Political Animal

Blog

February 14, 2012 9:14 AM Fox’s “Shift to the Left”

By Ed Kilgore

So did you know that “Roger Ailes is presiding over a shift to the Left at Fox News”? Me either. But that’s the caption beneath a photo of Ailes at the top of this morning’s lead story at Politico.

But you need to understand the context: The second graph of Keach Hagey’s piece cites as the prime evidence for this “shift to the Left” the current prominence at Fox of Karl Rove and Sean Hannity. Seriously.

Turns out the “shift to the Left” talk is coming mainly from Glenn Beck fans still angry over his departure from Fox, and representatives of various and sundry wingnut media enterprises who are trying to create the impression they are filling recently vacated space. So, no, nothing particularly new is going on at Fox, and any “shift to the left” makes sense only as a relative term for any fixed object that is part of a Republican Party apparatus moving rapidly to the right.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

Comments

  • Peter C on February 14, 2012 9:25 AM:

    Hagey must be using some sort of 'sanity scale'. Karl Rove and Sean Hannity are slightly more sane than Beck, afterall.

  • walt on February 14, 2012 9:30 AM:

    One thing to admire about the American right is its message discipline and battle readiness. They bark about everything they're told to until instructed to be quiet. They're well-trained dogs.

    That's why this little schism is interesting. Maybe there are true believers and, on the other hand, True Believers. Both sides here believe in the Magic R, the goodness of whiteness, and a kick-ass Jesus. Where they don't see eye to eye is some small personal arena where a Glenn Beck is dissed or some other clown from the far-right fringe. Maybe Movement Conservatism is entering its Trotskyite phase.

  • Josef K on February 14, 2012 9:39 AM:

    Example #100 why I don't bother with Politico.

    As for Fox News, mayhap we'll get lucky and the collapse of the Murdochs will drag Ailes down with them. Unlikely I know, but one can dream.

  • c u n d gulag on February 14, 2012 9:57 AM:

    Yes, after Beck left, FOX "News" has shifted to the left.

    In the same way that after Hitler committed suicide, Admiral Karl Doenitz looked like Thomas Jefferson in comparison.*

    Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesh...

    *Godwin forgive me.

  • DRF on February 14, 2012 10:05 AM:

    In all fairness to Politico:

    (1) It makes it clear in the article that the shift "left" is relative and needs to be taken in context. In fact, in the article, it's the critics of Fox's move that term it a move to the "left".

    (2) The article doesn't suggest that Hannity represents a shift; it does refer to O'Reilly expressing some more moderate thoughts than Fox is usually credited with, the hiring of a couple of gay female liberals, a focus on more straight news reporting, and, yes, the hiring of Karl Rove. Despicable as Rove is, he is pretty clearly closer to the center than the rabid right wing of the GOP that Beck catered to.

    Whether all of this really represents a significant shift is debatable, buth the article does identify what might be a trend.

  • Kathryn on February 14, 2012 10:20 AM:

    If anyone missed The Daily Show last night, suggest you watch it rerun today. Jon Stewart ripped into the contraception controversy effectively. Particularly cringe inducing tape of an all male panel, complete with a young priest ready to die for his beliefs (no pill edict) with Sean Hannity asking the leading questions. I never watch FOX ( surprise) but this tape would have been perfect for The Onion.

  • stevio on February 14, 2012 10:21 AM:

    Shift to the "left"...

    Hmmmm. Sort of like trying to convince someone Alfred E. Neumann is worried...

  • Trollop on February 14, 2012 10:21 AM:

    OMG.. This is the best Valentines present ever!
    I love you crazy Glenn Beck fans!!

  • victory on February 14, 2012 10:27 AM:

    I also right wing militia wackos are going softer too. They are lessening their armament by putting down their AK-47s and instead picking up Kalashnikovs.

  • artsmith on February 14, 2012 10:51 AM:

    victory: umm, not to nitpick, but do you realize that the "K" in AK-47 STANDS for "Kalashnikov"? Granted, your comment might be correct if they put down their Czech-made AKs in favor of some REALLY cheaply made version... But as in the Fox "move to the left," this is really a distinction without a difference.

  • Geds on February 14, 2012 12:08 PM:

    artsmith @10:51: victory: umm, not to nitpick, but do you realize that the "K" in AK-47 STANDS for "Kalashnikov"? Granted, your comment might be correct if they put down their Czech-made AKs in favor of some REALLY cheaply made version... But as in the Fox "move to the left," this is really a distinction without a difference.

    Funny. I assumed the distinction about difference was what made the joke funny...

  • exlibra on February 14, 2012 12:14 PM:

    It's a typo; it was supposed to have been "shit to the left". Ie business as usual, for Faux.