Republican Party Gave First Presidential Debate to Fox News as Political Payoff

Friday, August 7, 2015
By Paul Martin

by Eric Zuesse
WashingtonsBlog.com
August 6, 2015

Millions of especially non-Republicans on Thursday night were disappointed to find that they couldn’t access the first Republican Presidential debate because they don’t subscribe to the Fox News Channel, the Republican Party’s news channel.

Immediately, Newsweek posted an announcement explaining:

Fox News is making it difficult to watch the first 2016 GOP presidential debate online. If you have a cable account, you can sign in to Fox New’s website and watch a live stream here. The Fox News app is available for smartphones and game consoles as well, allowing viewers with cable accounts to watch on the go, but also only if you have a subscription to cable. … Fox is closely protecting the only legal stream option, and heavily restricted the venue’s audience.

In other words: FNC was using this Presidential debate primarily to make money, not primarily to inform voters, nor to help the Republican Party.

If FNC had wanted to inform voters, or even to do a favor for the Republican Party and help them reach out to and attract some non-Fox (that’s basically non-Republican) voters, then they’d have suspended, for this event, their usual money-making system, and allowed millions of political independents, and even Democrats, to watch it.

As was recently explained by the great Bruce Bartlett, at the website of the great Barry Ritholtz, a recent striking finding by the pollster, PPP, is that 56% of Republicans place Fox News Channel as their most trusted source of news, and that the #2 news-source for Republicans is, tied at 10% for each of the two, CNN and ABC. There’s nothing comparable to FNC for Democrats: the top-trusted news source for them is CNN, at only 21% of Democrats who cite them as being their most trusted news source. (FNC is #5 1/2, or tied for fifth and sixth place, amongst Democrats.) Bartlett explains how FNC was created by Ronald Reagan’s TV guru Roger Ailes, with Rupert Murdoch’s money, and how Ailes has always run it like a Republican Party instrument. “Fox viewers were very right-wing from the start,” notes Bartlett.

The Rest…HERE

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