Make Fox News Relevant

April 9, 2021

Since the election, I have been watching Fox News–a lot: Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Greg Gutfeld, Harry Watters, and some a bit more sane–John and Sandra, Neil Cavuto, and others. I have done so because I wanted to see how Fox and their constituency reacts to the election.

The answer has been “not very well.” Most of the Fox coverage has been focused on items which Fox seems to think will galvanize American discontent with the Biden administration.

I haven’t found any which carefully are developed with the intent of offering a comprehensive alternative to what they continuously criticize. That’s what would make the leading Conservative voice truly relevant, and indeed would actually be a great service to our country–working toward creative solutions which can be bipartisan. The same could be said of the leadership of the Republican Party. If Fox and the Republican leaders would take the initiative, regardless of whether CNN and the Democratic leadership may have similarly failed in the past–if they would take the lead toward a truly bipartisan approach to producing and debating good alternatives, not simply criticizing existing actions. It’s always easy to find fault, and much harder to find solutions. Fox is lazy.

Here’s the top of the list of Fox coverage since the election:

1-The border crisis–“it’s a total humanitarian crisis, if only we had kept all the Trump policies!”

2-Democratic Governors are not moving fast enough to open up schools

3-Democratic Governors are not moving fast enough to open up everything

4-Raising taxes is ALWAYS a bad thing for the US

5-Covid risks are overstated. Restrictions and mask mandates infringe on American freedoms

6-Democrats want to “pack” the Supreme Court

7-Democrats want to overturn the 2nd Amendment with all their gun control proposals

8-Hunter Biden is a potential criminal with national security risk issues

9-Big Tech restricts free speech, such as Trump on Twitter, claiming the election was stolen

10-Biden is not tough enough on China, not tough on US Fortune 500s protesting new GA voting restrictions

Let’s take the crisis at the border. It IS a crisis, and it WAS also a crisis under Trump. Here are some of the most important issues which Fox could choose to study and engage in:

How many people should the US allow to immigrate annually? What is the rationale for that number? How can it be increased? Do immigrants cost the US or contribute to the US–long term? Show the data. What can be done by governments to compensate for the unintended consequences of migration into the US? How can we truly secure the border–even Republicans acknowledged that Trump’s wall was only a small piece of best total border protection. What is our obligation to those who come to us in true asylum and refugee status, fleeing danger and persecution back home? Do we care? Should we? Is it morally fair for us to just be “America First,” regardless of all that suffer outside our borders?

If we had only kept the Trump policies? That’s not a solution. The border was a crisis under Trump also–otherwise, why would he have tried so hard to implement an unpopular partial solution–the wall? And, Trump’s policy doesn’t even attempt to address the humanitarian issues listed above, or the question of how many, how, and how to grow our capacity, how to ameliorate the negative impacts of immigration.

So, why not? The easy answer is that answering these questions is really tough work. It takes a lot of research, a lot of searching conversations, struggle to create a meaningful action plan, considering budget realities, opinions of Americans, politics, and collaboration and cooperation of a vast array of parties–local and federal government, foreign nations, agencies, professionals (health and mental care, child care), police and other law enforcement, vendors, and many others. It’s a lot of hard work, much harder than planning the daily array of criticisms, with rabid Republicans like Jim Jordan, Rand Paul, Lindsay Graham making cameo appearances to stoke the criticism.

The same is true of the other issues listed. Gun rights are a great second example. Every proposal from Democrats is found by Fox to somehow be ineffective in truly reducing the risk of mass shootings or of crime intended buyers obtaining guns. OK, so if you do indeed have any concern for the risks associated with guns, how about coming up with a proposal that DOES? If you really study, objectively, and conclude that only mental health improvements can help–then make that case, comprehensively in a convincing manner, and propose what enhancements in mental health are recommended, why, what cost, how to develop and offer them. Suggest how we then measure to see what are the outcomes of Fox recommended solutions.

Fox focus is on items which will galvanize or has galvanized (under Trump) around America discontent. One must ask, what would have happened if Trump had made it clear that immigrants contribute and we want to try hard to improve our ability to accept immigrants? What a difference that would have been and would have made! To what extent was the negative view of immigrants deep seated, or perhaps vulnerable to better information and better compensating policies? We’ll never know, but here Fox had and has an opportunity to represent the Conservative agenda and not succumb to nothing but empty criticism.

Hey, as to 2022 and 2024, remember, Fox, the key issue in most elections is the economy, and this is already a growing healthy economy, no matter Biden inherited the start of a Covid recovery. And, it does appear Biden policies will grow the economy rapidly, according to Conservative voices, such as the Wall Street Journal, notwithstanding such as Larry Kudlow opining on Fox. If this economy serves the working American well, Fox and Republicans will have a very hard time in 2022 and 2024, no matter how much they try to do nothing but beat on the list of 10+ items above.

Best advice to Fox–wanta do something good, something valuable, something that might also position you for leadership in the decade and beyond?

If so, start focusing on solutions for the problems above. Drop the venom.

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