The lucrative business of Obama-bashing

By Bernd Debusmann
October 22, 2009

Bernd Debusmann– Bernd Debusmann is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. –

Four days before Barack Obama was sworn into office, a prominent radio talk show host, Rush Limbaugh, told his conservative listeners that a major American publication had asked him to write 400 words on his hopes for the Obama presidency.

“I…don’t need 400 words,” he said, “I need four: I hope he fails.”

The remark set the tone for a steady stream of unbridled and often bizarre criticism from Limbaugh and like-minded radio and TV commentators, several of them working for Fox News, the network owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch. Obama responded four days after his inauguration, telling a group of Republican congressmen they needed to break away from a mindset of confrontation.

“You can’t just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done.”

What followed should have helped the new administration to reflect on the wisdom of singling out a media critic. But it didn’t. Limbaugh promptly portrayed himself as a man of such pivotal importance that the president of the world’s only superpower needed to pay personal attention to his tartly-worded opinion.

The controversy over his ill wishes for the president caused, as he put, his ratings to go “through the roof,” a reassuring development for a man who makes $38 million a year under an eight-year contract that runs through 2016. The score of that early skirmish: Limbaugh 1, Obama 0.

The White House is now engaged (as in war, not diplomacy) with an even bigger target, Fox News, to the evident delight of Murdoch. “There were some strong remarks coming out of the White House about one or two of the commentators on Fox News,” he told the annual shareholders’ meeting  of News Corp, the media conglomerate that includes Fox. “And all I can tell you is that it has tremendously increased their ratings.”

His cheerful observation came a few days after the administration switched from occasional counter-attacks to full-scale offensive. Anita Dunn, the White House Communications director, fired the first rocket in mid-October by saying Fox News was not a legitimate news organisation but operated as a research and communications arm of the Republican Party.

The president himself stayed out of the fray this time but two of his closest aides, Senior Advisor David Axelrod and Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel followed up with similar comments on television news shows. Axelrod went as far as to urge other news organisations not to treat Fox News as a legitimate news outfit. Fox denies its news coverage is slanted and says critics fail to understand the difference between reporters and commentators.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results but it is probably a safe bet that the controversy will be good for the Fox bottom line – and that the commentators with the most provocative attacks on Obama will benefit most, a pattern reflected by the network’s third quarter results.

They showed Fox News as the dominant cable news organisation. It drew an average 2.25 million prime time viewers (a 2 percent increase over the previous year) – more than twice the combined number of its nearest competitors, CNN and MSNBC, both of which suffered considerable audience declines.

The shows by Fox’s top conservative commentators all showed steep increases, but none more than Glenn Beck (up almost 90 percent), who said of Obama on a Fox show in July: “This president has exposed himself as a guy, over and over again, who has a deep-seated hatred for white people and white culture.”

Commentators aiming for shock value are not in the business of context, such as pointing out, for example, that Obama’s mother was white and that he had close and cordial relations with his white grandparents. Obama was visibly shaken when his white grandmother, Madelyn Dunham died, a day before he was elected president.

Beck’s “hatred for white people” remark prompted several advertisers to abandon his show but that didn’t hurt the bottom line. A Fox spokeswoman said at the time that offended advertisers had shifted to other Fox programmes so there was no revenue lost.

Which raises the question why Fox News, which effectively functions as the voice of the opposition, has been more of a commercial success than its competitors which feature liberal, pro-Obama commentators and give a platform to people who want the president to succeed?

After all, he won the elections with the votes of Americans who bought into his reform agenda. And according to a Washington Post/ABC poll to mark his ninth month into the presidency, his job approval rating stands at 57 percent and only 20 percent of the country now consider themselves Republican, the lowest percentage in 26 years.

Even on the most hotly disputed aspect of Obama’s health care plan, the public option seen as socialism by conservative commentators, a majority of  Americans are coming out in support of the president, according to that poll.

So why is the White House acting as if right-wing critics pose a mortal danger? Thin-skinned sensitivity to criticism? John Batchelor, a conservative radio show host, has a different suggestion: ignorance.

“The White House war on Fox,” he wrote on the website The Daily Beast, “shows its ignorance of the network’s true purpose: show business. And Team Obama is giving Murdoch just what he wants.”


