As we enter the second half of 2011, and the Presidential race becomes ever more center stage, Fox News Channel is making every effort to legitimize itself as “mainstream”, just as Jon Stewart went after Fox News Channel on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace last week, as not being accurate or responsible in its coverage of politics and news!
Having “rescued” liberal commentator Juan Williams, after he was summarily fired by National Public Radio, with a reported $2 million a year five year contract, Fox News then went to hire CNN morning anchor John Roberts to be a national correspondent, and former Democratic Senator Evan Bayh to be a political commentator.
Now they have hired CNN White House correspondent Ed Henry to be their White House correspondent, and of course, for the past few years, they have had former CNN morning anchor Bill Hemmer on their station.
Will it work, to make Fox News Channel seem “mainstream”? With the leaving of Glenn Beck from his every weekday show through joint agreement, it might have some effect, although Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, John Stossel, Greta Van Susteren, Brit Hume, Bill Kristol, Liz Cheney, et al, make one wonder if that is possible!
Meanwhile, Keith Olbermann, who had a “divorce” from MSNBC, has now revived his “Countdown” show, following a similar format, on former Vice President Al Gore’s independent station, Current TV. For those who enjoyed his incisive coverage of politics, it is a welcome return, but the question is whether he can “steal’ the audience of MSNBC and Lawrence O’Donnell at the same hour, along with Eliot Spitzer on CNN. As it turns out, Current TV replays Olbermann’s show EIGHT times over the 24 hour cycle, so in theory, one can watch Spitzer, see O’Donnell in rerun at 11 pm, and then watch Olbermann at any three hour cycle up through dinner time the next day!
Additionally, Norah O’Donnell of MSNBC and NBC, who had been a chief Washington correspondent, is now moving to CBS as their White House correspondent. Always pleasant and appealing in her manner of reporting and commenting, CBS has staged a major coup by gaining her employment!
So cable news and TV news in general has become ever more personality driven, and adds interest to the coverage of major political events!