Fox News had a terrific run for 25 years, I’ll say that much. Whether it is over now, I don’t pretend to know, but I think the recent “damning moment” which occurred last week when it was revealed that internal emails and texts proved that the main players at Fox News never believed for a moment that the 2020 election was stolen, is going to dictate a course change at the very least.
And what might that course change entail? Fox News is between a rock and a hard place. They’ve got even farther right-wing outlets like Newsmax and OAN chasing them, but they still remain the main organ for right-wing outrage.
Democracy Now does an analysis of the situation which is worth watch. It runs a little over seven minutes.
The meaningful exchange which took place here was towards the end. This is all a financial matter to Fox News. That’s what Fox News is, is a money making machine. Other media outlets at least started out as legitimate news organizations, with profit a secondary consideration. Among networks, it’s well known that the news division loses money and that’s expected. Entertainment helps balance the books. Fox News, on the other hand, started out as what it is, a televised tabloid, designed to make a profit and gin up right-wing outrage.
The meaningful exchange I refer to has to do with the actual finances of this situation. Dominion is suing Fox for a billion and a half dollars. Fox has annual revenues of $14 billion so it may very well consider that paying out the $1.4, $1.6 billion, is actually going to be the cost of doing business. That’s a hit that Fox News can take and still stay in business.
It may be as simple as that. So what if you find yourself 10% broker one day than you were the day before, if you’re flying at that altitude? Elon Musk lost a lot of money buying Twitter but when you’re literally the richest man on the planet, you can put your ego and your personal whim above money.
If I had to guess at this point, I would guess that Fox News might well pay off Dominion, make them whole, and then go forward in the future somewhat chastened, but still in business.
Another alternative is that the Fairness Doctrine comes back into being and at this point, after 25 years of the madness we’ve endured without it, and the money that people have made off of its not being there, I don’t know if there’s a strong likelihood that would happen. We live in a culture where profit trumps morality, always. Unfortunate, but true.