Several recent reports have traced a significant decline in Fox News’ audience. There are a couple of reasons. One is the average age of Fox viewers (65); another is a rather significant erosion in the number of “true believers.”

in a survey of public attitudes toward a variety of media outlets, Public Policy Polling found a marked drop in Fox News’s credibility. A record-high
46 percent of Americans said they put no trust in the network, a nine-point increase over 2010, and 39 percent named Fox News as their least-trusted news source, a percentage that dwarfed all other news channels. (MSNBC, which came in second, was distrusted by only 14 percent.)

As might be expected, Fox News’s credibility barely budged among liberals and moderates (roughly three-quarters of whom still distrust the network) and very conservative viewers (three-quarters of whom still trust it). However, among those who identified themselves as “somewhat conservative,” the level of trust fell by an eye-opening 27 percentage points during the previous twelve months (from a net plus–47 percent  “trust” rating in 2012 to plus–20 percent now). Only a bare majority of center-right conservatives surveyed by PPP say that Fox News is trustworthy.

 The base audience that Fox set out to capture is quite literally dying off. Meanwhile, the strategy the network employed–becoming a “news” source that could be relied upon to pander to the prejudices and beliefs of the most conservative elements of the Republican base–is preventing the network from replacing the True Believers as they die.

More and more, the network is being seen for what it is: a partisan mouthpiece, not a genuine news outlet. It’s about time.


  1. How come some very liberal people I know, who work at FOX News consider its news non-biased?

    I think you, and many other liberals are confusing the news segments with the commentator segments.

    For those who cannot accept FOX as anything but conservative, what’s the problem with having one conservative leaning network out of at least 6 other liberal leaning networks?

  2. Please. They run their opinion and their news together so much that its impossible to distinguish what is what. On top of that, FOX has this curious coincidence that props up every time a republican lawmaker is involved in an ugly scandal. In each case fox captions will misdescribe them as a democrat, and then pull party affiliation entirely. It happened with rep Foley, with vitter in Louisiana, and Larry “wide stance” Craig from Idaho. If fox was merely conservative, that wold be on thing, but they simply make things up.

  3. It would be interesting to know the age and ethnicity of those commenting. I am a 70 year old white male and I know Fox news used to distort news and fabricate news. I don’t know if that is still the case as I have not watched Fox for years.

  4. Luther, FOX makes things up in the same way MSNBC edits audio to make George Zimmerman sound racist?

  5. John: Because they LIE. Fox news watchers are so brainwashed by the “Fair and Balanced” spew that they are unaware there are other places to get ‘news’ in this world. Those that can’t get enough conservative viewpoints then go to Rush, Drudge, Politico and the Blaze to get more radical made up sh*t.

  6. I was watching Fox news yesterday afternoon to occupy my brain while on a treadmill. They were bemoaning the decrease in air traffic controllers at large airports. This was causing them inconvenience. Better, I suppose, to let people in small cities bear the brunt.
    But then one comment, almost verbatim, was that the “government was playing politics”. I’ve been trying to digests this ever since.
    If I use the term, it applies to a politician of one party or the other, dissing one in the other party. But the government? It seems to imply an opponent somewhere. Are we the opponent?
    Does this support the view of the more paranoid gun lovers who need their semiautomatics to fight off the government coming after their guns?

  7. Unfortunetly, I know quite a bit of young conservatives that are victims of the propaganda that is Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, The Blaze, etc that is spewed from these anti-intellectual minions. My conservative friends let their brains absorb that garbage and they subsequently become extremely hostile to anything with Progressive, Liberal, or Democrat attached to it.

  8. I read several news sources daily, but only trust NPR. So; go ahead somebody, burst my NPR bubble.

  9. A once-famous singer and his family have been led down that same sad path to Fox News. Because they are old family friends, I try not to delete every single misguided e-mail they send, but it’s getting more and more difficult. I honestly can’t believe that they buy into this stuff.

    Travis said it best here: “My conservative friends let their brains absorb that garbage and they subsequently become extremely hostile to anything with Progressive, Liberal, or Democrat attached to it.”

    It flew past “sad” with the national election of 2008, and it’s now well on its way to “just pathetic” what comes out of their heads and into our inboxes. Thank goodness for “delete” and “are you sure you want to block this person?” Yep!

  10. Betty, when I get the emails that start with “Believe it or not” in caps, I know something is up. It’s always fun to go to Snopes.com to blow up some of that stuff, and return it with “reply all” with the snopes.com information. For some reason people aren’t as interested in the truth about issues as they are about reading stuff that fits in with their biases.

    To sort out the demagoguery that comes from the politicians, I rely on politifact.com. After a while, most reasonable people get tired of yellow journalism mixed in with distortions, and want facts and the truth, but Fox (“Faux News”) is very open about pushing the envelope, and there has actually been some interesting research on that if one is interested. If I need solid and authoritative information, NPR is at the top of my list, and at the bottom is Fox, with CNN ranking a little higher. 30 solid minutes of the same video and the same “breaking news” said in five different ways is not the best way for me to spend my time.

  11. I understand most of you think you’re centrist, but believe me when I say you can’t hate Republicans and make excuses for Democrats and still be a centrist.

    My dad says the same thing about Fox News. My response is usually something along the lines of “well, you’re liberal and you watch MSNBC, compared to that, YES Fox News is conservative.” lol. For the sake of Pete MSNBC adopted the President’s reelection slogan as an on-screen graphic. I haven’t seen anything more egregious than that. They tend to leak more politics in their coverage than Fox, it used to be the other way around. Typically you don’t have to lie to come up with bad things to say about POTUS, you have to lie in defense.

  12. Stuart, I find myself going to Snopes or other fact-checker sites more and more to nip such tripe in the bud. I do realize that it does no good to send the info to the offending party/parties via “Reply All”. Only rarely does anyone reply with a thank you. Most are self-satisfied with the original “Believe it or not” tale. When we remind them that “it just ain’t so,” they don’t care for that so much. It’s a crazy world!

  13. Betty, I realize that I’m not taking the role of the nice guy, but of the one offering them the option to know some actual facts. Many people just don’t do their homework, and don’t try to find the real story, but are pretty gullible and are satisfied with that. For those who may be teetering, I’m saying, “I’m sending you the facts on this, and if you don’t want the facts, then that’s up to you, but you now have the choice you didn’t know you had. The message you received is crap.” If someone is really my friend, and not just someone using me on their “send” list, they will continue to write. I have one friend who intentionally sends me this stuff, because he knows I will do some research and give him objective information. The others won’t even respond, and might even take me off their list. Good decision! For the hundreds on “reply all”, some may take a second look, but if they don’t, they had the option and might actually give some thought to the next bit of evidence-free ideology that’s stuffed with lies. (As you know, these emails aren’t just a little different perspective on the facts, but made-up stuff, urban legends, conspiratorial delusions, etc.) For me, this is better than deleting it, knowing that some people actually haven’t had the chance to see the whole story. Now they have had that chance.

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