July 10, 2013
Elisabeth Hasselbeck
Elisabeth Hasselbeck (Evan Agostini / Associated Press)

The news: Elisabeth Hasselbeck of ABC’s “The View” is moving to “Fox & Friends,” as the New York Post reported last night. She’ll be joining Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade on Fox News’s horseshoe couch sometime in September. As part of the shakeup, longtime “Fox & Friends” co-host Gretchen Carlson will be moving to an unspecified one-hour daytime slot at Fox News.

The upshot: none.

As the Erik Wemple Blog has previously argued in this space, “Fox & Friends” should have been shut down long ago, its couch shipped off to Goodwill and its “talent” unleashed on the free market. Perhaps Hasselbeck will be a transformative force, strong enough to: neutralize the mindless quipping of Doocy and Kilmeade; overhaul the program’s booking policies; banish its history of egregious mistakes; and otherwise undo everything that the show has stood for. None of that will happen.

And why should it? “Fox & Friends,” after all, continues to drub the competition in the ratings, leaving zero incentive for Fox News to even tinker with what has to be the dumbest news show on major television. The case against cable TV news starts and ends with this abomination.

Fox News’s lineup these days has a plug-in feel to it. Plug in an import from ABC for “Fox & Friends”; the show will continue to romp. Plug in Gretchen Carlson somewhere in daytime; the show will romp. Plug in Megyn Kelly in primetime; same results, for sure. Think about that Gallup poll from earlier this week. Fox News bested all other outlets when Gallup asked respondents about their main news source. That’s an astonishing feat given that Fox News has been in the business for just 16 years. Those folks respond to carefully chosen news topics and programming formulas that will proceed regardless of who anchors what when.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.