Crazy Like a Fox News Channel

Outsourcing this to my friend Eric Boehlert, who does a better job than I probably would of showing how a cable TV news channel hijacked a major American political party -- with disastrous consequences:

In terms of whipping up bouts of anti-Obama hysteria, the crass Fox approach enjoyed some short-term success. However, that same media movement is now three long and rhetorically repetitive years into its Obama crusade and trying to nominate a presidential candidate via an extended national campaign. According to more and more worried conservatives, the results on display are disastrous.

Of course, conservatives should have thought that through before handing over the reigns to Ailes and his misinformation minions. Indeed, none of this is unexpected. It's all entirely predictable. It's what happens when a mainstream political movement embraces a radical media strategy like the one being promoted by Fox News; the movement marches itself off a cliff.

Conservative leaders themselves have freely adopted Fox News' profoundly un-unprofessional rhetoric about Obama, claiming just this week he's "pro-poverty" and his politics are "almost un-American." That's the Fox-ification of the GOP.

I made this point over and over again in the production of "The Backlash," that in sacrificing political values for entertainment values the GOP was, to paraphrase a famous media critic, amusing itself to death. Once again tonight on a debate stage in Florida, the wreckage will be onstage for all the world to see.