Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Conservative Viewpoint
- Obama Is Foolish
To Ignore Fox News

Article by Bob Steinburg
- Edenton, North Carolina: Cradle of the Colony

When I was in marketing I was often sought for guidance by retailers seeking to expand their business into another area. Selecting the right location was one of their most important decisions. Getting it wrong could lead to financial catastrophe.

I’d always ask my expansion minded clients the following: If faced with a choice between locating your new store on a side of town where most of your competition would be, or on the opposite side of town with little or none, which would you choose? Invariably the answer was this: “Why, the side of town where I’d have the least competition, of course.” This seemingly logical answer is a primary reason why many retail ventures fail.

Ideally, a retail business needs to be located in an area where most folks are shopping for the products you sell. There you will find more potential customers than you ever would, had you chosen to avoid the competition by locating elsewhere. It’s always about the numbers.

White House Communications Director Anita Dunn is ignoring what the rest of the country knows. Instead of using the most watched network in cable news, the Fox News network, as an additional venue for her party’s message, she and President Barack Obama are avoiding and excoriating them.

Dunn recently told CNN’s “Reliable Sources” that Fox News operates “… almost as either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party. We’re going to treat them the way we would treat an opponent.”

Obama is no fan of Fox. Commentators like Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck have been tough critics of his. Bill O’Reilly has also been rough on this administration. While most viewers have little trouble discerning between the aforementioned opinion shows and Fox’s news programming with the likes of Brett Baier and Shepherd Smith, the White House apparently views them as one in the same.

No such distinctions are drawn by Obama with other cable news outlets. Keith Olbermann, Chris Mathews and Rachel Maddow of MSNBC also have opinion shows and they regularly trash conservatives or anyone else daring to oppose this president and/or his agenda. Instead, they hold up almost any initiative undertaken by Obama and the Democrats with little objectivity or criticism.

Is criticism of the conventional media valid? A new Pew Research Poll found the public is losing faith in the mainstream media. Why? Because most folks no longer trust these news organizations to cover stories objectively or responsibly.

Two huge recent stories escaped the microscopic lens of supposed investigative journalists at mainstream media outlets. They were all scooped by Fox. One story involved the outing of Obama’s former green jobs czar Van Jones, an avowed Communist who abruptly resigned amid a firestorm of controversy. By the time the mainstream media picked up the story, Jones was already on his way out the door.

Then there was the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now (ACORN) scandal. Two young independent filmmakers presented themselves to various ACORN offices around the country as a pimp and his prostitute. They were seeking help from ACORN on how best to set up their bordello. They even feigned expanding this purported illegitimate enterprise by saying they intended to bring underage girls into the country as prostitutes. ACORN officials, without the blink of an eye, told them how to get around civil, criminal and tax laws that could lead to their detection and arrest. Because of this exposé shown only on Fox News, government funding for ACORN was cut off in spite of a few members of Congress like Rep. G. K. Butterfield, D-N. C., who incredulously voted to continue funding for ACORN.

Fox News, which has dominated cable news for the last few years, is only growing stronger. The numbers from Mediaite.com, a company that monitors viewership, suggest the White House’s attacks on Fox are helping it attract new viewers. Fox trounces the competition in prime time in the all important 25-54 age demographic. Fox has three times more viewers than MSNBC and almost five times the viewers of CNN during prime time. O’Reilly, Beck and Hannity’s numbers are even more daunting.

Last month Obama appeared on the entire major network Sunday talk show circuit-except for Fox News Sunday. That shows host Chris Wallace later called this administration “the biggest bunch of crybabies I have dealt with in my 30 years in Washington.” Wallace is certainly someone who should know. Son of legendary broadcast journalist Mike Wallace, 62-year old Chris formerly worked for NBC and ABC News. He also was a moderator of Meet the Press.

Like the retailer who should locate his new store where the customers are, so too should Obama sell his message where the majority of viewers are. Fox has already wooed former ABC News co-host of 20/20 John Stossel to its network and is reportedly in discussions with CNN’s Lou Dobbs. Fox is not going away. The sooner Obama acknowledges that and begins to include Fox in his news mix, the better his chance of reaching a large segment of America he’s currently not connecting with.


At 2:49 PM , Blogger Dean Stephens said...

It is appearing more obvious that the so-called end of funding ACORN was merely a smoke screen, and that money continues to flow to this group as it did before.


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