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

Yes it it would be nice if Rush,Sean and Glen would show respect but there not, if they did (duh) no commercial success, no money and no sponsers (yes I said sponsers). There not(sponsers)going anywhere there is to much money to be made. So there you have it the same problem that put us in this mess(the need for money above anything else)as a country, the inability to put the “need for money” in it’s proper prespective. That is all out the window these commintaters have huge contracts. I am being redundant now. MONEY….MONEY…..MONEY. WE CANNOT LEARN IT IS A DARK HOLE.

Posted by Daniel Bennison | Report as abusive

Cindy, that is quite ignorant. It is a first amendment right to publicly dissent from the Government.

“The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive.”
–Thomas Jefferson

Posted by Dan | Report as abusive

“The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive.”
-Thomas Jefferson

Posted by D from South | Report as abusive

Respect for the presidency? The Democrats have been in full attack mode as long as I can remember, at least going back to Bill Clinton’s campaign slogan “It’s the economy, stupid”. Now that they’ve returned to power they won’t tolerate the same treatment from the other side.

Posted by Tom | Report as abusive

Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck are not to blame. They have just as much a right to be idiotic on radio/television as Kim Kardashian or Kanye West. If people weren’t watching this garbage every night, they would just fade away.

Americans have lost their ability to think for themselves and so they turn to whoever speaks the loudest. Stop giving these people power! Ignore them until they go away. Stop giving them press when they say something controversial. Think for yourselves – you just might like it.

Posted by JCreezy | Report as abusive

So Obama not smart enough and getting into ring only to help Fox get more money..I would imagine it helps Obama more because the higher the pitch of Limbaugh’s rant and the more irrational he sounds, lower will be public’s perception of the Limabaughs and republicans , ultimately costing more ballots to republicans ..Check mate

Posted by Jack | Report as abusive

It’s interesting to me that the GOP is looking for a new message. It shows with glaring clarity that the current GOP has no voice. It would seem that they themselves never really did their jobs out of any internal sense of good.

The only commitment they’ve made is to be the “loyal opposition”. They came up with a new website with some kind of “new generation” advertising. But they themselves have nothing.

They are actually looking for IDEAS. They have no core and they want you to give them a message to tout to you so that you will believe their sincerity when they campaign for your vote.

They should not be in office if they can’t understand the simple mission of protecting the interests of the individual citizen. They don’t want to do that. So they’re asking for some other kind of mission.

Think about that next time you vote for a rep for your state.


Neither side gives the office of President proper respect. Just go back and listen to the tirades against George Bush during his term. We live in a culture where double speak and spin support the latest “personality” running the nation. The media circus should just report the facts and let Americans form their own opinions. This is of course predicated on politicians stating the facts without redifining the definition of terms and words on the fly.

Posted by Mark from Texas | Report as abusive

For the President to spend valuable time when there are such important problems to attend to like unemployment, nuclear proliferation, etc. on this is sad. I am one of those independents that gave obama a shot in November and yes, I now regret it. Not because of what Fox says but the obvious ineptness he shows in handling his office, choosing the right people and his thin skin. Also, too bad the liberal media (MSNBC) find it hard to remember the Hitler signs with Bushs’ face on it and they didn’t find any reason then to say “we need to respect the office mroe than this”.
One correction, Limbaugh’s quote is incomplete, he said that he hopes Obama’s plans for the country and policies fail. Still, the ridiculous focus on media entertainers is silly and a waste of time – jsut get to work and realize you will never pelase anyone. You would think with the control they have in Congress and the goverment in general along with their experience in gutter politics (Chicago) they would shrug this off.

Posted by bob p | Report as abusive

Excellent article.

Posted by raymond | Report as abusive

It was the same thing Democrats did when Bush was in office. The difference is Bush payed no attention to them, and most of them didn’t gain much from the president bashing. Respect for the office of the president died long before Obama, Bush or even Clinton got there. No amount of complaining is ever going to bring it back.

Posted by Dean | Report as abusive

I’m guessing you didn’t have a lot of time to write today’s commentary. I don’t have the time to point out all the weaknesses in your analysis, but here are a few:

1. “The remark set the tone for a steady stream of unbridled and often bizarre criticism from Limbaugh and like-minded radio and TV commentators, several of them working for Fox News….”

