If It Can Happen at Fox News …

What is happening at Fox News has happened to most of so-called journalism in America. It is what happened to the Republican party. It is what gave rise to President Donald J. Trump.

The establishment does not appreciate this because they are the heart of the problem. As Rupert Murdoch’s two sons, James and Lachlan, consolidate control of their father’s media empire, their establishment tendencies increasingly take root within the news network their father began, as a firebrand operation, just over twenty years ago.

Fox News deviated from the faux-journalism of the New York Times, the three major networks and their minions; and Fox thereby developed a following both loyal and determined. If that following determines that Fox is no longer loyal to them, they will increasingly look elsewhere for their news and information.

The targeting of non-establishment voices at Fox is well underway. Glenn Beck got the hook several years ago. In recent months, Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly (aside from Brit Hume, the two most significant figures in Fox News’ history) have been ushered from the network they helped establish and led into the stratosphere. Some say that Sean Hannity, a sometimes strident voice on the political right, is the new target of establishment house-cleaners, though he appears determined to fight back with every fiber. Good for him … and he had better.

The trend at Fox is not within a vacuum. Establishment consolidation is underway across the spectrum of U.S. media, and that includes so-called journalism. Consider this story from Politico, regarding the intense isolation of the media from the rest of the country, and a relevant excerpt, as relates to the 2016 presidential election: Nearly 90 percent of all internet publishing employees work in a county where Clinton won, and 75 percent of them work in a county that she won by more than 30 percentage points. When you add in the shrinking number of newspaper jobs, 72 percent of all internet publishing or newspaper employees work in a county that Clinton won. By this measure, of course, Clinton was the national media’s candidate.

The liberal establishment has long known their greatest political advantage is a vastly dominant influence over the mass dissemination of news and information. The most significant outlier to that dominance is Fox News. Thus, a new strategy — If you can’t beat Fox, get Fox to join you.

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Mr. Romney … Please

No less venerable a source than Bill O’Reilly, of Fox News, has reported that Mitt Romney is considering yet another run for the presidency … seriously.

Let’s be clear, I am solidly with the 45% of Americans who, according to a recent Quinnipiac University poll, think America would be better off if Governor Romney were in the White House right now, instead of President Obama (who garnered a mere 38%). Having said that, here’s some unsolicited advice for Mr. Romney.

Overly cautious in your execution of inherently flawed strategies in 2012, you lost to an extremely vulnerable, highly beatable incumbent. And that was your second try at the presidency. Don’t expect a third effort to be a charmed walk in the park. The forces that aligned against you in 2012, so as to award Mr. Obama his second term, will line up once again if Hillary Clinton needs them.

Of course, if Hillary does not run in 2012, and she may well decide not to, then the calculation changes somewhat in your favor. And there is the factor of your having already weathered the withering negative storm that Obama and his left-wing media allies launched against you last time around — now on the other side of that storm, rehabilitated by the successful documentary, Mitt, which portrayed you in a favorable light, you may now actually be stronger than ever.

Please, continue to comment publicly on matters of national policy. That is welcomed. But as to running for high office once again, you cannot afford to be so half-hearted as you were in 2012, or you’ll suffer a similar outcome, and perhaps ruin the Republican party in the process. Follow this advice at your own peril … probably best to move on and leave the field open to other viable contenders.