According to the head of Fox’s news division, Roger Ailes, Fox News has just one conservative on staff (Sean Hannity) and 24 “liberals.”
Well, first, I separate out news from programming. If you’re talking about programming, we noticed that all the talk shows on the other networks basically had progressive or liberal talk show hosts. We have one conservative on FOX News, Sean Hannity. Quite open about it, that’s what he is, that’s what he does, that’s his framework, that’s where he comes from. Others tend to be libertarians or populists or you can’t really tell.
Ailes defended his network, saying he was not politically biased compared with competitors MSNBC and CNN. Ailes said he employs 24 “liberals,” which distinguishes him from those networks who feature fewer dissenting opinions.
Admittedly, the liberal/conservative spectrum is just that, a spectrum. From where Ailes sits, presumably quite comfortably near Mussolini and Pinochet, perhaps Bill O’Reilly and Steve Doocy are liberal, but from where the majority of humanity sits, it’s doubtful, especially with quotes like these:
“But the other thing about her, she does know about international relations because she is right up there in Alaska right next door to Russia.” – Steve Doocy on Sarah Palin
“It’s hard to do it because you gotta look people in the eye and tell ‘em they’re irresponsible and lazy. And who’s gonna wanna do that? Because that’s what poverty is, ladies and gentlemen. In this country, you can succeed if you get educated and work hard. Period. Period.” – Bill O’Reilly
“I thought Newt Gingrich — just seeing him — he’s so competent in all these issues. He’s always leaning forward in terms of ‘I’ll tell you what I would do next as opposed to what just happened’ with his history. I just wish he’d smile more. If he would smile and were a little bit happier, I think he would have hit a home run last night.” – Brian Kilmeade
“not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslim.” – Brian Kilmeade
“The More This President Campaigns On Divisiveness And Enemies Lists, The More He Reminds Me Of Richard Nixon” – Dick Morris
Stimulus “has been a disaster…it is a lie to say that this has been a success for people.” – Greta Van Susteren
“I will actually buy pills to keep a leftist from reproducing.” – Greg Gutfield
Megyn Kelly, one of Fox’s top hosts, once spent two weeks covering a phony scandal involving the four guys that make up the New Black Panther Party.
Perhaps even more telling was when Fox anchor Chris Wallace told Jon Stewart, ”We’re the counterweight (to the mainstream media). They have a liberal agenda, and we tell the other side of the story.”
Perhaps Ailes’ words are more symbolic than anything. His quote makes it appear to sound that “liberal” and “libertarian” are similar ideologies, when almost nothing is further from the truth. Maybe the word ‘conservative’ has taken on a negative connotation, in much the same way as Fox helped vilify the word ‘liberal.’ Maybe, just maybe, Ailes’ move away from that word, a word so proudly touted over the last three decades, means that we are on the cusp of an ideological shift in America; one which recognizes that the government plays an important role in the success of our country; one which recognizes that the poorest among us are not to blame for our woes; one which recognizes that the richest among us are pushing the rest of us down; one which is tired of our infrastructure falling apart; one which is tired of all the government services we need being cut; one that recognizes that teachers and fire fighters are a good thing; one that recognizes that clean air and water are good things; one which recognizes that we are pissed off from being
pissed trickled on.