FOX News

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FOX News Channel

Template:NPOV The FOX News Channel is a US cable and satellite news channel. It is owned by the Fox Entertainment Group, a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. As of January 2005, it is available to 85 million subscribers in the U.S. and to further viewers internationally, broadcasting primarily out of its New York City studios.

Launched on October 7, 1996 to 17 million cable subscribers, the nascent network quickly rose to prominence in the late 1990s as it started taking market share away from CNN; Fox claims the channel is now the "most watched cable news channel" in the United States according to Nielsen Ratings. By the "share" measure Fox is the most watched. By number of unique viewers CNN is the most watched.



The CEO, Chairman, and President of FOX News is Roger Ailes. After he began his career in broadcasting, Ailes started Ailes Communications, Inc and was successful as a political strategist for Presidents Nixon and Reagan and in producing campaign TV commercials for Republican political candidates. His work for former President Richard M. Nixon was chronicled in the book The Selling of the President: 1968 by Joe McGinniss.


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Fox News Channel Iraq war coverage

Fox News presents a wide variety of programming, with up to 15 hours of live programming per day. Most of the programs are broadcast from Fox News headquarters in New York City with its street-side studios on Sixth Avenue (Avenue of the Americas) in Rockefeller Center. The following is the usual weekday lineup (as of Jan. 2005, all times Eastern):

FOX News also produced several newsmagazine shows for its Fox affiliates including FOX Files and The Pulse, both cancelled after short runs due to poor ratings. FOX News Sunday currently airs on many FOX affiliates and is similar in format to other Sunday morning political discussion programs.

Ailes withdrew from consulting and returned to broadcasting in 1992. He ran the CNBC channel and America's Talking, the forerunner of MSNBC for NBC. More recently, Ailes was named Broadcaster of the Year by Broadcast and Cable Magazine in 2003.


Former personalities

Ratings success

FOX News currently leads the cable news market, earning higher ratings than its chief competitors CNN and MSNBC combined by average viewership. Measured by unique viewers, however, Fox is bested by CNN which, during the election season, earned 11% greater numbers of individual P2+ viewers. This is primarily due to Fox's somewhat longer duration "talk" programs which cause viewers to tune in for longer periods as compared to CNN's generally shorter news segments.

The BBC reported that FOX News saw its profits double during the Iraq conflict, due in part to what the report called "patriotic" coverage of the war. By some reports, at the height of the conflict, they enjoyed as much as a 300% increase in viewership, averaging 3.3 million viewers daily ([1] (

In 2004, the perceived gain in ratings began to become more apparent. Coverage of the Democratic National Convention in Boston ranked higher in the ratings than its two closest cable competitors combined. In September, FOX News Channel made television history when ratings for its broadcast of the Republican National Convention beat those of all three broadcast networks. During President Bush's address, FOX News notched 7.3 million viewers nationally, while NBC, CBS, and ABC scored ratings of 5.9, 5.0, and 5.1, respectively. By April, Fox viewership had dropped for the sixth straight month, a total drop of over 58%, with no signs of stopping.

Major news stories first broken by Fox News

Fox News investigative reporting has broken several stories in the oil-for-food scandal. Fox obtained several documents which implicate Kofi Annan in the awarding to a contract to the company which employed his son, Kojo.[2] (,2933,159532,00.html) [3] (,2933,141656,00.html) Fox News broke the story about a potential conflict of interest for Paul Volcher in his investigation of the scandal.[4] (,2933,144874,00.html) Fox News broke a second father-son conflict of interests story centering on Alexander Yakovlev.[5] (,2933,160081,00.html)

Controversies and allegations of bias

See also: Media bias, Propaganda model

FOX News asserts that it is more objective and factual than other American networks. Its self-promotion includes the phrases "Fair and Balanced" and "We Report, You Decide". However, numerous critics claim that the network has a conservative bias and tailors its news to support the Republican Party. Although most critics do not claim that all FOX News reporting is slanted, most allege that bias at FOX News is systemic, and implemented to target an largely Republican audience.

