"Journalists who write about Fox News don’t watch Fox News"
Professional Fox-watchers Matt Negrin and Bobby Lewis on the future of right-wing TV and the scary gaps in mainstream coverage of its excesses.
Ever wonder what the key differences are between Fox News and OAN? Or why mainstream journalists have a such hard time not pulling punches when it comes to characterizing Fox News as what it really is — a propaganda machine? If these questions pique your interest, this is the newsletter for you.
Wednesday’s edition of Public Notice featured a mini-profile of Media Matters’ Bobby Lewis, one of the foremost Fox News tweeters of the Trump years, and how he’s doing now that he’s switched beats and had some time to detox from the daily Fox & Friends grind. I also got perspective on the importance of Lewis’s work from one of my favorite media critics, Matt Negrin of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show.
There were lots of good bits from the lengthy interviews I did with Lewis and Negrin that didn’t make it into Wednesday’s piece, however. So for this paid-subscriber-only edition of Public Notice, I thought I’d share some of the choice outtakes from them, including answers to the two questions in the lede. After that, I share some thoughts on Biden’s historic news conference and on the big day that was in the Senate, so read all the way to the bottom to check that out.
Negrin on why he thinks mainstream journalists have such a hard time accurately describing Fox News as a propaganda outlet and its staffers as propagandists:
I think it might be a personal connection thing. I remember years ago when I was a White House blogger with Politico, and people were friendly with Ed Henry, who was at CNN at the time. And he was like this really fun guy and he was cool. And then he went to work for Fox. And at that point you should be like, oh, this guy's a lunatic. He’s endorsing birtherism and a lot of people would still be like, oh, Ed Henry’s fun, he’s cool.
And then the other part might just be that I think it's possible that journalists don't watch Fox News. I think it's very likely [that] especially journalists who write about Fox News don’t watch Fox News.