|photo credit: mediamatters.org|
By most accounts, the Democrats stand to lose seats in both the House and Senate this coming Tuesday.
There are, of course, a wide range of explanations for why this is the case.
However, in endeavoring to explain how the GOP has seemingly managed to reverse its political fortunes in such a short amount of time, media outlets would be remiss not to mention one of the most important factors.
In fact, we don't need to wait for Tuesday's results to pinpoint perhaps the most significant development in the country's political landscape over the past two years.
One of the two major political parties in the country is run by a "news" network.
Since President Obama's inauguration, Fox News has transformed from simply the mouthpiece and oppo research shop of the Republican Party into its headquarters. For the GOP, Fox fundraises, campaigns, gives strategic advice, picks candidates (and then provides them a comfortable platform to reach millions of voters, free of charge), throws and promotes rallies, gets out the vote, and, perhaps most importantly, sets the narrative.
They do all of this while continuing their time-honored tradition of tearing down liberal initiatives and politicians with shameless smears, lies, misrepresentations, and fabricated stories. But before we get to Fox's massive influence over the coming elections, some back-story is necessary.
Less than two months after Obama's inauguration, Fox News senior vice president Bill Shine gave an interview with NPR about how the network's ratings were soaring at the time. During the interview, Shine noted that some people were "rooting for [Fox] to go away" after the election, but "[w]ith this particular group of people in power right now and the honeymoon they've had from other members of the media, does it make it a little bit easier for us to be the voice of opposition on some issues?"
Fox's programming has effectively answered Shine's rhetorical question with a forceful "yes."
Right out of the gate, Fox led the charge against the stimulus, eschewing the views of economists to attack deficit spending and rewriting history to attack FDR and the New Deal.
(Click here to read the full story on the Media Matters.org website)