Please list some of these “bizarre” criticisms and explain why they are objectively “bizarre.” Specifically, address some of the evidence that might suggest the comments were not “bizarre.”

2. “…for example,…Obama’s mother was white and…he had close and cordial relations with his white grandparents. Obama was visibly shaken when his white grandmother, Madelyn Dunham died, a day before he was elected president.”

This is your refutation of Beck’s controversial statement? That’s as effective as “why, some of my best friends are black!” That tactic doesn’t work in either direction. Didn’t Obama call his grandmother a “typical white woman”? Beck certainly has some grounds for his statement (e.g., Obama’s long-standing relationship with Rev. Wright and his ham-handed attempt to cover it up: “I didn’t notice the Reverend’s hate-filled speeches during the last 20 years)(and that’s just one example; there are others). It will take more to refute Beck on that one.

3. “[Why has]…Fox News…been more of a commercial success than its competitors which feature liberal, pro-Obama commentators and give a platform to people who want the president to succeed?”

You really don’t know? You’re a smart guy; I assume you must be pretending. The answer is obvious: because those who support this Administration’s initiatives (a dwindling number, as those initiatives become understood) have no shortage of news outlets exhibiting a bias that they agree with: ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, PBS, BBC, NY Times, Washington Post, etc. With that many outlets, the audience gets fractured. But, the poor individual who wants unbiased info (something without a reflexive, knee-jerk liberal viewpoint) has few choices: Fox News and the Wall Street Journal. If you consider them biased, cite specific examples. You want examples of liberal bias? Read Bernie Goldberg’s book “Bias,” then let’s talk.

4. “[Fox News is] the voice of the opposition….” Fox News is not at all the “opposition.” Fox had the objectivity to savagely criticize Bush when he was in office, and they now criticize Obama. It’s not that Fox is biased FOR the Republicans (or conservatives); what really galls the media and the Administration is that Fox News is not biased for the Democrats (and Obama), while other news sources so clearly are. And both sides seem to agree on this: a recent poll asked people which news source they trusted the most. Republican respondents said Fox News, around 80-something percent. And what did Democrat respondents say? Fox News! (at around 60%). Seems that Fox’s crime is not bias, but not having a liberal bias.

5. “After all, [Obama] won the elections with the votes of Americans who bought into his reform agenda.”

Obama won the election with the votes of Americans who hated George Bush. Obama was very careful to avoid laying out anything specific, other than “hope” and “change.” That allowed voters to define those terms any way they wanted. Now that voters are learning that Obama’s definitions of “hope” and “change” are nothing like theirs, Obama’s support is slipping. That’s the danger of campaigning without specifics, hoping you get elected before people know what you’re up to. The “getting elected” part worked, but enacting your hidden agenda? Maybe not.

6. “And according to a Washington Post/ABC poll to mark his ninth month into the presidency, his job approval rating stands at 57 percent and only 20 percent of the country now consider themselves Republican, the lowest percentage in 26 years.”

Check those polls — Obama’s approval ratings are plunging. Only 20% of voters may be registered as Republicans, but many more than that will vote Republican in the upcoming elections. And, didn’t John McCain get, oh, about SIXTY MILLION votes??

7. “Even [though]…the public option [is] seen as socialism by conservative commentators, a majority of Americans are coming out in support of the president, according to that poll.”

Well, this probably just proves that you can find a poll to support just about anything. The polls I have seen do not support a public option, by a wide margin. The key is the level of the poll respondent’s understanding of what “public option” means: if their general understanding of that term is limited to “someone else pays for my healthcare,” they tend to like it. However, as other aspects of what “public option” means to this Administration become clear to voters — rationing, gradual destruction of choice, skyrocketing costs, lack of medical innovation — their support drops off a cliff. In the end, uninformed support isn’t much support at all (unless you can pass the legislation in the dead of night, with as little public disclosure as possible, which is exactly what this Administration is trying to do).

8. “So why is the White House acting as if right-wing critics pose a mortal danger?”

Because they realize that their “objective critics” (not right-wing but, rather, not left-wing enough) are few in number and there is now a short window of opportunity in which they can eliminate even the weakest criticism, even if only temporarily. Why else would a politician in a country as democratic as the US even propose censorship legislation such as the cynically-named “Fairness Doctrine”? Because, even though it is an affront to our Constitutional principles, it promises to silence the one source of criticism that that politician faces, thus allowing him (or her) and their cronies to operate for a long time without any real “fourth estate” to temper their actions. They are just unable to pass up that chance.

