Fox News has changed the rules. Now the press needs to change the way it covers Fox News.
Rupert Murdoch's cable cabal is now, first and foremost, a political entity. Fox News has transformed itself into the opposition party to the Obama White House, which, of course, is unprecedented for a media company in modern day America. That partisan embrace means the news media have to expand beyond typing up Fox News-ratings-are-up and the White-House-is-angry stories, and it needs to start treating the cable channel for what it is: a partisan animal.
The press needs to drop its longstanding gentleman's agreement not to write about other news outlets as news players -- not to get bogged down in criticizing the competition -- because those newsroom rules no longer apply. Fox News has exited the journalism community this year. It's a purely political player, and journalists ought to start covering it that way. The press needs to treat Fox News the same way it treats the Republican National Committee, even though, frankly, the RNC probably can't match the in-your-face partisanship that Fox News flaunts 24/7.
I understand Fox News still wants to enjoy the benefits of being seen as a news operation. It still wants the trappings and the professional protections that go with it. But it no longer functions as a news outlet, so why does the rest of the press naively treat it that way?
Fox News is now at the forefront of a political movement.
Read the entire Media Matters column here.