Fox Porn
July 1, 2004 6:59 AM   Subscribe

How Fox News Gets Ratings

Move over Janet Jackson and CBS, here comes Fox News with the "full plow!" Descending to the depths and pushing the envelope for what constitutes "news," Rupert should be in for much larger fines than the little Super Bowl fiasco. Its good to see the mouthpiece for the Morality Party being bold enough to do what it takes to attract their demographic audience. (NSFW, but fine for broadcast television)
posted by nofundy (37 comments total)
 
Rupert should be in for much larger fines than the little Super Bowl fiasco.

FoxNews is a cable channel. The FCC does not fine cable stations. However, I have to admit, this is pretty hilarious. Maybe it's just boobs they have a problem with?
posted by pardonyou? at 7:16 AM on July 1, 2004


nofundy, you gotta dial down the "Morality Party" hammer-over-the-head shtick. Those of us who agree with you, we get it, we get it; and those who don't, you sure as hell aren't gonna convert 'em with a broken record played at 100 db.

That said, this is pretty fucking outrageous. And I use that qualifier advisedly.

Maybe it's just boobs they have a problem with?

I don't see how that could be the case - I mean, Michael Powell is their chief, fer chrissakes.
posted by soyjoy at 7:18 AM on July 1, 2004


nofundy, you gotta dial down the "Morality Party" hammer-over-the-head shtick.

I disagree, at least in this case. If you're talking about other instances where nofundy has gone overboard, that should go to MeTa or, preferably, private email.
posted by jpoulos at 7:25 AM on July 1, 2004


I will take your advice into consideration soyjoy.
My sense of humor often overrides that of political persuasion.
Hey, we all have our issues, as this post indicates. :-)
posted by nofundy at 7:29 AM on July 1, 2004


I would love it they treated that image as a guest on a debate show. Just to make the point simple and clear. Imagine the debate:

Fox News Guy: "Well, right-wing moralist, what's your opinion on this?"

Right-wing moralist: "Janet Jackson! Titty! Evil! Filthy! CBS-Viacom evil liberal media! FCC fines!"

Fox News Guy: "Interesting. Now how do you feel, giant penetrating cock we aired on national television?"

Giant penetrating cock: (remains silent, enters vagina)
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:35 AM on July 1, 2004


Yeah it's like "preaching to the converted" ..even if many metafilterians didn't need to be "converted" to begin with, or aren't easily "converted"..but more then a conversion, a realization coming from a disillusion is better.

Anyway that's pretty fucking hilarious :) like the J-lo/Blo-jo incident on the same Fox News ! I bet it has nothing to do with the moralist audience.
posted by elpapacito at 7:39 AM on July 1, 2004


I'm glad Fox is protecting us from accidentally seeing some of the things we used to see up close all the time when we was babies.

Maybe if the America-hating ultra-liberal cabalists at CNN showed more accidental humping, they'd have better ratings too. Because really, that's what I expect from my cable news, if you wanna know.

Accidental humping. Morning, noon and night. Mmmmmmm.
posted by chicobangs at 7:42 AM on July 1, 2004


Any chance you could bold that NSF?
posted by xammerboy at 7:42 AM on July 1, 2004


*waits patiently for the 100-point headline on Drudgereport*
posted by ColdChef at 7:44 AM on July 1, 2004


Virtually all of my humping is accidental, chico.
posted by jpoulos at 7:46 AM on July 1, 2004


Wait. I remember you.
posted by chicobangs at 7:49 AM on July 1, 2004


Dear Penthouse,

I was working on a Fox News promo spot and you'll never guess what happened.....
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:58 AM on July 1, 2004


Morality party or not, I find it intriguing that it works this way. Not surprising, nor even hypocritical, but fascinating, nonetheless. And something we ought to keep in mind when we think about not only our fellow 'Murrricans (for those of us for whom they're "fellow"), but also about ourselves.

Let's think about Fox's avowed demo: "down-market", politically "right", whatever... Their demo can really be summarized thus: Pop-culture consumers. Too broad? Well, then, let's say they target a sweet spot of people who focus on the mainstream and consume a lot of pop-culture product. Of course, that's what every "mainstream" broadcaster wants, but most of them specialize. Fox has chosen to specialize on a group that spends a lot on relatively inexpensive stuff, like brand-name clothing, brand-name ("Britney [tm]") music, brand-name ("Simpsons [tm]") TV, etc. They seem to me to target a less affluent market: Their real political slant is anti-establishmentarian, in a perverse way. Many of us may watch a lot of Fox, but we're not really in their core target demo.