Well, that’s just a quick dissection of your essay. Hope you can do better next time.

Posted by Paul | Report as abusive

I think you miss the point. Fox News and Mr. Limbaugh are opposing points of view than that of the liberal media. The White House is wasting or I should say diverting attention away from the real matters at hand. It is a Magicians trick called slight of hand. If you focus on one thing you will not notice what the other one is doing. The last time I checked in America you can watch, read, or listen to any thing you want. Which means you do not have to listen to the liberal media if you do not want to. Fox repeatedly asks to be shown where they are wrong on the hard news that they report with no one stepping up and correcting them, which must mean they are correct. Shows like Beck’s, Hannity’s, Limbaugh are opinion based shows therefore the realm of Fox not being a legitimate news organization is a load of bull-butter.

Posted by George | Report as abusive

IMHO, Fox has far more journalistic integrity than CNN and MSDNC and I dare not watch too much of both. Fox is sensational right as MSDNC is sensational left sans the fiction / twist occasionally produced.

Libs or Reps cannot really complain that the other side is playing dirty given the track record.

Heck, even Hillary said Fox News was fair and balanced during the election; as did several independent media agencies. Did Fox do a 180 all of a sudden? – qualified by it’s obvious and shared objection to failed Obama policies? Since when did opposing view become a crime? When democrats one the election?

That’s not how this country works.

Seems weird & disturbing that the executive branch of our government would look to silence or diminish an opposition voice. Must be that Free Speech / Fairness Doctrine.

The truth -verse- “the perceived truth” will always dominate the airwaves for as long as argument remains sport and people make time to tune in. It’s just good business. Likewise – driving wedges between social communication is great politics.

More importantly – Above All – NOT to be diminished is Congress (Left & Right) continued squander our money – money we don’t have. They pass 1000 page bills with billion dollar price tags and they don’t read said bills – and we do nothing.

I’ll stop short of saying we deserve to suffer for our own inaction.

Why is it that questioning (and even bashing) every other president was not treated with this much outrage? Someone, please answer this! The SNL skit about Obama was right. He’s done nothing. I liked Obama’s speeches and distrusted McCain, so I voted for Obama. Now stop the speeches and petty distractions and get to work!

Posted by xdiver | Report as abusive

The White House’s comments are all correct, so I’m not sure what the debate is about – most intelligent, rational, and non-racist people would have to agree that Limbaugh and Fox News are nothing more than showbusiness – Limbaugh a shock jock of intolerant conservatism, Beck as…well, Beck is just an uneducated nutjob, etc., etc. look at the credentials of their “commentators” and you’ll see that they have had little to no reall journalism education of any kind. So if they want to stoke their uninformed viewership to hate the things they were already hating even more, then go for it – the country, fortunately, has a majority of level-headed, tolerant people to counteract them.

Posted by roc1 | Report as abusive

Please explain why it was ‘okay’ for liberal media outlets to bash Bush all day long and it’s not okay for the few outlets conservatives have to question (not bash) Obama, the savior?
All we heard was how stupid Bush was to want to surge troop levels in Iraq and how it would fail. Well they were wrong and instead of reporting that or admitting they were wrong they just changed the subject.
I can’t believe I am saying this but why couldn’t we have had Hillary as Prez?
Both parties are terrible!

Posted by Rick | Report as abusive

It’s about time someone’s making money as a result of the Right being heard.

Posted by clearsky | Report as abusive

Like dealing with someone else’s bad tempered children, especially as the parent (Mr. Murdoch) encourages poor behavior. Not inviting them to the party seems like the obvious solution. Much like TR’s dealing with the press…I’ll give you unprecendented access, but if you misquote me, don’t ever expect me to talk to you again. So where is the accountability? I can call myself news, but spew slander and misquote…how long would Reuters remain in business if they printed ‘editorials’ without indicating that they were opinions, not news? One thing that I notice about ‘viewership’ is that Fox seems to be on every waiting room television (I ask them to politiely switch it to a news channel), which isn’t viewership, but a good way of pumping up numbers.

