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Fox News is a cable and satellite television news channel owned by the Fox Entertainment Group, a subsidiary of News Corporation. It generally presents news with a conservative slant, and has garnered much ire online because of its perceived bias and controversial journalistic techniques.
Fox News was created by Australian-born American media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who hired Roger Ailes as its founding CEO. Murdoch announced on January 31, 1996 that News Corp. would be launching a 24-hour news channel to air on both cable and satellite systems as part of a News Corp. “worldwide platform” for Fox programming, reasoning that “The appetite for news – particularly news that explains to people how it affects them – is expanding enormously.” The channel was launched on October 7, 1996 to 17 million cable subscribers. At launch, only 10 million households were able to watch Fox News, with none in the major media markets of New York City and Los Angeles. The network gained substantial viewership during the presidential election of 2000. In that year, viewership increased a staggering 440%, and the channel became available to around 56 million homes in the US.
While the majority of the internet is moderate in its political leanings, some sites and users, especially the younger generation of users, have a liberal bias. As such, much of the discourse on the internet relating to Fox News is negative. Commentators frequently point out the hypocrisy of their slogan, “Fair and Balanced,” despite their right-wing bias. Other criticisms include mocking the network’s programming, most of which is opinion shows geared toward the network’s primary audience of conservatives, and the charge that Fox skews its programming to such a degree that it no longer qualifies as actual news, giving it the nickname “Faux News.” All in all, internet culture generally does not agree with, respect, or like Fox News, its programming, or what it stands for.
The Daily Show
One primary instigator of disdain towards Fox News is The Daily Show with John Stewart, a popular comedy program show on Comedy Central. Fox is one of the usual targets for jokes, but underlying the jokes is a commentary on Fox News’ bias.
One part of The Daily Show‘s habitual formula is to take slices of recent Fox programs and showing how they contradict with views expressed by the network in the past. Another is splicing together clips from different Fox shows, all of them expressing the exact same view and occasionally saying the exact same thing. The purpose of this trope is to showcase the network’s usually hypocritical tendencies and obvious bias; it is usually expressed in a satirical tone, rather than a malicious one. In addition, Fox’s conservative bias has often caused it to be labelled the “media arm” of the Republican Party, a phrase that Stewart has promoted on his show.
Another show worth noting is The Colbert Report, a spin-off of The Daily Show hosted by former Daily Show Correspondent Steven Colbert. The Report is a satirical parody of many Fox News programs, especially The O’Reilly Factor, and it mocks various aspects of the political pundit-hosted programs shown on the network. Colbert plays himself on the show as a caricature of these pundits, and describes his character as “a well-intentioned, poorly informed, high-status idiot.”
As Fox’s alleged fallacies have become more public, thanks in part to the Daily Show, the number of angry bloggers and single-purpose sites have swelled into a hatedom. At the top of this hatedom is site Fox News Boycott. The site showcases a variety of rants dedicated to Fox being incorrect and biased. Another such site is Bill O’Reilly Sucks, which focuses on Fox’s show “The O’Reilly Factor”.
Tea Party Movement
Fox News has often been criticized over their coverage of the Tea Party Movement, a right-wing faction advocating for smaller government. They have been accused of systematic bias towards the protest movement, and are often cited as one of the main proponents of the movement. In addition, Fox News has been accused of misrepresenting facts relating to the movement, in particular the number of protesters present at rallies. Since the Tea Party has been ridiculed online, Fox News is often mocked for the same reasons.
Internet Hate Machine
The “Internet Hate Machine” is a slang term used to refer to Anonymous. It was coined by when Los Angeles Fox affiliate KTTV on July 26th 2007, after an investigative report on Anonymous hacking Myspace accounts, cyber-bullying, and “being domestic terrorists”. The slang term has since been adopted by Anonymous to refer to itself facetiously.
Fox also gave their thoughts on the “anti social nerds” of 4chan
Bill O’Reilly – You Can’t Explain That
Bill O’Reilly – You Can’t Explain That is an advice animal derivative featuring long-time Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly with a caption in the form “X? You Can’t Explain That.” The phrase was first spoken by O’Reilly in 2011 on his show The O’Reilly Factor when having a discussion about the existence of God. O’Reilly, when making a case for God’s existence, says “Tide goes in, tide goes out. […] You can’t explain that.” Since it has long been known that tides are caused by the moon’s gravitational influence on the Earth’s oceans, the statement was ridiculed online, which culminated in the creation of a popular advice-dog style image macro. The macro’s captions typically feature a well-understood but perhaps not widely-understood phenomenon followed by the phrase “You can’t explain that.”
Megyn Kelly – Essentially
Megyn Kelly – Essentially is an advice animal derivative featuring a photo of Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly accompanied by captions with dismissive statements about a variety of violent acts. The macro originated on November 21, 2011, when Kelly was discussing the UC Davis pepper spray incident while on The O’Reilly Factor. She said that pepper spray is a “food product, essentially,” which has been interpreted as a means of downplaying the brutality of the incident. The macro often features a controversial subject, with a benign euphemism following it up.
If Fox News Was Around On X
The comedic news forum FARK.com hosted a Photoshop contest in early 2003 with the theme “What if Fox News were around during other historical events?” The responses gave us the first examples of this meme. The images seemed to be forgotten until a surge of related macros started appearing in January 2012 among many political forums. The images took old events and then added in what Fox News might say about the events, often with a purposefully extreme conservative slant. They have been used to comment on Fox News’ bias.
Glenn Beck Rape & Murder Hoax
The smear campaign of “Did Glenn Beck Rape and Murder a Girl in 1990?” was a hoax made on a FARK.com discussion board. The joke’s purpose was to give Beck a taste of his own medicine by means of a insane observation. The hoax meme was spread around on Reddit and Digg, and has many associated images with phrases like “this needs to be investigated,” along with false news articles, interviews, and photoshops.
Search interest in Fox News has remained consistently high, with a generally increasing trend over the past eight years, and with sharp peaks before the presidential elections in 2004 and 2008.