That their demo loves "sleaze" isn't surprising or all that interesting. What's an interesting question is whether there's some kind of inter-relation between that fact and Fox's clear "rightist" bias. And if so, what its nature is.

To get this out of the way: Yes, we know that there's a "relationship" in that Fox is "conservative" and Fox is "sleazy" at the same time. My question is: Why? And how does their ostensive conservatism square with their clear antiestablishmentarian message?
posted by lodurr at 7:59 AM on July 1, 2004


preferably, private email.

Since I'm doling out the tips today, here's one for you, jpoulos: Check the subject's user page before making such a recommendation.

And no, it wasn't worth taking to MetaTalk - it's not as though nofundy's style is some great big blight on the community. I'm just opining, as someone who doubtless shares most of nofundy's obsessions, that the tone of this FPP, coming right after yesterday's "Moral Values Party" thread, adds up to a broken-record effect that probably works against what he's trying to achieve. The first line with its link would have been an excellent post; so would a version with the "full plow" sentence. It gets a little garrulous with the third, and by the fourth it's hitting you over the head. In my opinion, of course.

Back on topic, it's too bad this emerged too late for this movie. (QuickTime "teaser")
posted by soyjoy at 8:06 AM on July 1, 2004


up next, the Fox Evening News with your anchorwoman Lynndie England...

*points at flaccid dongle, flashes thumbs up*
posted by quonsar at 8:07 AM on July 1, 2004


Heh. I've never said this: nofundy, good post.
posted by BlueTrain at 8:23 AM on July 1, 2004


Do people sit there constantly recording all TV channels incase things like this happen, or what?
posted by Orange Goblin at 8:39 AM on July 1, 2004


Their demo can really be summarized thus: Pop-culture consumers.

Well, yeah. However, I'd be careful about identifying pop culture consumers with either a political "right" or with some imagined "non-intellectual" or "down-market" viewer/listener. Pop culture is the ocean we swim in. All of us are pop culture consumers. To be meaningful at all, any description of "the Fox demographic" needs to be much more finely grained.

And how does their ostensive conservatism square with their clear antiestablishmentarian message?

Largely--as far as their news channel goes--because they've been successful at identifying their brand of "conservatism" with an anti-establishment rhetoric. Fox merely learned that anti-establishment populism sells. See also William Randolph Hearst.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:39 AM on July 1, 2004


To get this out of the way: Yes, we know that there's a "relationship" in that Fox is "conservative" and Fox is "sleazy" at the same time. My question is: Why?

Argument 1: In general, the tendency towards fundamentalism (which is different than conservatism and perhaps the better description) has an inverse relationship to education. There are exceptions, George W. being one of them, but studies have shown this to be true - the more education one has, the less likely one is to be a fundy.

Argument 2: In general, the tendency towards sleaze has a similar inverse relationship to education. The more education one has, the less likely one is to enjoy "The Rikki Lake Show," and other sensationalist reality clap-trap.

Conclusion: By targeting a lower-income, right-wing demographic, Fox is also (conveniently) targeting a less-educated populace. Less education = more sleaze.
posted by junkbox at 8:43 AM on July 1, 2004


To get this out of the way, Metafilter: Remains silent, enters vagina.

No one's pointed it out yet, but this isn't the first time that Fox News has let slip with a little accidental pr0n. Witness the plo chop. (SFW images, possibly NSFW audio. WMV link.)
posted by emelenjr at 8:55 AM on July 1, 2004


I'm firewalled @ work and can't see the poster's link, but the J Lo clip never gets old.

I saw a clip of the live narration by Fox news of that latest police beating in LA, and the announcers were laughing as he got hit with the flashlight. "Oooh, looks like he got a couple licks!" Verrry telling. I wonder if anyone has a link to that clip...
posted by skechada at 9:13 AM on July 1, 2004


Umm... I don't get it?
posted by ed\26h at 9:24 AM on July 1, 2004


Fox News [NSFW]
posted by Blue Stone at 9:41 AM on July 1, 2004


fox is a cable channel

And as such, is not held to the same standards as broadcast telivision. I very much doubt there will be FCC fines, unless the promo was shown on some broadcast affiliates.
posted by delmoi at 9:53 AM on July 1, 2004


Hrm, as much as I dislike the Fox News attempt to say, "but hey, we're not biased" I'm not seeing that there is a there there in this FPP. A more likely possibility is that a production assistant goofed.

