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July 29, 2004

The Day That Fox Mattered

Brent Bozell wrote something that caught my attention in a recent column about hatred of Fox News and a "documentary" that has emerged as its crystallized form:

When Fox News debuted in 1996, liberals couldn't contain their laughter at what they considered a sophomoric challenge to the dominant media. Then Fox became a pest, the proverbial gnat that wouldn't go away. Ultimately -- almost overnight -- Fox overtook its cable competitors and became king of the hill. Fox became a menace on the media landscape that should have been aborted before birth, a blatantly biased and bullying blight on America.

One would have to check ratings numbers and the like to confirm this, but my sense is that the exact "overnight" was that from September 11 to September 12, 2001. All Fox stations plugged into Fox News for a few days, and I can't be the only American who realized immediately that the network offered a chance to keep up with events without having to sift through agenda-driven distractions and to bite lips over inane liberal commentary. Personified, I couldn't stand to turn, for information about the horrific history unfolding, to the smirky, perky face of Katie Couric.

Thereafter, I went through the not-very-easy process of requesting that Cox Communications, my cable provider, carry Fox News in its regular line up. After calling several employees of the company, I finally learned that the pick-up had already been scheduled for some time in December (as I recall).

I don't know whether a wave of similarly persistent customers brought about that change after 9/11, although it's entirely possible, because it took me about a week of remotivation and effort to make my request. But just think about that: almost instantly, I realized that I could trust Fox News more than I could any other station. What does that say about the news sources with which we'd been living for the previous decades?

Posted by Justin Katz at July 29, 2004 9:23 AM
News Media

I remember the first time I saw Fox News. I had duty on base and had to sleep at the Chief's barracks. They had Fox News and when I woke up in the morning I turned on their Sunday show. I was amazed. Hey they are actual people articulating views that I held. CNN conservatives always seemed to miss the mark of what I wanted to hear from conservatives.

Fox has true conservatives and true liberals on.

Posted by: Jeff Miller at July 29, 2004 10:56 AM

That was it for me. I was especially impressed by Shepard Smith's reporting from NYC: he handled himself very well, with the smoking towers in the background.

Posted by: ELC at July 29, 2004 11:25 AM

I was lucky enough to find Fox on our local cable in 1998 I believe. So, I was able to get 2000 presidential election coverage from them. My mother keeps two tv's on at all times, which drives me crazy in most instances, but during the election recount it was amazing to see the difference in the coverage between Fox and CNN. Also for coverage of the war. I've noticed that hospitals and many motels only carry CNN.

Posted by: Tamara at July 29, 2004 9:12 PM