Oh sure, staffers and hosts working for Rupert Murdoch are doing their best to convey a sense of grave importance when discussing the historic turmoil playing out in Cairo and throughout Egypt. But you only have to watch Fox News for five or ten minutes to see their hearts just aren't in the story. The usual Fox News juice is completely missing. There's no swagger on-screen these days.
Instead, it's like watching students hand in homework, or little kids eating their vegetables.
It's true. Egypt is killing Fox News' mojo.
Why? The short answer is Fox isn't actually a news-gathering organization in the traditional sense in that it reacts and responds to breaking news around the world. Nor is it one that strives to inform its viewers. It's just not. Instead, Fox News is a political organization. Under Obama, Fox News exists in order to attack Democrats and to try to destroy the Obama presidency, while at the same time boosting Republicans. Period.
Specifically though, here are ten reasons why I think Fox News is just going through the motions when covering Egypt.
1. It's a foreign affairs story, not a domestic politics one.
Admit it, you can count on one hand the number of countries the Fox newsroom cares about and is willing to to cover in any detail. And Egypt is not among them. (I'd suggest America, Israel, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Great Britain make the cut.) The channel devotes a comically small portion of its time and resources to covering the world, which means it's instantly at a disadvantage when news breaks six time zones away. Add in the fact that Fox News usually doesn't care when news breaks six time zones away and you have a recipe for today's somnambulant coverage from Egypt. After all, it took them at least a week to get a correspondent over there to cover the situation on the ground.
2. Obama can't be blamed. Well, not in any kind of coherent way.
Sure, Megyn Kelly wrung her hands about how Obama could "go down in history as the president who lost Egypt." But wait, lost? As in Obama was president when potentially historic, pro-democratic reforms were finally implemented in Egypt? You mean that kind of "lost"? Doesn't hold up very well, does it? Fact is, whenever a big news story is missing a get-Obama angle, Fox News appears adrift and unsure. That's been especially true with its Egypt coverage.
3. It's not a hate-based story that divides Americans.
So far, the uplifting tale about how the Egyptian people are altering the course of their history doesn't really have a villain who Fox News can demonize state-side. Sure, President Hosni Mubarak is starring as the out-of-touch autocratic leader who is being forced from office. But Fox News really prefers stories that pit entire segments of the U.S. population against each other and where paranoia, as well as resentment, are allowed to fester and then be amplified. (Think: Terri Schiavo.)
Read the entire Media Matters column, here.