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Posted by on Jun 2, 2015 in Media, Politics | 9 comments

Fox News Repeatedly Makes Fun of and Misgenders Caitlyn Jenner


When I was in Spain brought in by Newsweek’s bureau and regular stringer to help out on a big story right before the death of General Francisco Franco, the Newsweek stinger pointed to a big rally of pro-government attendees at what would be Franco’s last speech. “These are not nice people,” he said, pointing to the crowd.

Fox News staffers cannot be compared to Francoists, but, I would have to say after reading this that some of the folks at Fox News are (no-duh moment) not really nice people:

A segment on Fox Business’ Cavuto repeatedly mocked Caitlyn Jenner, who debuted her new identity Monday on the cover of Vanity Fair, and misidentified her with male pronouns.
Neil Cavuto introduced the segment by asking in an exaggerated voice, “What the hell is going on?!?” The reporter, Dagen Mcdowell then proceeded to incorrectly use the pronouns “him” and “his” to refer to Caitlyn seven times.
Cavuto makes a joke of wanting to end the segment quickly, “Look at the time…” He then introduces his next guest, Charles Payne, as “Charlene Payne” to uproarious laughter.

Some thoughts:

1. This shows how far our “journalism” has fallen in the United States. Politics is now a form of entertainment — but it has turned our serious discussion and punditry into a melody of ragefests, or insults against groups or people, or outright derision. Fox News has helped define and shape our culture and does imprint some viewers.

2. If this had been on another network years ago, the person saying it would have been fired. This isn’t just commentary or analysis.

3. Fox News is indeed making money hand over fist.

4. Fox News, however, seems stuck in a time tunnel, ignoring polls, seemingly gearing its reaction to how older generations would react.

5. Thank God that despite its huge ratings, Fox News’ ratings still cannot compare with the ratings regular broadcast networks get. It hasn’t changed radically from how it was two years ago, in this Pew Poll:

Even at a time of fragmenting media use, television remains the dominant way that Americans get news at home, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of Nielsen data. And while the largest audiences tune into local and network broadcast news, it is national cable news that commands the most attention from its viewers.

Almost three out of four U.S. adults (71%) watch local television news and 65% view network newscasts over the course of a month, according to Nielsen data from February 2013. While 38% of adults watch some cable news during the month, cable viewers—particularly the most engaged viewers—spend far more time with that platform than broadcast viewers do with local or network news.1

On average, the cable news audience devotes twice as much time to that news source as local and network news viewers spend on those platforms. And the heaviest cable users are far more immersed in that coverage—watching for more than an hour a day—than the most loyal viewers of broadcast television news. Even those adults who are the heaviest viewers of local and network news spend more time watching cable than those broadcast outlets.

Time Spent with TV NewsThe data in this study was prepared specifically for the Pew Research Center by Nielsen, the primary source of ratings and viewership information for the television industry. This comparison of in-home network and local television, cable and internet news consumption offers a unique look at how people get news across different platforms in a rapidly changing media environment. It is based on Nielsen’s national panel of metered homes and reflects viewership in the month of February 2013, which largely coincides with the first television “sweeps” period of the year. (See Methodology)

The numbers in this report dovetail with other data about television news viewership. A 2012 Pew Research Center survey of news consumption habits shows that local television remains the most popular way of accessing news. And Pew Research’s annual State of the News Media report shows that the nightly network newscasts draw far larger audiences than the prime-time cable news shows.

But the deeper level of viewer engagement with cable news may help to explain why cable television—despite a more limited audience—seems to have an outsized ability to influence the national debate and news agenda.

Fox News is to “fair and balanced” what a pizza with triple cheese is to a diet.

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