Dumb Politics, Smart Business
“[In 1996], Fox launched just a few months after MSNBC, which--due to the backing of Microsoft and NBC News--was deemed by media critics as a more credible competitor to CNN. But Murdoch had given Ailes a mandate: Do whatever you can to beat CNN. And Ailes thought he had a solid strategy to do so, reasoning that the conservative hordes who flocked to talk radio were being underserved by CNN, which had a perceived liberal bias. Give those conservatives a home on cable TV, Aisles' reasoning went, one that serves up both openly conservative opinion and conservative-slanted reporting that is thinly veiled as ”straight“ news, and they'll become habitual watchers.”
-- Joe Muto, “An Atheist in the FOXhole: A Liberal's Eight-Year Odyssey Inside the Heart of the Right-Wing Media,” pg. 57. (Yes, I'm reading this book at lunch every day.)
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