The media elites and bubble thinkers may not like Fox News very much, but they love a Fox News “civil war.” If there are evergreen memes, this is one of them. Neal Gabler cites Fox in a discussion of a “media civil war.” Gabriel Sherman saw “civil war” in a single disagreement between Bill O’Reilly and George Will. An off-hand comment by Megyn Kelly is inflated into a “diss” of O’Reilly by the Mediaite Department of Hyperbolic Headlines, which Reddit transforms into—you guessed it—a “Fox News civil war.” Then there are sites like Talking Points Memo, where people disagreeing on a debate show (the point of the program) instantly becomes “civil war!”
Some recent data points: Attorney Megyn Kelly corrected something said in the previous hour (hosted by Eric Bolling). Several Fox News contributors signed onto a demand to fire Corey Lewandowski, then Greta explained why she takes the opposite view. Ms. Kelly hosted a segment and invited them to respond to Greta. On The Five Greg Gutfeld talked about “tension” between opinionizers at Fox and we got a whole new round of headlines: “internal strife,” “division,” and the like.
The Cable Gamer is going to say this once, in the hope she doesn’t have to say it again. There’s a reason for disagreement, division, and even strife among opinion people at Fox News: diversity. Roger Ailes hires people with all sorts of viewpoints, and often they go off in different directions. That’s the whole idea. It’s a feature, not a bug. Fox News is not MSNBC. Fox thrives on debate and heterogeneity.
So when you read about “civil war” at Fox News and people like Gabriel Sherman or the geniuses at Salon and Raw Story start hyperventilating about every little difference of opinion as if it were a tear in the space-time continuum, keep in mind that Mr. Ailes really does know what he’s doing.