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Marcus High School's Online Newspaper

The Marquee

Marcus High School's Online Newspaper

The Marquee

Weatherman and fortune tellers

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An old woman sat behind the camera of the most watched news network in the country, holding a deck of cards. Beside her, Fox News host Jesse Watters explained the segment. The old woman, Paula Roberts, was going to draw a tarot card and make a prediction about how former President Donald Trump’s year was going to go. 

Over the last few years people’s relationship with information has fundamentally changed.“

Though I find it funny that Fox News has fully taken the plunge into making “news” for medieval peasants, I believe it speaks to a wider issue with American news media.

Over the last few years people’s relationship with information has fundamentally changed, and this change I believe has led to not just that little stunt on Fox, but a rise of sensationalism and fear mongering even amongst formerly respected stations. If you were to take just a cursory look at what news is on the airwaves it would seem like there’s just no quality reporting anymore among stations like MSNBC, CNN and Fox.

Fueled by Trump-era xenophobia, Fox News became both America’s most viewed and one of its most hated networks during the 2010s, but ratings began to crash in the 2020s. Fox resorting to airing actual magic is pretty clear evidence that the network is dying. I can’t say I’m particularly heartbroken by the news, but why exactly is this happening?

When CNN began to broadcast 24-hour news, the small local channels that had been the only source of news for many Americans, fell out of favor. The internet completely reorganized the way information is dispersed, so the natural side effect was the decline in the prominence of highly centralized cable news. This set the stage for the degrading of journalistic integrity to the point where Fox platforms a wizard.

The 24-hour news cycle has put cable news into a position where they have to both manufacture, and elongate stories. To be frank, 24 hours is just too much news, especially too much conservative news.

Conservatism relies on the premise that the past was better than the present, so for news to be conservative it must (for the most part) be negative. But this isn’t exclusive to conservative media.

Whether it’s anti-Chinese fear mongering, or the dehumanization of the homeless, cable news networks that portray themselves as progressive seem to entirely abandon their ethics to help pad for time.

The degradation of Fox’s coverage definitely contributed to the station’s drop in viewership, but the final nail in its coffin seems to be the same issue threatening all legacy media.

Where independent leftist journalism can offer a unique form of coverage that’s critical of existing power structures in a way mainstream media never is, right wing independent journalism offers conspiratorial unethical coverage in a way the “lame-stream media” legally can’t.

 In fewer words, Ben Shapiro can be more racist on the internet than someone on cable television, and that unfiltered kind of bigotry is alluring to many Fox viewers.

What can be done? Should something be done? I don’t think so. Fox is low quality news that’s genuinely dangerous at times, but beyond Fox, American news media overall is in decline.

Ratings across the board for cable news are in decline, and I believe it’s for all the same reasons Fox is struggling: The desire to remain profitable will drive any American news network, no matter how respectable, to air unethical, low quality meritless news.

To finish off her segment Fox’s desperate attempt at relevancy, Paula Roberts, drew a death card. Watters laughed nervously as she scrambled to explain that the death card only means change is coming. No matter how she tried to save the segment, I don’t think that card was just for the president. I predict Death is coming for Fox.

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About the Contributor
Jude Soape, Reporter
Jude Soape (?/!) is a first year staffer and writer. They’re a rabid fallout fan, a folk music enthusiast and an unrepentant film-bro.

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