Saturday, November 08, 2008

Fox News in the Agony of Defeat

I am not the only one who had been watching Faux News occasionally as the election approached to see what they were throwing at the Democrats and have seen a change from election day onward. They lost, are unhappy about it, but seem to have made a collective decision to regroup before they become the disloyal opposition to the new Washington rulers.

Mark Ames at AlterNet:
The Fox execs also did their best to affect a civil, gracious tone. That's why watching the Fox News agony-of-defeat spectacle was more subtle than I'd expected: The mob leaders had decided to abandon the mob -- meaning if I wanted to get a glimpse into the raw screeching agony that the right wing really feels when the camera is turned off, I would have to head into the blog world, where they could squeal their lungs out in safe anonymity. The "patriots" at, which boasts millions of visitors, went through at least four rapid stages of decline on Election Day: first, hope; then utter shock at the realization of defeat; then outrage and a sense of betrayal; and finally a retreat into Christian prayer and empty threats of Red Dawn armed insurrection. The Freepers aren't just outraged at Obama and the communist-Islamo-terrorists taking over the White House; they are also outraged at the Republican Party that "betrayed" them, outraged at the American population that proved to be nothing but brainwashed "sheeple" (someone named kimchilover wrote, "For the first time, in my adult life, I am ashamed of my country … my little take on Michelle's sentiments"), and even outraged at, yes, Fox News, which they quickly sensed was abandoning them. Many couldn't make sense of being abandoned by Fox. As one commenter wrote, "Watch Fox with the sound off and you will be LESS aggravated."

...Like the much more numerous Freepers, the mob at Pajamas Media is outraged because they have been betrayed. It's not just that the liberals betrayed them, but that the leaders they'd followed -- Fox News, right-wing bloggers, and the Republican elite who have been mobilizing their pitchfork fury -- now find their savagery a liability, and they're abandoning them. It's the fury of having been played for a sucker -- and the "real American" mob has been played for the biggest sucker in American history, as is clear from their sense of abandonment.

It is an incredible spectacle to behold: the Republican elite abandoning a 20-year narrative at the snap of a finger just to make sure that it is positioned well in the new Obama dynamic. The Republican elite has clearly decided that the "Real America" mob it had exploited had become a liability, but still it's amazing how seamlessly and quickly it can throw its own audience overboard. Witness the smear campaign against the right-wing mob's heroine, Sarah Palin, who is now being taken down by none other than Bill O'Reilly.
The GOP appears to be very split over the tone and actions it should be taking. The RNC apparatus is still blasting out memos attacking Obama and the Democrats while wiser leaders and young Republicans are trying to convince them that is not how you rebuild after a big defeat.

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