Fox News Wins The 2010 Election

Who was the big winner in this week's midterm

The Republican Party? No.

Former half-term Governor Sarah Palin? Not

Speaker-in-waiting John Boehner? Nope.

The Tea Party movement? Think again.

Tuesday night's big winner was undoubtedly
Fox News. It did more than just about anyone to weaken President Obama, peel
off Senate seats and wrestle control of the U.S. House of Representatives from

Let's face it, we all saw this
coming. Just after the
President was sworn in, Fox News vice president for programming Bill Shine called his employer
the "voice of opposition" and Fox chief executive Roger Ailes -- a former
advisor to Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush -- described
the network's role "as the

How can any news organization claim the mantle of "Fair and
Balanced" when it sees its role under a new president as that of history's fearless
Texas soldiers attempting to fight off Mexican troops led by President General
Antonio Lopez
de Santa Anna whose cruelty inspired countless others to join the Texian Army?

Tellingly, Fox News didn't wait long before
inspiring an army of its own.

In the early days of 2009, the network
co-opted the then-fledgling Tea Party movement, swelling its ranks with endless
promotion. As the first round of nationwide Tea Party protests approached on
April 15, Fox News repeatedly described the events as "FNC Tax Day Tea Parties"
airing segments encouraging
viewers to attend and get involved. In fact, in the week leading up to the
protests, Fox aired more
100 commercial-like promos for its coverage surrounding the events
many of which featured
Fox News personalities.

The Tea Party promotion has continued
unabated for more than a year.

Compounding its activism, the conservative
network moved on to lobbying Congress just a few months later.

As Members of Congress went home for summer
recess to hold traditional town hall meetings with constituents, angry
protesters who had been organized
conservative special interest groups were ready to meet them. Footage of
the events was enough to make Fox News swoon as network personalities repeatedly praised the
disruptions and encouraged
viewers to join in the right-wing fun.

As 2009 became 2010, Rupert Murdoch's
American cash
of a network morphed even more explicitly into the communications arm
of the Republican National Committee.

Leading Fox News contributors with an eye on
the 2012 presidential race -- Palin, Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, and Rick
Santorum -- raised an
astonishing $33.1 million
in the 2010 elections to help fund the candidates
of their choice and advance their various causes.

Former Bush advisor Karl Rove -- another Fox
contributor -- raised and spent an astonishing $38
million to elect Republicans and it didn't hurt matters that Fox News
hosted him time and again to discuss the election without noting this
blatant conflict of interest. Now that's what I call journalistic ethics.

All told, more than
30 different Fox News personalities -- from hosts to contributors -- supported
Republicans in at least 600 instances, in nearly every state during the election.

Republican candidates knew where their bread
was buttered too. After Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell's
disastrous debut on the national stage, Palin advised her to "speak
through Fox News." She got the message -- one Fox source reportedly said O'Donnell went on
Hannity to "get a certain type of treatment." Perhaps it was that "certain type
of treatment" that led Nevada's Sharron Angle to suggest she preferred
appearing on Fox News because the network let her plug her website for

News Corp. -- the parent company of Fox News
and sister network Fox Business -- was not going to let its employees have all
the fun. In the weeks leading up to Election Day, it donated at least $1.25 million to the
Republican Governors Association to defeat Democrats and at least $1 million to the U.S.
Chamber of Commerce, a right-wing special interest deeply
involved in this year's election.

Yes, it was a stellar election night for Fox
News -- they won a slew of governorships, the U.S. House of Representatives,
and came darn close to winning the U.S. Senate.

But don't expect the right-wing "news"
network to rest on its laurels.
After all, it has a President to defeat in two short years.

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.