Many media commentators and competitors have alleged that FOX News' reporting is characterized by editorials disguised as news and have jokingly referred to FOX News as the "Faux News Network", the "Republican News Network", or "Unfair and Unbalanced." Critics of FOX News point to the following as evidence of bias:

Ownership and management

  • Rupert Murdoch's ownership of several conservative outlets, including the New York Post and The Times.
  • CEO Roger Ailes' past activities, including: Republican campaign work, involvement in the Willie Horton ad, his production of the Rush Limbaugh television show, and having served as either advisor or consultant to Republican Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
  • Use of the term "homicide bomber" instead of "suicide bomber" after White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer made the request. The only other major news organization to do so was fellow Murdoch-owned News Corporation subsidiary the New York Post.
  • A ruling in a whistleblower lawsuit that WTVT had ordered fired reporters Jane Akre and Steve Wilson to distort the facts in a story about Bovine Growth Hormone. WTVT successfully appealed on First Amendment grounds. This case was against a local affiliate station, not FOX News. Appeal Decision (,%202003/2D01-529.pdf) (PDF)
  • That John Prescott Ellis, a full cousin of George W. Bush, was one of four consultants assigned by the Voter News Service to FOX News on night of the 2000 Presidential election; thus he was part of the team that recommended FOX News be the last to retract its call of Florida for Gore and the first to call Florida for Bush, which FOX News did at 2:16 a.m [6] ( Though all major networks called Florida for Bush by 2:20 a.m., Ellis has since admitted to informing both Jeb and George Bush several times by telephone of how projections were going on election night. [7] (
  • Photocopied memos (,%2024hr%20Republican%20Network) from FOX News executive John Moody instructing the network's on-air anchors and reporters on using positive language when discussing anti-abortion viewpoints, the Iraq war, and tax cuts; as well as requesting that the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal be put in context with the other violence in the area.

Reports, polls, and studies

  • A report released in August 2001 by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, titled "Fox: The Most Biased Name in News," ([8] ( which:
    • Claims that, despite his claims to the contrary, The O'Reilly Factor host Bill O'Reilly is conservative; and
    • Compared guests on FOX's Special Report with Brit Hume with those on CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports:
    white male Republican conservative
Hume (FOX) 93% 91% 89% 71%
Blitzer (CNN) 93% 86% 57% 32%
  • A study by the Program on International Policy Attitudes, in the Winter 2003-2004 issue of Political Science Quarterly, reported that viewers of the Fox Network local affiliates or Fox News were more likely than viewers of other news networks to hold three views which the authors labeled as misperceptions:[9] ( (PDF)
    • 67% of FOX viewers believed that the "US has found clear evidence in Iraq that Saddam Hussein was working closely with the al Qaeda terrorist organization". In the aggregate, 52% of all respondants who got their news primarily from a single news network held this belief. (See Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda)
    • 33% of FOX viewers believed that the "US has found Iraqi weapons of mass destruction" "since the war ended". In the aggregate, 23% of all respondants who got their news primarily from a single news network held this belief. (See Iraq disarmament crisis)
    • 35% of FOX viewers believed that "the majority of people [in the world] favour the US having gone to war" with Iraq. In the aggregate, 23% of all respondants who got their news primarily from a single news network held this belief. (See Governments' pre-war positions on invasion of Iraq)
Fox viewers were more likely to hold these views even after adjusting for other factors, such as political party membership, and intention to vote for a particular presidental candidate. Fox viewers were unique in that those who paid greater attention to news were moderately more likely to have these misperceptions than those who paid less or no attention to news.
  • A study by the Project for Excellence in Journalism in 2005 found that, in covering the Iraq War in 2004, 73% of FOX News stories included editorial opinions, compared to 29% on MSNBC and 2% on CNN. The same report found FOX less likely than CNN to present multiple points of view. On the other hand, it found FOX more transparent about its sources[10] ( Full report (

On-air personalities

A number of Fox News Channel' anchors, hosts and personalities self-identify as conservatives, and several others are considered such by the channel's critics.

