In a little more than three weeks, Joe Biden will be sworn in as the new President of the United States. On that same day Fox News will enter a new era where deficits are suddenly bad, presidential behavior will suddenly matter and the deadly Covid-19 Pandemic will swiftly be rebranded the Biden Pandemic.
The question is, how far will Fox News go? During the Obama Administration, they covered, mocked, insulted, and scandalized every little thing President Obama had done. You may remember those horrible Obama years when he wore that tan suit, had a soldier hold his umbrella, or for the love of God, used a teleprompter?
To a certain extent it is the media’s job to be a check on power. However, in doing so they can also do a disservice to the public by lying or creating controversy when there is none to be found. It is a direct line into how conspiracy theories run rampant through our collective consciousness. Obamagate, Pizzagate, Russiagate, anything ever muttered by Q.
Most of mainstream media is guilty of news fabrication to one degree or another, but until recently, no one had come close to Fox News. But now Fox finds themselves losing viewership to other conservative networks like OAN and Newsmax for not fabricating bullshit enough, so we have to wonder what Fox News will do keep their viewers satisfied during the Biden years.
It is a foregone conclusion that the news of the new year will again be the Covid-19 Pandemic. Does Fox News as well as the other conservative networks instantly put the Democratic President’s name on it? The Biden Pandemic has a nice ring to it from a negative PR standpoint, but it’s risky.
If Joe comes in and the daily death rate gets worse for the first few weeks (through no fault of his own) Fox News will jump on him. Look, the daily death rate was 3,000 under Trump, but under Biden it’s over 4,000. If that’s the case, the Biden Pandemic label might stick, but if Biden improves the situation, Fox may just avoid the topic all together.
It will be curious to see how Fox News sees the pandemic itself. When Biden introduces his national hundred-day mask mandate, does Fox go back to being anti-mask as they were before the election? Do they stick with being anti-lockdown or both? Will they just wait for the now ex-president Trump to decide how to play it?
For a time after the election, when Fox News viewers were flocking to OAN and Newsmax, Fox chairman Rupert Murdoch was, and possibly still is, considering a plan to offer Trump a $100 million package that would include Fox News giving Trump a contributor deal or his own show.
Of course, we can’t leave out vaccinations. Is it possible that certain opinion shows will follow Tucker Carlson’s lead and go full anti-vax in an attempt to undermine Biden’s presidency? It’s a scary thought, but I have a feeling if OAN and Newsmax start down that road, Fox will be forced to follow.
Naturally, if 2021 is anything like 2020, the year will be impossible to predict. If Covid-19 starts to dissipate and go away by spring or early summer, conservative media may move ahead and concentrate on (or invent) something new.
If things get worse come February, the Biden Pandemic could be spun to Republican advantage, but it is also possible it can backfire. With millions of poor and elderly Americans suffering and dying, they are finally beginning to wakeup to the reality of the virus. If Fox News decides to downplay the pandemic as it did at the start, they could lose viewers.
Fox News will have a lot of decisions to make over the coming weeks and months. The only thing you can bet on is a President Biden being treated as equally as a President Obama, with a shade less racism. That’ll be reserved for the VP.