How Fox News Changed American Media and Political Dynamics

21 Pages Posted: 11 May 2015 Last revised: 4 Jun 2015

Bruce Bartlett

Independent

Date Written: June 3, 2015

Abstract

The creation of Fox News in 1996 was an event of deep, yet unappreciated, political and historical importance. For the first time, there was a news source available virtually everywhere in the United States, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with a conservative tilt. Finally, conservatives did not have to seek out bits of news favorable to their point of view in liberal publications or in small magazines and newsletters. Like someone dying of thirst in the desert, conservatives drank heavily from the Fox waters. Soon, it became the dominant – and in many cases, virtually the only – major news source for millions of Americans. This has had profound political implications that are only starting to be appreciated. Indeed, it can almost be called self-brainwashing – many conservatives now refuse to even listen to any news or opinion not vetted through Fox, and to believe whatever appears on it as the gospel truth.

Keywords: cable news, Rupert Murdoch, Fox News, media bias, talk radio

JEL Classification: L82, M14

Suggested Citation

Bartlett, Bruce, How Fox News Changed American Media and Political Dynamics (June 3, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2604679 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2604679

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