Posted by Mike | Report as abusive

News Reporting is about delivering factual information quickly and precisely.

FOX is about bias opinions, very often wrong, narrow minded, full of self interest and commercial gains. Little more than a propaganda network for a far right agenda to undermine the public service. It is a dis-service to the public and should loose its broadcast rights or at least be ruled by a truth in broadcasting law where they must prove they are right and not simply able to spew out the bile of their hatred to the middle and working class in America.

It is an insult to all the real professional reporters around the world that risk their lives to present the factual truth to the public.

I chose to turn off my TV rather than allow their stupidity to enter my household.

Posted by Paul | Report as abusive

As an Independent , FOX is by far my favorite network . The WH might not like the Glenn Beck program , but , the show’s research department , is right , most of the time .
The Administration is making error after error in many of their decisions . Most of us , don’t like Chicago style politics.

OK Marius..
show us the facts that support your convulted conspiracy theory (the devil made me do it LOL)

“People have been murdered because of the rhetoric on fox news. Please realize that a lot of Americans think that professional wrestling is real. They will violently defend their belief in what is not even real. Fox realizes this and capitalizes on this ignorance. They won’t be happy until their rabble-rousing results in more deaths. Mark my words.”


Posted by Getaclue | Report as abusive

My concern is that the entire politial aroma now in control of the legislative and executive branches is distinctively fascist: do as big brother demands, not as he does. The noticeable erosion of our freedoms is a result of that mentality.

Posted by Mack Haworth | Report as abusive

Fox News attempting to portray themselves as unbiased is a complete sham. How can someone like Bill O’Rielly be seen as anything BUT slanted? The article is correct in that Fox News is a business, and entertainment is the purpose of many of their programs. Shame on Fox News for attempting to appear as objective, but the White House should have known better than attacking a network with so many viewers. It only serves as a rallying cry for support with Fox News.

Posted by Jackson | Report as abusive

I have a theory why Fox has more viewers than CNN and MSNBC combined, despite the fact that a majority of Americans voted for Pres. Obama. Fox’s audience tends to be less educated, and people who watch TV regularly tend to be less educated (for obvious reasons). So the pool of viewers is already slanted towards Fox, like flies attracted to manure.

Reuters is once again showing it’s bias by only having left-leaning commentators give their opinions. And it is pretty obvious that Bernard has never listened to Glen or Rush because if he had he would know that they both honestly care about America and they both have bashed Bush and McCain almost as much as they have Obama. Their comments are not as bizarre as those of Obama’s staff who openly admire Chairman Mao, Castro and Chaves. I stopped watching the other news media outlets like NBC, ABC, and CNN when they started reporting things like “tingling feelings running down my legs” and “doesn’t he look presidential in this swimsuit photo” and “what kind of dog do you think his daughters should have”. To me those are the “bizarre comments” that show Fox News is the only objective News outlet still available to the U.S. citizen.

Seems like the name “Obama” will be synonomous with Chavez soon – Don’t like your critics? Send in the henchmen and shut them down by force.

I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Obama fanatics try to find some flimsy procedural “FCC type” way of shutting down FOX and sending a message to other networks.

If Fox goes away, what will stop “Dear Leader” from skipping elections and proclaiming himself our eternal president? With his boundless arrogance, I can’t see him saying no.

Posted by mike | Report as abusive


The posting by Paul (your dissertation for today) would be entirely what I have to say. In fact, it is better than you op-ed.

It’s true that Rush Limbaugh is just a rabble rouser. When Clinton was in office, I turned on his show only as a pacifier (my other choice was locking myself in a closet and flicking my Bic!) and my biggest complaint with him was he offered nothing to oppose Clinton’s poor administration. Nothing but complaints.

There were no petitions, no marches, no activism, etc. And don’t tell me he didn’t grow up in the ’60′s where that was a way of life.

At least Glenn Beck offers that, as demonstrated by his tea party and other things. I think we ALL know that these shows are sensationalized. At least, I know it. But read the latest column by Beck today. Read the last line: Obama-care is about one thing – it’s about control.

Nowhere else is that statement true than his bashing of Fox News. Obama CAN’T control them. That is what he wants so very much. It’s about socialism and control, and don’t tell me that’s NOT what Joseph Goebbels was all about. Revisit that history (and note, I am not equating Goebbels with Obama – well, not yet…)

I worked for our County for about 6 months, where I quit because I was FORCED to join the corrupt SEIU union. And the union rep said to me, this job, all jobs, at the County level were about power and control. And they are.

