Of those two factors, Obama knows which one he and Democratic Party can change. And it’s not the ubiquity of Fox News in restaurants and bars across red America. Critics of Fox News often point to the channel’s aging demographic — 68 is the median age — as evidence of its sure-to-decline influence on American life. Yet those older, conservative, white folks are extraordinarily loyal to Fox News.
As this blog reported yesterday, a Pennsylvania logger whose life was extended by Obamacare stuck with the Obamacare-dissing Fox News long after heart-valve-replacement surgery. He loved the message of hardy self-reliance preached by King of Cable News Bill O’Reilly. Over the years, this blog has interviewed a great number of Fox News devotees at conservative conferences, once encountering a viewer who watches from 6 p.m. through 2 a.m., a nightly marathon that includes reruns of prime-time shows.
So Fox News will remain in those restaurants and bars. Obama and Co. should have more luck getting politicians to do more retail work on the hustings.
As media pundits consider the president’s legacy, Fox News deserves a place at the table. If not an obsession, Obama has propagated a steady disdain for the No. 1 cable news outlet — hammering it for propagating the notion of Obama-loving freeloaders, for pushing a bogus company line on Obamacare, for complicating efforts at reaching common ground in Washington and more and more. Expect even sharper elbows toward Fox News during his post-presidency.