Those of you more familiar with the "inside baseball" of blog sites however, will recognize that such a title posting is likely to generate higher hit rates (something blog sites strive for), as it provides reasons for folks with strong beliefs either way to look deeper. I can't say that I have been overly concerned with hit rates over the years on this site, since I don't have advertisers that reimburse me based on such things; but it does one's heart good (yeah I know, who thought conservatives had hearts) to know that there is someone out there reading your work.
Besides, it appears that my readership has already gone up lately recently, since a site called Before it's News has begun picking up postings on this site on an RSS feed. To the point however ... The furor over the case of Shirley Sherrod and the USDA drew my attention this week, as it appears it did many others. Curious over the latest reports, I decided to follow up on the NAACP's position reversal on Ms. Sherrod, and its claim that the mistaken position that they originally took in the case was because they were "snookered by Fox News".
Setting aside the fact that 'snookered' is not a term of common parlance these days, that few reporting on the story seem concerned with the audience reactions at an NAACP dinner to the pronouncements of Ms. Sherrod on her treatment of this "white farmer" from many years ago (and before they knew that this was supposed to be a teaching moment), and that no one forced either the White House or the NAACP to condemn Ms. Sherrod without more careful investigation; I found the accusation against Fox News troubling. Not believing in coincidences, I was forced to look further into Fox News and its owner Rupert Murdoch. I couldn't help but wonder what further societal ills might be laid at their feet.
- Mr. Murdoch began acquiring newspaper properties in the US in 1973 with the San Antonio Express through his company News Ltd, going on to purchase the New York Post in 1976. In the years since, the newspaper industry has seen a gradual decline in both its prominence as a source of news and its revenue.
- In 1981 they went on to acquire half of 20th Century, taking over the rest in 1984. Many would argue that both the originality and quality of movies have similarly declined since the 80's.
- In 1986 they went on to complete the purchase of the Metromedia group of television stations, and the Fox Broadcast Company was born. Like the newspaper and movie industries, the network television business has struggled for originality, audience share, and revenue ever since.
- In 1996, the company began the Fox News Channel to compete with CNN. Cable news networks were never the same again (though some apparently attempt to maintain that the start up of MSNBC that same year might have had more to do with it).
- In 2007 the company began the Fox Business Network and around the same time completed the purchase of the august Wall Street Journal. No one can deny that in the days since, the national and world economies have suffered horrible setbacks.
Disclaimer: Just Blowing Smoke regularly uses both irony and sarcasm. Those incapable of recognizing such literary devices should by no means endeavor to reach conclusions on any subject based solely on the material contained herein.