I don’t dislike Obama because he is black, or half-black, or who gives a shiesse! I dislike him because he is a socialist. What we need here is to fix our economy, our trade imbalance, our attitude, especially with young people, to spend every cent we have on trash made in China. What we don’t need is socialized medicine, carbon cap and trade (that’ll really screw up the economy!), poor environmental laws, etc. But that’s what he, and his crony Pelosi, are handing us. And when someone gets up and reports about it, complains about it, they hate him because he’s black.

One last thing: I am needing to be on a private insurance plan soon. I will be applying to Blue Cross and will probably, this late in the Obama-care game, be denied. I have congenital high blood pressure. I will probably be forced to carry something like Kaiser, which I will go to as little as possible and pay cash to my normal doctor to see him once a year.

I still don’t want Obama-care. I don’t want the Federal Government screwing with my medical. This is nothing but a power grab, and you now it.

Dr. Gonzo

Posted by Dr. Gonzo | Report as abusive

The division has happened, and I think the conquering is well under way. The more real or imagined crisis we have the more deviu. Rememeber America, you are American’s first, your duty is to protect her and her God sent intstitutions. Breaking down our ability to find meaningful concensus through polarization keeps us weak and ripe to be manipulated by ideological enemies like China, Israel ( one race, one religion, disenfranchised palestinians – Not very American) or whoever (cough.. Goldman Sachs ..cough)

Posted by Matt H | Report as abusive

Simple explanation:
1. Narcissistic people have a hard time accepting that not everyone loves and admires them
2. Fox is taking advantage of this fact

As Bill Ockham used to say: -”Keep it simple!”

Posted by Ockam's razor | Report as abusive

Fox new is great entertainment. I look to CBC or Reuters for real news. Fox is just fun at times- however only for a bit since the commentators are not only ignorant they have annoying whiny voices.

Still – they are fun to watch. I don’t know why someone intelligent like Obama gives them so much credit.

I guess they are concerned all the hate radio/TV will be taken seriously and create some internal terrorist groups.

If those religious right nuts watch Fox – I guess enough said. They are the next terrorist group uprising from the ignorance and hatred.

It would be great reality T.V. to have the religious right nuts here and the moslem nuts in the middle east set on an island with nothing but the cloths on their back. The first tribe to kill someone from the other tribe wins a million dollars. Wow the one on one comments with the camera would really reveal our inner beasts.

Posted by Various Animal | Report as abusive

I would have thought more out of a Reuters reporter than to just quote one liberally biased newspaper even if this is your opinion only. You lost all credibility from one reference.

Posted by Barry Smith | Report as abusive

Fox’s ratings are increasing because they are more reflective of what people are thinking than the other news station. The white house is taking them on because they see Fox as being effective as the only opposition. Obama wants control of the media as all socialists and dictators do because it furthers their agenda to have no opposition. Fortunately for America we have free speach.

Posted by Tran | Report as abusive

So Fox News is “the dominant cable news organisation.” Fox News has “more than twice the combined number of its nearest competitors, CNN and MSNBC, both of which suffered considerable audience declines.” Conservative talk radio is huge. Just look at Limbaugh’s salary. The conservative blogsphere is also huge. Those are all media outlets.
Then what is this liberal media that conservatives complain about? Do they want all opinions to be agreeable to theirs?

Posted by Jim | Report as abusive

The Right Wing Conservatives are a mortal danger, not to Obama, but a mortal danger to the United States of America. Bill Cosby once said that he did not like the Archie Bunker character because he never learned anything.
Extend that to all the idiots who watch Fox News and you get my meaning. Fox News appeals to threatened and thus angry white people and I think they will do anything to keep power and Fox News feeds their frenzy. I for one do not underestimate how dangerous Fox News is. I think the FCC should pull the plug on Fox and all of “talk radio”. It has gotten completely out of hand. It is now a national security issue.

What is news? What is right? How do you or I know that what is being said on ANY network is true?

Do you know what is going on inside Rush’s head? Obama’s? How is it that we are so certain one way or another that what we hear on these networks is truth or half truths?

