Remember the CNN Effect? Back when the first cable news network had the field to itself, scholars used to argue about its impact on foreign policy. Some said that CNN's 24/7 coverage forced the U.S. government to act too quickly in response to graphic TV images and public pressure. How high-minded that seems in a cable news world that's now under the influence of the Fox News Effect.<quoted text>
And your point? Oh must be people that don't understand what's going in will believe anything.
Fox News Channel's impact on TV news has been so pervasive and profound that it's hard to believe the network is only 10 years old. FNC's flashy graphics, frenetic pace and opinionated hosts have spawned imitators across the spectrum. Compare CNN's Lou Dobbs today — with his on-camera rants about immigration and outsourcing — to the staid Dobbs who anchored the old "Moneyline," and it's obvious he's been "Foxified." Check out MSNBC's multilayered graphics, complete with scrolling text and whooshing sound effects, and the Fox imprint is clear.
None of that seemed likely when FNC launched. CNN was well established, and two-month-old MSNBC was seen as the comer, with its corporate backing and established news pedigree. CNN's Ted Turner boasted that he'd squash Fox News "like a bug." Even the head of Fox News admits it started way behind. "We had no newsgathering operation..no studios, no equipment, no employees, no stars, no talent and no confidence from anybody," Roger Ailes is quoted as saying in Scott Collins' book, "Crazy Like a Fox."
But the new channel did have two things the other guys lacked: a target audience and a visionary leader. Ailes, a former political consultant for Republican candidates, knew exactly what he wanted Fox to be, and it definitely wasn't a clone of the other two. While planning the new channel, he claims to have watched CNN for a solid week and found it excruciatingly boring.