GOP Civil War will soon be televised.
Talking Points Memo: Fox’s monopoly on conservative cable news may soon come to an end.
A Bloomberg Businessweek profile published Thursday revealed Newsmax.com founder and CEO Christopher Ruddy’s plans to expand beyond his highly-trafficked website and influential magazine into television with a 24-hour cable news channel called NewsmaxTV — described as a “kinder, gentler Fox” — launching as early as June.
“Our goal is to be a little more boomer-oriented, more information-based rather than being vituperative and polarizing,” Ruddy told the magazine.
Business-wise, this doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. Demographic trends show that Republicanism — kinder and gentler or not — isn’t exactly a growth industry. Why you’d want to compete with Fox for an ever-shrinking piece of the pie is a bit of a mystery. Maybe a show on Fox or a syndicated Sunday morning yack show, ala “Meet the Press,” but 24 hours of “Gee, but aren’t Republicans swell”? Yeah, I’m not seeing the genius behind this particular business model.
Still, if conservatives want to start whacking away at Fox News, I can’t say I’m against the idea. But Fox is aimed straight at the brainless ‘bagger base, while it sounds like NewsmaxTV would be aimed more at the people that National Review used to try to attract — i.e., conservatives who take a moment to think about things — before they too decided that the gullible and easily riled dummies were easier to milk. That audience that Ruddy seems to want to appeal to may have passed on with Reagan — that is, the real Reagan, not the cartoonish Reagan ‘bagger’s worship now. That audience would be the Reagan/Dole/Kemp conservatives. Or as Tea Partiers call them these days, “RiNOs.”
The GOP Civil War might take to the upper channels of cable, but you’ve got to wonder how long it’ll last.
This morning’s [Conservative Political Action Conference] session should start with a bang, with Ted Cruz first up, followed by John Bolton—who can be expected to go completely bonkers on the Obama administration’s handling of the Ukraine crisis. But MSM folk covering the conference are riveted on just one speaker today: Chris Christie. The thinly veiled hope is that the New Jersey governor will revive his presidential viability by rallying hard-core conservatives to his side, presumably by attacking the self-same MSM that is so invested in his success. Yes, it’s all a little twisted.
New South African 24-hour news channel provides full time coverage of a single trial.
Associated Press: A cable TV channel devoted to the Oscar Pistorius murder trial went on air in South Africa on Sunday night showing footage of the blonde model the world-famous athlete shot dead at his home a year ago. The video includes footage of her playing with dolphins.
The 24-hour channel began broadcasting just over 12 hours before Pistorius is expected in court for the start of his trial.
Dedicated completely to the trial, some of its early programming focused on the life of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, the model and reality TV star Pistorius killed on Valentine’s Day last year when he fired shots through a toilet door at his house. In one video taken by security camera, a smiling Steenkamp is seen arriving at the gated community where Pistorius lived just hours before she was killed. There was also video of her swimming with dolphins while shooting a reality TV show for South African television. At one point, two dolphins tap their snouts on her cheeks.
As Pistorius’ trial starts on Monday, live television pictures and a live audio feed will be broadcast from the courtroom at North Gauteng High Court in the South African capital, Pretoria, after permission was granted by a judge. Pistorius’ lawyers opposed the applications to broadcast the trial on television and radio.
The channel, called “The Oscar Pistorius Trial - A Carte Blanche channel” is on South Africa’s most popular cable TV network which is one of the three broadcasters which asked the judge to allow live coverage of the trial. Three remote-controlled cameras have been installed in the courtroom.
Wow. And I thought we had a “sensationalized trial of the month” problem. Nancy Grace must be green with envy right now.
"Let’s get to the bottom line," says Michael Hiltzik at the Los Angeles Times. “There’s no way this combination can conceivably be in the public interest.”
You really ought to read this one, but if you don’t then the skinny is this: screw talking heads, pundits, and political reporters, because they have no freakin’ clue as to what’s important and see everything — and I mean everything — as a horserace.