Pioneering ‘We-don’t-agree-with-you’ TV: Judging from FOX’s coverage of the Obama Las Vegas immigration speech, here’s how the network will attempt the tricky task of fooling its conservative audience into supporting an amnesty–or at least into not noticing that FOX is supporting an amnesty:
1) Play up Hero Rubio;
2) Play up the battle between the Obama plan and the Rubio/Gang of 8 plan, even though there atually isn’t a lot of difference between them (as both President Obama and Sen McCain have admitted);
3) Play up the issue of “citizenship,” as opposed to the far more important issue of legalization (the ability to live and work here)–thereby avoiding too frequently acknowledging that the Rubio/Gang of 8 plan offers illegal immigrants immediate legalization, which is 95% of the amnesty ballgame;
4) Play up stagey demands (by Rubio and other Republicans) for border ”enforcement” before citizenship–even though there’s a much greater chance of enforcement efforts breaking down, as they did after the ’86 reform, if the anti-enforcement side already has what it most wants, namely legalization (which will inevitably lead to citizenship no matter what happens with enforcement);
5) Don’t put dissenters on the air. (The FOX Studio B post-speech analysis featured a Democratic supporter of amnesty and a Republican who called the Rubio amnesty “good legislation”). ….
P.S.: President Obama recently lamented
If a Republican member of Congress is not punished on Fox News or by Rush Limbaugh for working with a Democrat on a bill of common interest, then you’ll see more of them doing it.”
With Fox now seemingly neutralized on the immigration issue, we may see if he’s right. …
P.P.S.: NPR’s initial coverage of the Rubio Plan was way more conservative (and balanced) …
(Links in original).
I remember that Kaus was skeptical of Fox`s bona fides during the previous amnesty push. He felt it was putting the interests of the Republican Party Establishment over those of its conservative viewers. This led Kaus recently to say it`s “Time for a new Fox.”
It`s possible that some viewers feel that way, too. According The Week, “The conservative news outlet is suffering its worst ratings in 12 years.”