Fox News Channel is widely seen as the right-wing cable news counterpart to left-leaning MSNBC, as well as a competitor to CNN, whose hosts tend to steer clear of fiery political rhetoric altogether, albeit at the expense of the network’s ratings.
But contrary to popular perception, Fox News doesn’t like to think of itself as vying with either MSNBC or CNN since its ratings regularly trounce those of both networks.
See, for example, Fox executive Brian Lewis’ comments in Howard Kurtz’s profile today of NBC News president Steve Capus.
Capus, perhaps referring to Bill O’Reilly’s regular descriptions of NBC as left-wing (it’s “the most ideologically left of all the TV news operations,” O’Reilly recently said), suggests that Fox News is “trying to brand” NBC News as liberal based on MSNBC’s leanings. “It’s a classic political tactic — they don’t like Keith Olbermann, they’re going to come after us,” he tells Kurtz. “It’s annoying.”
Lewis, who is executive vice president of corporate communications for all Fox television stations, responds: “NBC, and especially MSNBC, is not even a blip on our radar screen. We don’t care what they do. Capus must be confusing us with CNN.”
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