The Fox Effect

Richard Ramsey writes about Fox Geezer Syndrome:

Over the past couple of years, I’ve been keeping track of a trend among friends around my age (late thirties to mid-forties). Eight of us (so far) share something in common besides our conservatism: a deep frustration over how our parents have become impossible to take on the subject of politics. Without fail, it turns out that our folks have all been sitting at home watching Fox News Channel all day — especially Glenn Beck’s program.


The years 2009 and 2010 were a period of declining popularity for Barack Obama, for the Democratic Party, and for progressive politics in the United States of America. Under the circumstances, it’s tempting to examine any particular trend in American political life that operated in parallel to this and see it as advantageous to conservative politics. Hence the skyrocketing popularity of a deliberate kind of political entertainment in which folks like Glenn Beck lie to gullible conservatives about what’s happening in America appear to many as a form of successful political tactic. In reality, however, the declining popularity of Obama, Democrats, and progressives can be easily attributable to poor economic conditions. Now that trends have leveled off and Obama is back at 50 percent and we seem to be headed for a span of so-so growth I think we’re going to find that while Beck has certainly carved out a lucrative business niche for himself, that in political terms creating a paranoid and misinformed base is not helpful.