CONNAUGHTON: Conservatives Should Think Before ‘Canceling’ Fox News

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Jay Connaughton Managing Partner, People Who Think
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Conservatives should pause for a moment and question whether the criticism of Fox News should escalate into our own version of “cancel culture.” 

Indeed, many conservatives are frustrated and desperately seeking answers after the 2020 election outcome. But as efforts target Fox News for blame, it would be smart to pause for a moment and question the impact that might have.

No other newspaper, network, online or cable operation comes close to Fox News Channel’s reach, resources and impact.

Reactively turning our backs because we disagree with their reporting from time to time embraces the liberal cancel culture we all oppose. I don’t have to agree with every word coming out of the Fox News talking heads to understand that a strong Fox News Channel can be a catalyst for conservative efforts everywhere.

Political movements and ideas need media oxygen to gather support. For those who don’t share the more liberal viewpoints of CNN or MSNBC, the only available option is Fox News. In both its news operations and primetime opinion programming, Fox News provides a consistent, credible platform for conservatives.

Case in point: Hunter Biden. In the weeks leading up to the 2020 election, the major news networks mortgaged their credibility. They colluded to protect the Biden Family after clear evidence that Hunter Biden’s shady deals triggered a federal investigation.

Now we know the truth, and only Fox News Channel dared to tackle the story head-on.

Social media giants like Facebook and Twitter joined the left-wing media machine. They did everything in their power to prevent the spread of information that might be detrimental to the Biden campaign. Fox News covered the story and shed light where others censored what we now know, to be honest, factual, and frightening.

Don’t believe me? Look no further than the liberal media outlets who whined about Fox News for “relentlessly covering” the story with hundreds of segments.

In fact, Fox News is the only news organization that told its millions of viewers the truth about the Bidens. 

Over the last four years, anti-Republican, fake-collusion stories across all forms of media reached an all-time high. Conservatives already face massive headwinds in an uphill battle for balanced coverage. Our side needs every available communication channel for conservative messages to reach voters — from local blogs, to talk radio, to online news outlets, to cable television. Fox News is our 800-pound gorilla.

Public Relations 101 says never to pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel. Well, Fox News far outpaces that test with millions of regular viewers. In fact, there have been weeks where Fox News has had the highest-rated programming in all of television — outpacing broadcast primetime shows, opening days of baseball, basketball, and pummeling their more liberal news counterparts. Do we, as conservatives, really think it’s smart to turn off that megaphone?

Politics is a game of addition, and political campaigns are all about communicating. Conservatives beware of turning our angst on our most significant media outlet when in just weeks, the winners of the Georgia runoff elections will determine majority control of the Senate and that impact could be felt for many years more.

Georgia Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler are crisscrossing their state nonstop in hopes to speak to as many Georgians as possible. Fox News is a critical asset in their efforts, and right now is the worst possible time to snipe at our side’s most valuable platform for voter communication. I can promise you that CNN and MSNBC are not doing Perdue or Loeffler any favors, let alone providing balanced coverage. 

Fox News is the only network with an effective reach that ensures conservatives like Perdue and Loeffler can speak directly to millions of Georgia households without their views being distorted or censored.

Why in the world would we want voters to change the channel right now? Abandoning Fox News now would be a terrible strategic mistake. It could be a mistake that costs us two US Senate seats.

Sure, conservatives should expect the most from Fox News and hold them to the highest of standards. But now more than ever, let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Jay Connaughton is the founder of Innovative Politics, one of the nation’s top Republican political advertising firms.