In this issue we present two views of the “conservative” news media giant Fox News. The essay by Douglas Burton verges on the celebratory and recounts the merits of the Fox News enterprise and the bold vision of Rupert Murdoch, the Australian press baron, who launched this 24-hours-a-day American news service on Oct. 7, 1996.
Murdoch came to his task well-equipped not only because of his extensive experience in journalism, but also because he had done a trial run for his American news channel in the United Kingdom in 1989. There he had undertaken an earlier venture with a 24-hour news service, but without the entertainment value and wide audience that became associated with the later American model.
Murdoch is also a visionary who shares the neoconservative hope that the U.S. should be the leader in creating a democratic world order. Murdoch hopes to see the American superpower work toward his vision in conjunction with our partners in building a more democratic world, the Anglosphere and Israel. This world vision is reflected in varying degrees in the media enterprises that Murdoch has financed, from Fox News to the New York Post and The Wall Street Journal to The Jerusalem Post. Fox’s invocation of American “exceptionalism,” linked to America’s universal founding creed, is basic to Murdoch’s view of this country and its role in the world.