The debate over Fox News' politics is heating up, after New York Times columnist Paul Krugman accused the cable channel of buying influence in Washington by hiring powerful Republicans as on-air commentators. Krugman says that, as Politico recently pointed out, Fox now employs every "2012 Republican presidential nomination who isn't currently holding office and isn't named Mitt Romney" — a list that includes Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, and Rick Santorum. A channel that was once the GOP's "Ministry of Propaganda," Krugman says, is becoming the party's guiding influence. Is Krugman just taking a partisan potshot, or is Fox really trying to take over the GOP? (Watch an MSNBC discussion about Fox News' role)
Fox is taking its partisanship to a new level: "It's hardly news that Fox News is more propaganda outlet than news organization," says Ryan Chittum at the Columbia Journalism Review. But this new tactic of putting presidential contenders on the payroll is particularly "troubling." As Politico pointed out, this essentially makes it impossible for news organizations to cover these politicians, since they have exclusive contracts with Fox. And even more "insidious" is the leverage it gives media mogul Rupert Murdoch over these potential presidents.
"Murdoch's threat to democracy"
Krugman is the real partisan here: Paul Krugman is "carrying water" for the left, as usual, says Jonah Goldberg at National Review. His latest smear is just a rehash of a tired liberal rant we've heard a thousand times — "Fox News evil, vast right wing conspiracy, blah blah blah." Krugman is trying to suggest that GOP voters, and Fox News voters, can't think for themselves. Instead of insults, he might try countering conservative ideas.
"Asininity threat level: High"
It is silly to downplay Fox's power: Fox News' influence does not end with its hiring decisions, says Eric Martin at Obsidian Wings. Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. also has donated $1 million to the Republican Governors Association and given money to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a pro-Republican business lobby. Taken together, how can it possibly be "out of bounds to suggest that the fair-and-balanced network" is the "putative leader" of the GOP?
"Robber baron redux"
Krugman just envies Fox's influence: Krugman's criticism is just "sour grapes," says Melissa Clouthier at Liberty Pundits. He is the left's "Chief Cheerleader," but most Americans are sensible enough to ignore him and pay attention to the news and analysis on Fox. Krugman is irrelevant because he insists everything wrong with this country is due to a "right-wing conspiracy." Fox News is relevant because it digs deeper.
"Paul Krugman burps nonsense, considers his indigestion sign of intelligence"