The grumblers were picking up on a strategy that has been under way for some time — a “course correction,” as Fox chief Roger Ailes put it last fall — with the network distancing itself from the tea party cheerleading that characterized the first two years of President Barack Obama’s presidency. Lately, Fox has increasingly promoted its straight-news talent in the press and conducted some of the toughest interviews and debates of the Republican primary season. Just last week, it hired the openly gay liberal activist Sally Kohn as a contributor.
They also describe the following incident:
After the Tucson shooting last year, when criticism rained down on Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck for their violent rhetoric, Ailes moved to lower the temperature, telling Russell Simmons, “I told all of our guys, ‘Shut up, tone it down, make your argument intellectually.’”
Politico then points to George Soros and Media Matters involvement:
He said that pressure went beyond the $1 million that Soros gave Media Matters in October 2010 “to hold Fox News accountable.”
“We talked to a private investigator who interviewed representatives or employees of News Corporation about the threats and intimidation against them for going after Soros,” he said.
The author then quotes Cliff Kincaid, president of America’a Survival, who had a whole booth at CPAC dedicated to questioning Fox’s programming choices:
“What happened is they buckled under pressure from George Soros and his operatives to get rid of Glenn Beck,” said Kincaid, who wants Beck back on the air so he can continue his “investigative journalism” into Soros’s influence on the media.
Of course being Politico, they could not resist quoting a birther group—nothing like painting conservative concerns about Fox programming as the rantings of the conspiracy minded. Nevertheless, they do show that Fox is making a “course correction” and conservatives should be concerned. Luckily, conservative websites, like Redstate, are filling part of the void created by Fox’s actions and this is creating an opportunity for these sites to increase their “viewership”.