Reading the New York Times' perfectly respectable feature on the influence of "Fox & Friends" — the morning-show safe haven for all things Republican — I couldn't help but think, "Is it even worth bothering?"

The genius of Fox News Channel's PR efforts, as exhausively documented by Jim Romenesko, are to turn anyone who writes a negative word about them — particularly an elitist bastion like the Times — into an ideological enemy with an axe to grind. It's hard to defend yourself from that charge, even if it's nonsense. (The fact Fox cooperated with the piece speaks to the effort the Times has put in to smooth the relationship and improve its access.)

Still, at the risk of inviting blowback, I was a little struck by Fox News exec Bill Shine's reference to knowing who the show's audience is by saying, "We didn’t spend a lot of time discussing who won the Tony Awards."

Now, you could take that a lot of ways, but when I think Tonys in this context, the words that immediately come to mind are "New York," "affluent," "liberal" and — yes — "gay." And since any network likes to crow to advertisers about reaching upscale demographics, I'd sort of eliminate "affluent" from the equation.

Let the accusations fly! I'll just be sitting here listening to the "Rent" soundtrack, along with the rest of the "Fox-hating liberal media elite living in New York and Los Angeles who are out of touch with real Americans."

 

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