divide and conquer
Posted by Peter Feld on October 26, 2009 02:15 PM
Liberals and conservatives agree: the Obama Administration's recent campaign to delegitimize Fox News Channel as a news source is a huge boost to the Fox News Channel brand.
Fox's success shows the rewards for cable news networks of building engagement among a dedicated base of diehards, following the vaunted "80-20 rule" that says that 80% of a channel's ratings come from 20% of its audience. Keeping the core audience tuned in for repetitive programming that confirms their beliefs turns out to be the recipe for success. That it has transformed US politics is a mere side-effect. (The 80-20 rule probably caused Bill Clinton's impeachment in 1998, when FNC rode the Lewinsky scandal to ratings glory.)
The latest controversy began in early October, when White House media advisor Anita Dunn rounded the talk shows to argue that Fox -- which has been attacking Obama all year -- "often operates almost as either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party."Continue reading...