Thursday, June 15, 2017

Fox News Is “Fair and Balanced” No More

In the latest sign of change at the cable news network, the “Fair and Balanced” motto that has long been a rallying cry for Fox News fans — and a finger in the eye of critics — is gone. The channel confirmed on Wednesday that slogan and network have parted ways, according to The NY Times.

“The shift has nothing to do with programming or editorial decisions,” the network said in a statement. Instead, the slogan was dropped in part because of its close association with Roger Ailes, a network founder, former chairman and the originator of the phrase, who was fired in August in a sexual harassment scandal.

The network said that “Fair and Balanced” was shelved as a marketing tool after Mr. Ailes’s departure. In its place is a new motto: “Most Watched, Most Trusted.”

Another Fox slogan, “We Report, You Decide,” has also been retired, although the network said that it returned occasionally.

The new motto, “Most Watched, Most Trusted,” mimics the firm cadence of the previous slogans

Gabriel Sherman
According to longtime Fox-Media-Writer-Watcher Gabriel Sherman at New York, "It is hard to overstate the significance of what shedding “Fair & Balanced” means for Fox News."   It would be like the New York Times giving up “All the News That’s Fit to Print.” Ailes invented the slogan when he launched the network in 1996, and over the years it became a quasi-religious doctrine among Fox’s anchors and viewers. The effectiveness of Fox News as a vehicle for conservative ideology depended on it. “If you come out and you try to do right-wing news, you’re gonna die. You can’t get away with it,” Ailes once told a reporter.

In the annals of modern advertising, “Fair & Balanced” will be considered a classic. The slogan was Ailes’s cynical genius at its most successful. While liberals mocked the tagline, it allowed Ailes to give viewers the appearance of both sides being heard, when in fact he made sure producers staged segments so that the conservative viewpoint always won.

A Fox News spokesperson confirmed that the network is dropping the slogan but said the branding change won’t affect programming or editorial decisions.

No comments:

Post a Comment