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Op-Ed: Fox News – Lonely But Still Unafraid

Fox News legitimizes itself each day all over again.
Published: Friday, June 13, 2014 1:31 PM


On Monday, June 9, Megyn Kelly shared a scoop that raised broadcast journalism to another level. This was high drama.


Fox dares to differ and for that reason it sits alone in the cafeteria and can get no date for the Saturday night dance. The rest of journalism parties with Tom Friedman.
We saw thousands of children breaching and flooding our southern border in what amounts to an invasion. The kids were simply being dumped on American soil. The scene was horrifying and pathetic, pathetic for the kids and pathetic for a country, America, that has willingly relinquished its sovereignty – and the illegal immigrants keep coming.

The next day, voters in Virginia booted Rep. Eric Cantor from his seat in the House because he wasn’t tough enough on illegal immigration.

Can’t say if Kelly’s report contributed to Cantor’s defeat, but we can say that Fox News, which came along in 1995, continues to pleasantly surprise.

Fox News legitimizes itself each day all over again because for the longest time it got no respect for the crime of allowing the Right to have a say.  From the Age of Cronkite onward the networks selected what they thought we should know and the rest they kept hidden. Terrorists were “freedom fighters.” Still the case.

They used us as an experiment. They corrupted the scales and left us perilously semi-informed.

So even today, as Fox dominates and as the rest of them slurp on Obama lollipops, it is only Ed Henry that asks the tough questions at White House news briefings.

Fox dares to differ and for that reason it sits alone in the cafeteria and can get no date for the Saturday night dance. The rest of journalism parties with Tom Friedman.

It is still the only network that won’t let the administration off the hook for Benghazi and the other scandals. Anchor Bret Baier signs off his 6 pm report with the standard Fox motto, “Fair and Balanced,” and sometimes he adds this gutsy phrase – “and still unafraid.”

Fox came of age just in time. America was being bashed and Israel was being slandered from one network to the next.

During the Arafat years we got a belly-full of CNN’s terrorist apologist Hanan Ashrawi. Islamist bombs were going off throughout the Jewish State. Even as the blood was still running we seldom heard about Israel’s right to live but mostly about the Arab right to kill. The justifications for murder were ugly and sickening.

Fox does no special favors for Israel, but the Jewish State does get a fair shake and founder Rupert Murdoch makes no secret of his love of Zion.

Aussie/American press lord Murdoch created Fox News; TV maven Roger Ailes shaped it and he shaped it so that today it sits atop the cable ratings.

Murdoch gave Ailes a free hand, saying, in effect, “Go. Make it work.” It works. Ailes proved that blondes are smart and that journalism can be honest and glamorous, too. He saw Minow’s “vast television wasteland” as a place to sift for gold. He developed the talented and the gifted like Kelly and Baier and Bill Hemmer and Dana Perino into personalities and turned Charles Krauthammer into a star.

It’s still a work in progress.

Glenn Beck didn’t work out for the 5 pm slot so Ailes replaced it with The Five, a lively hour of swift-moving and intelligent political talk. There you will find exchanges about the new Islamist threat ISIS, a strain of hyper fundamentalism that is coming to Israel and has already arrived in Iraq, Jordan and Syria – news that the other networks blissfully ignore to our peril.

We the people are customers for truth. Just give us the facts, as Fox has been doing, and trust us to decide. That is all we ask from journalism. For there is nothing more harmful to a nation that to be force-fed lies and half-truths, which is how we get misled onto the path of tyranny. This is dangerously close to where we are today.

Jack Engelhard writes a regular column for Arutz Sheva. Engelhard wrote the int’l bestseller Indecent Proposal that was translated into more than 22 languages and turned into a Paramount motion picture starring Robert Redford and Demi Moore. New from the novelist, the anti-BDS thriller Compulsive. Website: www.jackengelhard.com