  • Managing editor and host Brit Hume is a contributor to the conservative American Spectator and Weekly Standard.
  • Daytime anchor David Asman previously worked at The Wall Street Journal editorial page and the Manhattan Institute, a conservative thinktank.
  • Weekend Live host Tony Snow is a conservative columnist, radio host, and former chief speechwriter for the first Bush administration. He also hosts his own show, The Tony Snow Show, on FOX News Radio.
  • Primetime co-host Sean Hannity (paired with Alan Colmes on-air) is one of FOX News' openly partisan anchors, the voice of the political right on Hannity and Colmes; Hannity is also prominent in conservative talk radio, second only to Rush Limbaugh in terms of listeners, and went on tour for George W. Bush before the 2004 election.
  • One of the most well-known personalities is the popular Bill O'Reilly, who hosts the O'Reilly Factor; O'Reilly often faces criticism from the left over perceived pro-war slant in his news coverage. O'Reilly himself maintains that he is politically independent (chiefly due to libertarian positions on social issues like homosexuality and marijuana legislation). O'Reilly frequently uses incendiary, nationalist rhetoric toward those who hold disagreeing positions, such as accusing Senator Dick Durbin of "slamming America" and "condemning his own country" over Durbin's criticism of the conditions at the United States' Guantanamo Bay facility in Cuba. [11] (,2933,159877,00.html)
  • John Gibson's afternoon block of news coverage, "The Big Story", is frequently cited as an example of FOX News deliberately blurring the lines between objective reporting and opinion/editorial programming. Gibson gained notoriety immediately after the 2000 presidential election controversy for his advocating the burning of all ballots involved in the election dispute once George W. Bush was sworn into office: "Is this a case where knowing the facts actually would be worse than not knowing? I mean, should we burn those ballots, preserve them in amber, or shred them? George Bush is going to be president. And who needs to know that he's not a legitimate president?" [12] (
  • Business anchor Neil Cavuto, who is also FOX News' vice president of business news and a current member of the network's executive committee, has been described as a "Bush apologist" by critics [13] ( after conducting an allegedly deferential interview with President George W. Bush [14] (,2933,158960,00.html) wherein Cavuto told Bush that domestic lack of support for the partial privatization of Social Security was due to Americans being "distracted" by Michael Jackson's child molestation trial. Cavuto has been a popular syndicated columnist on both [15] ( and [16] (
  • Alan Colmes is touted by Fox as "a hard-hitting liberal" ([17] (,2933,1536,00.html)), but he has been criticized by some on the left as being a political moderate and for perceived submissiveness compared with Sean Hannity, with whom he shares a program ([18] (

Other criticisms

  • Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism, a documentary film on FOX News by Robert Greenwald, makes allegations of bias in FOX News by interviewing a number of former employees who discuss the company's practices. For example, Frank O'Donnell, a former employee of WTTG (a FOX affiliate), says: "We were stunned, because up until that point, we were allowed to do legitimate news. Suddenly, we were ordered from the top to carry [...] Republican, right-wing propaganda," after being told what to say about Ronald Reagan. The network made an official response (,2933,125436,00.html) and a review of selected employees (,2933,125437,00.html) featured in the film and their employment (or non-employment) with FOX News.
  • A news article in October 2004 by Carl Cameron, chief political correspondent of FOX News, containing three fabricated quotes attributed to Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry. The quotes included: "Women should like me! I do manicures," "Didn't my nails and cuticles look great?" and "I'm metrosexual [Bush's] a cowboy." FOX News retracted the story and apologized (,2933,134166,00.html), citing a "jest" that became published through "fatigue and bad judgement, not malice".
  • An opinion piece on the Hutton Inquiry decision, in which John Gibson said the BBC had "a frothing-at-the-mouth anti-Americanism that was obsessive, irrational and dishonest" and that the BBC reporter, Andrew Gilligan, "insisted on air that the Iraqi Army was heroically repulsing an incompetent American Military" [19] (,2933,109821,00.html). In reviewing viewer complaints, Ofcom (the United Kingdom's statutory broadcasting regulator) ruled that FOX News had breached the program code in three areas: "respect for truth", "opportunity to take part", and "personal view programmes opinions expressed must not rest upon false evidence". Fox News admitted that Gilligan had not actually said the words that John Gibson appeared to attribute to him; OfCom rejected the claim that it was intended to be a paraphrase. (see Ofcom complaint, response and ruling (

In June 2004, CEO Roger Ailes responded to some criticism with rebuttal in an online column for the Wall Street Journal ([20] (, claiming that FOX's critics intentionally confuse opinion shows such as The O'Reilly Factor with regular news coverage. Ailes claimed that FOX News has broken stories which turned out harmful to Republicans and the Republican Party, stating "Fox News is the network that broke George W. Bush's DUI four days before the election" as an example. The story on Bush's drunk driving record was actually broken by Portland, Maine Fox affiliate WPXT, which while a local affiliate, is not the FOX News Channel cable network. Ailes' statements were contradictory, given FOX News has always stressed that affiliates are separate entities from FOX News Channel, and FOX News has no editorial oversight of any FOX affiliate. [21] (,2933,125437,00.html)

More recently, in a Wall Street Journal Europe op-ed published on May 20, 2005, London bureau chief Scott Norvell wrote: "Even we at Fox News manage to get some lefties on the air occasionally, and often let them finish their sentences before we club them to death and feed the scraps to Karl Rove and Bill O'Reilly." [22] (, [23] (

Trademark disputes

In 2003, Penguin Books published Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right, by the comedian and writer Al Franken. The book criticized FOX News among the media outlets as biased. Before the book was released, FOX brought a lawsuit, alleging that the book's subtitle violated FOX's trademark in the promotional phrase "Fair and Balanced". On that basis, FOX moved for a preliminary injunction to block the publication of the book. The United States District Court Judge hearing the case denied the motion, characterizing FOX's claim as "wholly without merit, both factually and legally". FOX then withdrew the suit. Franken then suggested that the judge's phrase "Wholly Without Merit" would make a more appropriate slogan for FOX.

