets disseminated to everyone across the board”.
That one person is of course Roger Ailes, whose potential upcoming legal trouble I considered recently. What that vision is, Roberts doesn’t explore in so much detail, but he does add “Everybody gets the message”. I’ll bet they do.
On the outside, the view of Fox is not so enthusiastic, and certainly not over at rival cable news channel MSNBC, whose top rating host Rachel Maddow has confirmed in an interview with Howard Kurtz at Newsweek, where she described Fox as having “become a McCarthyite chamber of horrors ... You can’t call yourself a news channel if that’s what you broadcast”.And one Fox host who Maddow might just have had in mind as an example of such a horror show could well be the increasingly wayward Glenn Beck. Ratings for Beck’s show, as I noted recently, have been falling, while his ranting has been getting louder and more eccentric.
This has been discussed by MSNBC morning host Joe Scarborough, who, unlike Maddow, is a conservative and was for six years a GOP Congressman for Florida’s first district. He recently concluded that Beck was not only “losing it before our eyes”, but was also “bad for the conservative movement”.It’s potentially bad news for the Beckster if even his fellow conservatives are worried about him. Plus, of course, it’s bad for Fox. All this and Ailes’ possible indictment: hardly a “terrific place to work”.