Fox News has been a blessing for conservatives fed up with the tired liberal lies of the so-called mainstream media. And though the channel has been successful for nearly its entire history, 2014 kept the juggernaut rolling in a big way. Competing against CNN and MSNBC, the conservative-leaning channel demolished the competition. Of course, Fox News could play nothing but reruns of old Cronkite newscasts and still come out ahead of the other two awful excuses for cable journalism.
Particularly on the decline is CNN. Though the Ted Turner brainchild always had the typical left-wing bent expected of American news, they decided 2014 was the year they were going to turn themselves into a complete joke. With their Naked Gun-esque coverage of the MH370 mystery, their sickeningly-biased approach to the Ferguson case, and – according to some – the worst journalist of the year (Don Lemon) hosting in primetime, CNN shed the last remaining remnants of a once-decent reputation.
MSNBC doesn’t really have a reputation to lose, but 2014 was another bad year for the unabashed liberals over there as well. A recent survey of the three cable news networks exposed MSNBC has having the least actual “news” of any of them; according to the investigation, only 15% of their total content fits that definition. The rest is opinion, and it’s apparently not an opinion too many Americans care to hear. With a dreadful lineup that includes the illiterate Al Sharpton, the insufferable Chris Hayes, and the unwatchable Ronan Farrow, the network continues to struggle. Even Rachel Maddow, who at least brings some semblance of intelligence to the table, is hemorrhaging viewers who have grown tired of the channel’s unrelenting liberalism.
The 2014 total daily viewer averages look like this:
Fox News: 1,052,000
As you can see, Fox News isn’t in danger of being caught anytime soon. And that brings up a good question: if America is really split down the middle the way the polls always show, why is Fox News so much more popular than its liberal-leaning competitors? Is it because liberals don’t watch TV? Is it because Fox News does a better job of delivering some actual news to go with their opinion shows?
I think it might be a little of both, but the more important factor may be a simpler one: Fox News is still – many years after its debut – a complete anomaly on television. Nowhere else can conservatives go on the dial to hear intelligent conversations without the usual liberal narrative. Sure, there are a handful of reality shows that feature conservatives, but you’re hardly going to turn on 19 Kids and Counting for a recap of the day’s events.
Fox News did something extraordinary and special when they came on the air, and they remain committed to that mission today. Plus, even a liberal would have to admit that Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity are a hell of a lot more entertaining than Al Sharpton and Chris Hayes. And, frankly, Megyn Kelly is a lot easier on the eyes than any of them.
Cable news is down in numbers altogether this year, and that trend is probably not going to reverse itself. With more and more people cutting the cord, turning to independent media outlets, and using the Internet for their news, cable in general is probably not long for this world. In the meantime, CNN and MSNBC had better think up a new strategy. “Be less ridiculous” might be a good place to start.