Step back for a moment and think about it. It is a desire of knowledge that drives us to seek what is happening in the world, but the truth is that we are so far removed from the upper echelons that we will never fully know why things are the way they are, and if what Rush or Obama (or anyone for that matter) are saying is the unfettered truth.

Be an individual, be objective, be independent, get your information from more than one source.

Posted by News? | Report as abusive

The ignorance in these comments is immense. #1 There is no Obama-Care. Obama is open to the best possible change to what we have now, which is terrible by any realistic international comaprison. #2 The White House is nowhere near shutting down Fox. Folks your President has an advanced degree in Constitutional Law, and you don’t. He believes in America, and that means real media, not Faux News. When they say it’s “not legitimate”, that’s an opinion, and it’s Free Speech. The Right Wingers are so full of fear they can’t hear anything accurately. #4 We already cover everyone, it’s a latter of how we do it. #3 John Kerry let the critics run wild, Obama will not. That’s a smart move no matter the short terms polling or radical fear from the Right, who does … let’s remember ….”want him to fail”.

Posted by Brian | Report as abusive

Surely our minds have forgotten the absurdity that came from the vocal minority (Republicans) at town hall meetings, yes? I agree though, FOX is an entertainment company, responding to the jokers who they somehow get to provide political “insight” merely gives them attention they don’t deserve. As much as I hear of Beck and Limbaugh in the news, I have yet to ever give them any of my time. Anyone whose followers are known as “dittoheads” has nothing to provide to me. When I want political commentary, I watch the Daily Show and the Colbert Report…you know “critically aclaimed” political entertainment by people with functioning gray matter.

Posted by Justin | Report as abusive

Mr. Debusmann,

Fox News may actually have MORE than one purpose. Certainly, it is historical fact that many successful institutions have several purposes at the same time.

Thus, Fox News may be a show business purpose as well as a political purpose. It does not have to be one or the other.

Mr. Murdoch and his super-rich minions–Beck, Hannity, O’Reilly, Limbaugh, et al.–are directing the nation’s anger toward the government rather than to the people who run the country through the government–the super-rich. Change the government? The super-rich remain.

What is really going on in this country, as usual, is complex. Fox’s audience does not seek complexity. It seeks simplicity, which is both more entertaining (one purpose) and more effective as political propaganda (a second purpose).

Rather than announce its enemy, the administration would do better to undermine its enemy. Unfortunately, or fortunately, the administration itself also serves the interests of the super-rich. Thus, its apparent ineffectiveness is an intentional ineffectiveness, not ignorance at all.

In the UnUnited States, money pulls ALL the strings.

Posted by Rick Wrap | Report as abusive

“Obama’s job is to appeal to the Centrists, because they are the people who decide the election?????”

He’s not making it.

In my memory, the only other Democratic president to “out-socialist” Obama was Franklin D. Roosevelt. The difference is that FDR drew the ire of our “industrialites” by trying to help people, not big business.

Posted by Bob Walton | Report as abusive

Talk about sensationalism! Goebbels, Chavez?? The increase in Fox’s success is not so much the result of a few traded blows between the Administration and the Fox bobble-heads but that fact that Fox News has an opposition agenda and most people prefer slander vs. unbiased or proponent news. Look the increased success of the Daily Show, the Colbert Report, Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow during the Bush years. Those shows galvanized their success through criticism and mockery. More amusingly though, the success of those shows continues today by making fodder out of the prattle that comes from the Right Wing New Station. So, thank-you to the Administration. By encouraging Fox News you have made more hilarious material for the liberal pundits.

if it was more profitable to ACTUALLY display an objective stance on news, i’m sure the news networks would be far more factual and overall less bias. however, this is not the case, so we are left in this sh*tstorm of rival networks. it has become so incredibly difficult for people to find a non-biased, factual and OBJECTIVE news network to watch, so people will listen to whoever says what they want to hear, not necessarily who is reporting the NEWS.

Posted by clay | Report as abusive

What happened to the lucrative business of Obama infomercials and Obama lie peddling? Supply and demand I guess. The supply of Obama infomercials and lie peddlers are so high they are through the roof but the demand for his infomercials and lies is lowering. The new demand is going to be for the truth. The truth supply is low but the demand is high.

Supply and demand.

