The Fox Fight--A Base Rallier

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The Fox News kerfuffle continues. Rachel Maddow made the point last night that Fox stopped being a regular news network when it moved into advocacy for the Tea Partiers. I'm not sure I buy that. If it wasn't an advocacy network before, that was hardly the turning point. I'm in the camp, as I've written, that most MSM journalists are: this was probably a mistake for the White House. That's not because I think Fox is fair and balanced--it's not--but because it looks small of the White House and it disses the Democratic and independent viewers who watch Fox. That said, one point I should have made: This sure has rallied the Democratic base, especially in the days before the public option got put in the Senate health care bill. If Obama was dragging on don't-ask-don't-tell and closing Gitmo and is about to add more troops in Afghanistan, well, this was easy red meat. I'm not saying the argument is wholly without merit, but it struck me as kind of a sideshow.

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Matthew Cooper is a managing editor (White House) for National Journal.

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