Come on.  The Sun-Times’s Mike Thomas doesn’t see Fox News as a corrective to the left– and Dem-leaning (fallen over) CNN?  Not to judge by his 10th-anniversary story with its headline that has Fox News “shooting from the lips” and asking, “Right making might?”  The story is chatty and eminently newspaper-journalistic but with head in sand.

The way critics body slam Fox News Channel, which turns 10 on Saturday, you'd think it's the spawn of Lucifer himself -- a swaggeringly jingoistic, missing-white-females-fixated, George W. Bush-toadying curse loosed upon the earth to wreak havoc. And maybe that's true

is the lede ‘graf, with a “then again” follow-up says it may have “simply found a formula that sets it apart from the pack” etc. — without giving the formula.  The formula is its willingness to depart from the Dem-lib line.  Has Thomas looked in on Lou Dobbs lately?

The story is quick to note Fox ratings are falling faster than “its cable rivals,” without saying how far behind they are:

FOX - Aug 2005 -- 1,001,000 -- Aug 2006 -- 933,000 - 7% drop
CNN - Aug 2005 -- 433,000 -- Aug 2006 -- 584,000 - 35% increase
MSNBC - Aug 2005 -- 220,000 -- Aug 2006 -- 277,000 - 26% increase

The writer asks around.

"They've found their audience," says Jon Petrovich, sector head of broadcast and electronic media at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. "The proof's in the pudding, right?"

The pudding?  “As Fox famously claims, [it’s being] Fair and Balanced.”  It’s a “much-lambasted” claim, “especially” (only? mostly?) by libs.  Example?  A glitch the other day when Mark Foley was labelled a Democrat.  That’s what drives libs nuts?  The occasional glitch?  Come on.

There’s nothing here about giving people what they want, just a sort of dancing around and mystification at success achieved by Roger Ailes, who “positioned Fox to the right of center,” per the Medill man, and thus supplied a gaping hole in coverage, say I; and in the process “poked a slumbering lion,” CNN. 

Poked a sleeping giant makes more sense, namely viewers who wanted a straighter version than is available from CNN, whose man in Baghdad, by the way, played along with Sadaam before the invasion, did he not, admitting it after the war.

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