I’m a registered Republican — but almost twenty-four years after I became of legal voting age (I turned 18 years old in 1983), and based on what’s happened in that particular time span, I’m beginning to think that it might have been a mistake, even if it wasn’t as serious as Barry Goldwater’s vision of right-wing conservatism in the United States back in 1964 which has, for better or worse, become a reality (and why America’s suffered in many respects since).
By the time Goldwater died in late-May 1999, Fox News Channel — a part of Rupert Murdoch’s global media empire — was nearing its third anniversary, and its prestige and popularity growing, especially among right-wing conservative Republicans in the U.S. Fox News‘ growing disdain for liberal Democrats in the U.S. — not to mention rival network MSNBC, which champions liberals, as well as CNN for not being one-sided when it comes to reporting the news — was its way (and the credo of the growing number of right-wing conservative media personalities) of stating that it made its own rules and created its own truths, and to hell with the rest of the world. Kind of like Alexander the Great — the ancient Roman empire — and all corrupt leaders (both past and present) who want to bend the world to their will (whether or not what I’ve just written is a fair comparison — I’ll let you decide).
In almost the past year, even as Donald Trump was about to successfully descend on the White House, Fox News Channel has been hit by public scandal which’s resulted in the exiting of several key personnel — the most recent being Bill O’Reilly, who was fired by Fox News two days ago in the wake of recent sexual harrasment charges that received national attention, and which led to a rapid decrease of adveristers for The O’Reilly Factor and bringing forth its cancellation, which might be a blessing in disguise, especially since it proves that Fox News is anything but indestructible, and that its callous treatment of women is a slap in the face, and not just to women’s lib. No doubt that liberal journalists are currently having a field day with what’s been happening — with some believing that Fox News‘ possible downfall can’t be far behind.
There’s only one problem with that idea: O’Reilly’s firing from Fox News won’t stop the right-wing media steamroller from moving forward — just like many politicians in Washington probably realize that impeachment won’t bring Donald Trump’s administration to a dead halt. And anyone familiar with the mythical legend of the Hydra knows that there’ll be new right-wing media personalities to pick up where O’Reilly left off — including, unfortunately, Alex Jones, who’s already making one too many enemies several years after the tragic shooting incident in Newtown, Connecticut (and trust me, what happened there wasn’t a fantasy).
Whether or not Fox News stays on top of the Nielsen ratings heap following Bill O’Reilly’s firing remains to be seen. But perhaps Fox News and its corporate owners should take heed of the old axiom “Nothing lasts forever.” After all, a cable TV news network like Fox News can’t remain #1 in the ratings forever. Of course, if Fox News stays on the same perilous path which begat those public scandals — and it’s not the first time that it’s happened — its downfall might come sooner than expected, thus shattering its so-called “fair and balanced” reputation.
JOHN LAVERNOICH is the author of five published books — as well as various short stories and articles, including his most recent, BETRAYED — AND BURNED, on Booksie‘s website.