Why Fox News Is Really Pleasant and Agreeable

07/26/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

How does Fox News do it? In the face of an incredibly popular Democratic president, a Republican Party and conservative movement in vast disarray, and the natural fall-off for a news network after an intensive election season, Fox News is apparently on track to have its best year ever. WTF?

It's really kind of a blow-out: Fox averages 2.1 million daily viewers; CNN, 805,000 (CNN Headline News adds another 553,000); and MSNBC, 787,000.

What does this say about political trends--just as, particularly alarming for anti-Fox liberals, the president's numbers are beginning to show weakness--and about the television business?

It may, curiously for both politics and for the Fox business model, say little about politics. Fox actually may be forging a post-political and post-right-wing identify. The argument here would be that political audiences behave in extraordinarily predictable ways, none more predictable than everybody losing interest in politics after elections. An election is a bubble; it's an artificial high. Deflation is inevitable. If that doesn't happen, there has to be something else maintaining the focus and passion.

Continue reading on