In December 2003, the Independent Media Institute, which publishes the Alternet online magazine, brought a petition before the United States Patent and Trademark Office seeking the cancellation of FOX's trademark in the phrase "Fair & Balanced". [24] ( The petition argued that the phrase was so widely used by others as to have no particular association with FOX, and that FOX's use of the phrase was "notoriously misdescriptive of [FOX]'s presentation of news content". [25] ( As of April 2005, the proceeding was still pending.

In 2002, a small website called ( began selling T-shirts and other merchandise with a "FAUX News" logo parodying FOX's logo. The products included one that used "We Distort, You Comply" as a parody of FOX's slogan "We Report, You Decide". Lawyers for FOX, charging an infringement of FOX's rights, demanded that the company cease selling all such merchandise, and threatened litigation if Agitproperties did not comply. [26] ( As of April 2005, the "FAUX News" products are no longer listed on the Agitproperties website.

In 2005, MSNBC began using a new slogan entitled "Fair and Accurate."

International transmission

The channel is now available internationally, though its world programming is the same as its American programming, unlike CNN International, which airs regional programming that is largely independent of its U.S. broadcasts.


Fox News Channel is broadcast on the three major Pay-TV providers, Austar (Satellite, Austar Digital service only), Optus Television (Cable) and Foxtel (Cable and Satellite), being 25% owned by News Corporation.


Since 2002 Fox News Channel is also available for Brazilians, but the commercials are replaced with weather forecasts (except for their own ads). It is broadcasted by Sky Brazil (satellite) and NET (cable), both owned by Rupert Murdoch, the owner of News Corporation.


On December 14, 2000, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) approved FOX News Canada on behalf of the Global Television Network, for broadcast. FOX News Canada was to be a domestic Canadian version of FOX News. [27] ( The channel, or specialty television service, was never implemented by FOX, and the deadline for commencement of the service expired on November 24, 2004.

On June 18, 2003, the Canadian Cable Telecommunications Association (CCTA), an organization representing approximately 90 cable companies in Canada, applied to add FOX News, ESPN, HBO, and other non-domestic programming to the CRTC's Lists of Eligible Satellite Services on a digital basis. In their application the CCTA duly noted that, absent a change in CRTC policy, some of the channels were likely to be ineligible for addition to the lists as some were partially or totally competitive with licensed Canadian programming. Some Canadian channels additionally might hold exclusive rights. In a lengthy response, the CRTC stated that "the Commission considers that CCTA has not raised sufficient question as to the validity of the existing policy, or sufficient argument or evidence as to the benefits of its proposed approach, to warrant a policy review at this time" and noted that "CCTA has not provided the information generally required for the Commission to consider requests to add services to the Lists. Accordingly, the Commission is not in a position to examine whether it would be appropriate to authorize for distribution any of the specific services noted in CCTA’s request" ([28] (

The CCTA applied on April 15, 2004 solely to add FOX News, along with the NFL Network. [29] ( CCTA's acting president Michael Hennessy said that the previous "bulk approach... ...was just too big", adding it raised "significant issues" with respect to broadcast rights and competition with existing domestic services ([30] ( On November 18, 2004 the CRTC announced that a digital license would be granted to FOX News ([31] ( In its proposal, FOX News stated, with reference to FOX News Canada, that "Fox News does not intend to implement this service and therefore will not meet the extended deadline to commence operations" ([32] ( On December 16, 2004, Rogers Communications became the first Canadian cable or satellite provider to broadcast FOX News, with other companies following suit within the next several days.

The CRTC's previous refusal to grant Fox News a license had been contested by some Canadians, as well as American fans of the channel, who believed the decision to be politically motivated.

United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland

FOX News is also carried in Britain and Ireland, with global weather forecasts instead of most advertisements, by the British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB) satellite television network, of which James Murdoch is chief executive officer and in which News Corporation holds a 38 percent stake. It is a sister channel to BSkyB's Sky News.

Other countries

FOX News Channel is also carried in more than 40 countries including Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Finland, Grenada, Germany, Guatemala, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, New Guinea, Panama, Philippines, Spain, Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela, mostly through News Corporation-owned cable and satellite systems.

External links

eo:Fox News fr:Fox News Channel nl:Fox News Channel


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