Overconfidence is a killer. Arrogance is worse. People love humility and hate arrogance, yet arrogance has been on the rise at Fox News for years. What’s really sad is that one gets the impression that neither Sir Roger nor King Rupert have a clue.
When I first discovered Fox News back in the late nineties, it was like finding a long, lost friend. Fair and balanced — what a great motto. But I was led to believe that “fair and balanced” meant Fox would be a conservative counterbalance to the corrupt, left-wing media that shills for the Dirty Dems.
I drank the Fox Kool-Aid for years, but along the way I had to eliminate one commentator after another and mute out an increasing number of “contributors.” I refer to them collectively as The Unwatchables — people I simply cannot bring myself to watch. They include such obnoxious (and, in some cases, stupid) folks as Bernie Goldberg, Kirsten Powers, Juan Williams, Steve Hayes, and Greta, to name but a few.
I pulled the plug on Greta about seven or eight years ago. There is no way to rationally explain why the woman has been on Fox all these years. She is the living definition of an “accident of history,” having made her mark as a staunch defender of O.J. after he nearly decapitated his ex-wife and butchered Ron Goldman to death. That Sir Roger could make Greta into a star is a testament to just how weak the competition has been in her timeslot over the years.
Then, a few years ago, I cut way back on the annoyingly rude and boringly repetitious Sean Hannity. And, more recently, I threw in the towel and black-listed the worst of the worst, shrieking Megyn Kelly, who has made an art out of lavishing praise on herself. It’s enough to make even the most fair-minded viewer gag.
More: I gave “The Five,” one of the dumbest shows on television, the boot after its first few months on the air, followed a short time later by “Special Report with Bret Baier.” Baier seems like a nice enough young fellow, but he’s dull.
Worse, his panel has become a parade of far-left talking heads like former “Meet the Press” host David Gregory, Washington Post editorial writer Charles Lane, and The Hill columnist A.B. Stoddard. Apparently, Fox believes that these lefties balance out the pompous establishment types like George Will, Charles Krauthammer, and the aforementioned Steve Hayes.
The bottom line is that as Fox News’ goal of gaining entrance into the mainstream-media club became more and more apparent, I became more and more disillusioned. In all honesty, I was about to give up on television altogether.
Then, in a wildly impulsive moment, I turned on — gasp! — that media dinosaur from Ted Turner’s past, CNN, and what a pleasant surprise I got. After buying into the narrative that CNN was in the tank for the far left for years, I found that a goodly number of its commentators were reasonable, fair-minded, and much easier to digest than Fox’s arrogant lineup of anchors and contributors.
I wouldn’t say CNN is conservative by any means, but, to be honest with you, I’m tired of hearing about “conservatism.” Conservatism has become a malleable word that media phonies and politicians mold to fit their own agendas.
I’ve actually learned to like Don Lemon (who seems to have shed his liberal bias and become a pretty fair, and very good, anchor) and Anderson Cooper, who, while not an exciting personality, comes across as a nice guy and a very good interviewer.
I also like Michael Smerconish, Alisyn Camerota (formerly with Fox), John Berman, Dana Bash, John King, Gloria Borger, and Jake Tapper. Even Chris Cuomo makes a serious effort to be down the middle.
And, of course, there’s Wolf Blitzer, now approaching his 176th birthday. Blitzer is almost as dull as Greta, but better looking. What I like about him is that he’s a serious commentator who doesn’t try to make himself part of the news like so many folks at Fox do. He gives you the news straight on, with no frills.
The one anchor at CNN I don’t particularly like is Erin Burnett, whom I suspect of trying to imitate Fox’s Megyn the Malevolent. Someone should clue her in that it’s a huge turnoff. There’s only one Megyn Kelly — thankfully! And once Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch are gone, I suspect she won’t be far behind.
What is glaringly obvious is that the folks at CNN definitely understand the Trump/Sanders phenomenon better than Fox. While George Will, Charles Krauthammer, Steve Hayes, and the rest of the Fox establishment crowd continue to go ballistic over Trump, in particular — never tiring of predicting his demise — most of the folks at CNN have analysed the Trump phenomenon very fairly and accurately.
My rediscovery of CNN — who began the cable news phenomenon in 1980 — has been a healthy reminder to me that things change. I never would have believed that I would become so disgusted with Fox News that I’d return to CNN, just as I never would have believed I would come to see Glenn Beck as a pathetic, lost soul desperately vying for attention.
But, hey, I also never would have believed that a billionaire with no political experience could become a hero to millions of blue-collar workers, evangelicals, and other everyday folks. It’s not only another reminder that no one can predict the future, but also that change can be very exciting.
Love him or hate him — and there are a lot of people in the latter group — no one can seriously deny that Donald Trump has brought excitement to what has always been a very dull process that has been bought and paid for by those in, and those with connections to, the D.C. Crime Syndicate.