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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. The station has been the subject of controversy online, due to its perceived conservative bias and questionable journalistic practices.
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. The channel was launched on October 7, 1996 to 17 million cable subscribers. The network increased viewership by 440% during the presidential election of 2000 and was subsequently made available to roughly 56 million homes in the United States.
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.
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.
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.
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.
One primary instigator of disdain towards Fox News is The Daily Show with John Stewart, a comedy news program on Comedy Central. Fox News perceived conservative-leaning bias is frequently mocked on the show. The Comedy Central satirical news program The Colbert Report is a parody of Fox News’ conservative political pundit programs.
On July 2nd, 2008, the Fox News talk show Fox and Friends displayed digitally manipulated images of two New York Times reporters (shown below) while discussing an article that was critical of the news station’s ratings. The same day, the progressive media watchdog group Media Matters for America posted an article exposing the photoshopped images, noting that the reporters teeth had been yellow and their facial features had been exaggerated.
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.
Reza Aslan Interview
On July 26th, 2013, author Reza Aslan was interviewed by Fox News’ host Lauren Green about his book Zealot: The Life and Time of Jesus of Nazareth. During the course of the interview, Green asked several questions focused on Aslan’s muslim religion, to which Aslan replied questioning the relevance of his personal religious beliefs. On July 27th, the viral content site BuzzFeed published an article about the interview titled “Is This the Most Embarrassing Interview Fox News Has Ever Done?” On July 28th, YouTuber prince0mido uploaded the interview to YouTube (shown below), which was subsequently posted by Redditor DogeIvan to the /r/videos subreddit. Within the first 48 hours, the video gained over 2.18 million views and the Reddit post received more than 31,900 up votes and 4,800 comments.
On the following day, Aslan participated in an “ask me anything” (AMA) post in the /r/IAmA subreddit, which garnered upwards of 33,400 up vites in the next 24 hours. In the AMA, Redditor skee1080 asked if he was surprised by Green’s questions in the interview, to which Aslan replied that he suspected they might after reading an “attack piece” written about him prior to the interview. Also on July 29th, Zealot became the top selling book on Amazon.
From there, several news sites published articles about the interview, including Slate, The Washington Post and The New York Times. The religious news site First Things subsequently published an article claiming that Aslan had misrepresented his academic credentials.
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.
The New York Times – Odd Fox New Interview Lifts Reza Aslan’s Biography on Jesus
First Things – Reza Aslan Misrepresents His Scholarly Credentials
Media Matters – Fox News Airs Altered Photos of NY Times Reporters