July 18, 2006

Why Fox News thrives

I was watching CNN this afternoon ("The Situation Room") and there was Jack Cafferty blasting President Bush for not getting Americans out of Beirut fast enough. He praised France and other countries for being much more efficient. He invoked the government's response to Katrina. He was quite self-righteously indignant, especially about Americans having to pay some money for their evacuation.

Then, I watched "Special Report" over on Fox News and the "Grapevine" segment featured this little piece:

Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi is calling on the president to immediately declare that the U.S. will start bearing the costs of evacuating its citizens from Lebanon, instead of charging them, saying, "A nation that can provide more than $300 billion for a war in Iraq can provide the money to get its people out of Lebanon."

But the president isn't authorized to reverse the policy — which requires citizens to pay commercial fare plus a dollar for government evacuation — since it's encoded in the 2003 Foreign Relations Authorization Act. That law was approved by the House and the Democratic controlled Senate in 2002. Pelosi herself voted for the measure. (Emphasis mine.)

Bush has been blasted for everything in sight (and not in sight), including "overstepping his bounds as head of the Executive Branch." When it comes to fighting terrorism, a national defense matter, Bush is a "dictator," a "fascist," "Big Brother," you name it. But when he bows to state and local governments as required (Katrina) and a recent foreign relations law (not to mention the individual responsibility matter of being in a potential powder keg of a region), the Pelosi's and Cafferty's of the world want Bush to become that very "fascist dictator"!!

UPDATE (10:03pm, 7/19): Media Blog has Cafferty's exact words from yesterday. They also have more on the applicable law the requires people to pay for their evacuation -- apparently, it goes all the way back to 1956.

Nevertheless, the US has now waived that fee for Lebanon evacuees.

Posted by Rhodey at July 18, 2006 07:08 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

Seems rather cheap, actually. When I worked at the insurance company, we dealt very heavily with expatriate evacuations from places like Indonesia, Sub-Saharan Africa and, yes, the Middle East. Many policyholders chose to not purchase the evacuation rider, which always made for some very interesting phone calls. In the end, some of these expatriates (many of whom made upwards of $250,000 per year) had to fork over the $10,000 to get them out of the country in a pinch.

Posted by: Mike M. at July 18, 2006 11:15 PM

One problem with the headline.

Fox News is in ratings free fall.

Posted by: jason at July 19, 2006 07:43 AM

Jase: Three problems w/your comment:

First, your article is over a year old. Second, it deals just w/one age bracket and one timeframe (primetime). Third, when you're already the leader and ratings are already huge, you'll suffer bigger losses, such as the article's theme of post-election viewership.

Find a recent article and compare ratings and total viewership. You can make all the excuses you want; the fact remains that Fox's meteoric rise is due precisely b/c they filled a niche no one else would -- they actually covered the conservative POV.

Posted by: Hube at July 19, 2006 08:44 AM

Sorry I googled "fox ratings" a grabbed the first result.

Is June 26th recent enough for you?

Posted by: jason at July 19, 2006 10:16 AM

See my "third" point above. They still clobber the cable competition.

Posted by: Hube at July 19, 2006 10:38 AM