All the other news networks road high on lying to the American people throughout the presidential campaigns, throughout Obama’s presidency all for profit in the business of sensational reporting and Obama lie peddling in order to cash in on those Obama kool aid drinkers and influencing American policy to get more money. Obama infomercials and Obama lie peddlers are numurous in selling their wares but their not supplying the people with the truth of the negative Obama side effects just the lying act that Obama wants them to show.

So the nbc, abc, cnn and msnbc corrupt networks have a lot of Obama infomercial and lie supply but the demand is dwindling as more people search for the real goings on in Washington and the reality and truth of the issues both on the good side and bad sides of implementation of failed policies.

the days of praise Obama and don’t ask questions or stand against his bad ideas are dwindling as more people seek reality, truth and take a stand for America. We need it. About time. For everyone who has just woke up and stopped thinking what Obama, Gore and Bush tell you to and are just now joining the real situation at hand, Welcome! We need your help.

Posted by CJ | Report as abusive

the obama administration is the biggest bunch of cry babies I have ever seen. wah wah fox news doesn’t like me! all of the other news organizations worship him so i guess they expect everyone to worship him. We really need an adult in the white house again. after all the abuse george bush took, he still did interviews with msnbc. He did this because he believed in his policies and wasn’t afraid to defend them. obama has no faith in his polices and is afraid to be challenged. people in this country need to wake up. vote this whining, childish, socialist administration out in 2012. and by the way the poll dicussed in this story above isn’t accurate. 33% polled were democrats compared to 20% rebublicans. that means 1 out of every 3 polled where dems and only 1 out of 5 were repubs. also look at the way they worded the question. you can’t be that biased and expect to get an accurate poll but look where its coming from. the washington post/ABC both in the pocket of the obama administration. this is scary stuff folks. its called state controlled media very much like fidel castro in cuba. maybe thats what america is turning into.

Posted by I HATE LIBERALS!!! | Report as abusive

You know when Fox and Lumbah out there spreading their trash they are trying to cover up for the biggest robbery of all mankind where the pervious admin Bush and the Gang of four bankrupted this country to line up their own pockets. If there is any justice, all the criminals who lied to enrich themselves by starting an illegal war, to jack up the price of gas at the Pump to more than four dollars per gallon, they all should stand trial on betraying this great country. I think this administration should appoint a group of independent investigators to go through the mess that we inherited and name those perpetrators and let the American people to decide what the punishments should be.

Let all they call themselves conservatives move to a location where they are happy to pay 4 dollars a gallon, they all have guns and pissed off at the entire world, and while at it just for fun let them go to wars with their own kids fighting and dieing, using real machine guns and tanks and fighter jets that they were happy to pay more taxes to support having them. I’m sure all the insurance companies will be happy to move there with them to deny them all heath insurance, and collect premiums so they can keep their bank accounts overseas stacked-up.

I urge every lawyer in this country to file a law suit against Fox Group and Lumbah to compel them to be responsible and identify their backers.

Posted by dan | Report as abusive

Well, to ignore could be an approach to this bias Faux Network.

Although, since they are feading hours of simply wrong information or bias manipulated facts to the American people, regarding Obama’s Administration, a statement telling the American viewer what they can expect from that network is worth a try.

Well, keep it simple:

1) Fox is following a extrem-right agenda.

2) Rush doesn’t care with Americans, he only cares with low taxes for the rich – like Bush provided – for is $38 million a year! ;)

3) Shame on Fox, standing with the President of the United States NO MATTER WHAT, was their modo, what happened? HIPOCRASY happened! Read your Bible Fox, see what God thinks of hipocrits!

4) Check the facts Americans!

5) Be informed, select your information sources, and stay out of issues that really don’t have matter, like if Obama is a muslin or not! Really doesn’t matter if the man can pull you guys of the crisis and give you job and a better living.



Fox News stinks. Anybody who would watch it needs their head examined.

Posted by kelliann | Report as abusive

Bernd, I am just so glad you have dethroned the dollar-bashers. Phew, nice to see a new face up there in the number 1 spot. I nearly changed to Fox.

Posted by Casper | Report as abusive

Beck tells the truth most of the time?

Beck doesn’t do truth. Just like all the far righties. They think that knowledge and the truth are uppity.

And they’ve told us so often.

Posted by Marcia C | Report as abusive