The "Fox News famous" distraction

National Review’s David French has written an essay airing his grievances against Fox News. He goes on at some length about how powerful Fox is, and how it traps people in a silo of right-wing conversation. He cites Benghazi as an example of a story that would not be in the narrative but for Fox pushing it (his timing on this, given the latest Clinton email discovery, could be better). He warns of the danger of people who want to be “Fox News Famous”, that the network has created a “comfortable conservative cocoon” and describes it as a bubble wherein “Conservatives gain fame, power, and influence mainly by talking to each other” and “they never get a chance to preach to the unconverted.” He singles out Mike Huckabee as a symbol of how Fox warps behavior with the lure of continued influence. He declares that Fox’s problems go to “the very moral and intellectual heart of the conservative movement.”

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French is welcome to his opinion. But isn’t it possible that the problems French identifies with Fox News’s programming are merely reflections of the same problems infecting the rest of the conservative movement, not the cause? Aren’t its nagging issues indistinguishable from the problems plaguing every other conservative movement institution run by older folks for older folks, from think tanks to activist organizations to magazines?

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