Joe Henderson: Ron DeSantis should know Fox News is ‘corporate media’ too
Image via AP.

Ah, but DeSantis likes Fox, so that means Fox is OK

Gov. Ron DeSantis believes he has found a winning label to smear a profession he believes is overstuffed with losers.

That’s why you don’t hear the usual Republican protestations against their old adversary, the media. No, that’s not definitive enough.

Now, the boogeyman is “corporate” media. It’s easier to believe, I guess, the leaders of “corporate” media are involved in a nefarious plot to ruin the lives of “real Americans” by feeding them leftist woke propaganda.

Am I right, comrade?

“We all know corporate media lies,” DeSantis recently said. “They do not tell the truth. Assume what they tell you is false and then figure out why they’re telling you a false narrative.”

I’ll address that in a minute, but let’s first examine this “corporate” thing.

The Governor loves Fox News, as do millions of other people.

Fox crushes its cable competitors CNN and MSNBC. Ad Week reported that Fox has more viewers for its primetime news/opinion lineup than those two networks combined.

Fox just completed its 39th consecutive week as No. 1 in total daytime viewers. Fox Corp. (ooh, is that a corporation?) reported revenue of $3.05 billion (with a B) in the first quarter of the new fiscal year.

Translation: By any standard, Fox is corporate media, wildly popular with its viewership. Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson draw huge ratings and bring in massive amounts of money to their corporate masters. Both men also have been known to, um, spin stories to fit their political points of view.

That’s just fine because they are commentators. In a slander lawsuit against Carlson, Fox’s lawyers argued his audience doesn’t expect his statements to be factual and Carlson doesn’t need to research whether what he is saying is wrong.

“What we’re talking about here, it’s not the front page of the New York Times,” attorney Erin Murphy said. “It’s ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight,’ which is a commentary show.”

So, let’s see here — Fox News, which offers DeSantis massive amounts of free airtime — fits the definition of corporate. One of its biggest stars is an entertainer and not bound by the truth.

I assume Fox deliberately slants the news and Carlson plays loose with the facts, and MSNBC does the same thing to appeal to its more liberal audience.

And Fox Corp. (that name again) rakes in a lot of money that helps fuel its other interests.

Do we ever hear DeSantis talk about that?

Of course not, because lumping Fox in with his perceived enemies blunts his argument that the media is the devil.

Going along with DeSantis’ suggestion, I assume this charge is false, and it’s easy to figure out why he’s selling a false narrative.

He is running for re-election.

Joe Henderson

I have a 45-year career in newspapers, including nearly 42 years at The Tampa Tribune. Florida is wacky, wonderful, unpredictable and a national force. It's a treat to have a front-row seat for it all.


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