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Michael Conniff

Michael Conniff

Posted: July 30, 2010 08:13 PM

Fox News, The Segregated Channel

What's Your Reaction:

The anchors on Fox News--both male and blonde--are quite happy to bloviate non-stop when they beat the "left-wing" competition in the ratings hands-down.

Now we know how they do it: by all but eliminating blacks from its viewing audience, Fox has been able to deliver a white demographic not seen on television since the last NASCAR race. Advertisers haven't been this happy since "Mad Men" did an Emmy double-dip.

In case you missed the latest breaking bulletin from the culture wars--ka-ching!--Fox attributes its success to blacks who constitute just 2 percent of its viewing audience not counting Shirley Sherrod, their latest African-American scalp--but including Michael Steele, the foot-in-mouth chair of the Republican National Committee (RNC). There are most likely more blacks who have actually been on Fox News than have actually watched America's #1 cable news channel.

Is this a cause for hand-wringing at Fox, or the corporate equivalent of the Gannett Corp.'s pledge to put people of color on the front page of their newspapers everywhere regardless of their representation in the general population? Foggedaboudit! Fox has created a programming trail mix--crumbs marking a way of life, really--so repugnant to blacks that they flip by the channel with scarcely a blip.

Can you blame blacks for boycotting Fox, the fossil fuel of the Right? Conservatives want to bring back the good old days in America: on Fox the patter is turned to turning back the clock--of returning America to a simpler time before the civil rights movement.

Exhibit A has to be the changes made by the state of Texas to de-emphasize Martin Luther King Jr. in favor of anti-feminazi Phyllis Schafly. All the Fox talk about the danger to the American way of life--and the re-writing of American history--is nothing but code for blacks and now Mexicans coming to get the good white folk who made this country great. Rape and pillage got nothing on welfare and entitlements.

The Tea Party, of course, is notoriously and almost exclusively white, and its racist fringe has been well-documented. But dissing blacks and promoting the Tea Party has been very, very good for Fox's bottom line. No time to stop now, not while hate remains a growth industry. The numbers don't lie, not even on Fox.