Yesterday, Mark Cuban joined the rest of the universe in parsing the presidential election, putting on his media-critic hat and taking to his blog to assess the state of political coverage on cable.
Turns out, Cuban loves Fox News. He watched it all the time during the election cycle, though not as a source of objective reporting or nuanced analysis, neither of which exist on the network in any measurable quantity. Instead, he watches Fox (and MSNBC) as studies in branding.
"Neither truly was reporting the news. They were telling us how they believed a negative brand could be built," he wrote. "And not only did they tell us how negative the other brand was, they were relentless in trying to create confirmation of that negative brand by bringing in 'experts' to confirm their brand bias."
He likened the whole thing to radio shows by Art Bell, who brought in conspiracy theorists and crackpots to confirm stories of alien abductions, clandestine government operations, and the like. It was entertaining as hell.
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But Fox, despite its appeal as a place to gawk at a right-wing circle-jerk, has a problem. It has become a reality-distorting echo chamber in which its viewers and pundits believe their own hype -- in this case that Romney would win the presidency.
To avoid this problem in the future, Cuban suggests Fox take a lesson from Dancing with the Stars:
You would think that when one of the couples on DWTS is in the bottom two, thats a horrible sign. It must mean they are close to elimination. Not for couples with a large voting base. When you have a large voting base and find yourself in the bottom two, your voting base recognizes that you are at risk of losing. Because they want you to stay on the show and voting counts as much as the dancing, they will step up and vote and keep you on the show until you find yourself up against couples that have a bigger voting base than you.
Fox News also needs more dancing celebrities. I hear Mike Huckabee can bust a move.