A much more disturbing bit of hypocracy is this example of the "No Spin Zone" where O'Reilly restarted the show to choose a clip that better matched his claims.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:47 AM on July 1, 2004


You people are just silly. This was a millisecond screen-grab, and the producer/editor of the clip simply missed a detail or two. To somehow infer that FNC is promoting porn, or did this simply to attract viewers/ratings, is complete & utter straw-grasping.
posted by davidmsc at 11:35 AM on July 1, 2004


Giant, throbbing cocks entering vaginas hardly qualifies as a detail or two.
posted by adampsyche at 11:52 AM on July 1, 2004


This was a millisecond screen-grab, and the producer/editor of the clip simply missed a detail or two.
That sounds like the Fox way of saying "wardrobe malfunction". Same kind of "semantics malfunction". Using a part of a porn page as a graphic was intentional for "shock value", NOT to promote porn, just to profit from it in a disapproving, but leering way. The big laugh was the brain-dead handling of the image, which seems to be more and more typical of the "news" outlets that do that kind of thing.
posted by wendell at 11:58 AM on July 1, 2004


david: how long, in tenths of a second, was Janet Jackson's embonpoint onscreen? And do you think CBS was promoting porn?

A millisecond screen grab still trips the zero-tolerance wire. By the FCC's already-stated guidelines, jobs (and possibly licenses) should be lost over this.
posted by chicobangs at 11:59 AM on July 1, 2004


To somehow infer that FNC is promoting porn, or did this simply to attract viewers/ratings, is complete & utter straw-grasping.

Davidmsc: You are officially "too far gone". How can you be an apologist for this?

Let me ask this: aside from the hardcore sex, why does Fox need to show a screenshot at all, if not to titillate? Are there people out there who aren't aware that porn involves naked people having sex?
posted by jpoulos at 12:00 PM on July 1, 2004


wendell: That sounds like the Fox way of saying "wardrobe malfunction". Same kind of "semantics malfunction". Using a part of a porn page as a graphic was intentional for "shock value", NOT to promote porn, just to profit from it in a disapproving, but leering way. The big laugh was the brain-dead handling of the image, which seems to be more and more typical of the "news" outlets that do that kind of thing.

Hrm, I believe I'm on record for both believing that the breast exposure was accidental, and that the actual breast exposure was trivial in the context of the massive levels of bad taste demonstrated in the entire halftime show.

Granted, I agree with the claim that Fox's overall handling of this issue is designed for shock value. (I'm still bitter about the O'Reilly coverage of the porn crew who were asked to leave the Indiana University campus, and then voluntarily left.) But I've found as a general rule that it is never wise to attribute something to conspiracy what can be explained from simple stupid incompetence. Claiming that the revealing image was intentionally broadcast to increase ratings just seems to be drifting into tinfoil hat territory.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 12:15 PM on July 1, 2004


Giant, throbbing cocks entering vaginas hardly qualifies as a detail or two.
Watched all the clips - Was it posted to the site linked or is my screen too small?
posted by thomcatspike at 1:15 PM on July 1, 2004


it is never wise to attribute something to conspiracy what can be explained from simple stupid incompetence.

cock-up or conspiracy? :-)
posted by Flitcraft at 1:54 PM on July 1, 2004


You know, Fox turned into a hardcore sex channel so gradually, I didn't even notice.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:08 PM on July 1, 2004


Giant, throbbing cocks entering vaginas hardly qualifies as a detail or two.

You call that giant?
posted by Witty at 7:13 PM on July 1, 2004


Indeed, it's surprisingly easy to miss if you're not paying attention, as the text obscures it. Plus, the digital smearing of the boob draws more attention to it and away from the rest of the image.
posted by calwatch at 12:20 AM on July 2, 2004


You call that giant?

Damn, Witty made the joke I was planning! I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue...
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:57 AM on July 2, 2004


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