Why the Left shouldn't want its own Fox News

The Right has won some small victories thanks to Fox's pursuit of the GOP agenda, says Conor Friedersdorf in The Atlantic, but at what cost?

Rush Limbaugh and cable news giant Fox News have "succeeded in dumbing down the right's ideas," says Conor Friedersdorf at The Atlantic.
(Image credit: Getty)

There are liberals out there who think the Left needs "its own Fox News," says Conor Friedersdorf in The Atlantic. But that's a terrible idea. True, Fox News has won "some short term political victories" by shaping public debate and getting other media outlets to cover stories that advance Fox's conservative agenda. Remember how conservatives, aided by Fox, "scared the country into thinking it would be dangerous to house Gitmo detainees in a supermax prison"? But Fox News also makes "it seem as if the GOP has more folks on its right-wing than its center," a skewed perception that can't be good for the party's long-term interests, writes Friedersdorf. So liberals shouldn't want a channel offering unlimited airtime to their own "bazooka-wielding talking heads." Here, an excerpt:

I want to explain at greater length why liberals shouldn't envy the right for its blowhards. Alongside their benefits, let's examine the costs....

Foremost is the echo chamber effect: a bubble where the Iraq War was always going swimmingly, patriotism seemed to require support for torture, and the Bush Administration's domestic agenda never lacked for defenders happy to obscure the manifold ways that it violated even the principles of conservatism. The conservative media isn't wholly responsible for eight years of Republican rule that left the right exceptionally unhappy. But it acted as a consistent enabler of policies that did long term damage to the country and brought about an electoral flameout that handed progressives their biggest opportunity in years.

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