Fox News Channel didn’t endorse Barack Obama, and one suspects few of its primetime hosts would publicly admit how happy they are to have him in office. Nevertheless, his administration is working out very, very well for the right-leaning cable network.
From News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch’s comments regarding today’s quarterly earnings:
“Our Cable Network Programming segment showed remarkable growth, led by the Fox News Channel, which nearly doubled its operating income over the year-ago quarter. … The Fox News Channel (FNC) almost doubled its operating income versus the third quarter a year ago, primarily from increased affiliate revenues on higher rates. In the quarter ended March 31, 2009, FNC primetime ratings were up 23% compared with the same period a year ago.”
The practical implications of this — amid an otherwise tough quarter for the media conglomerate, in keeping with the deflated results put up by its peers — are that Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes and his posse should continue full steam ahead in delivering voice-of-the-opposition attacks on the Obama administration. Murdoch might have personally softened his political views (or so Michael Wolff says in his biography of the mogul), but he’s nothing if not a pragmatist, and feeding red meat (and of course Tea bags) to the disenfranchised right has been very good for business.
So remember, the next time you see someone on Fox complain about the president being a socialist/Marxist/fascist/foreign-born/closet-radical/terrorist sympathizer, strictly from the standpoint of good old-fashioned capitalism, they wouldn’t have it any other way.