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Fox Rules: A brash blend of TV news and entertainment is hot with viewers
U.S. News ^ | 05/19/03 | Betsy Streisand

Posted on 05/10/2003 6:47:16 PM PDT by Pokey78

The world won't know until May 21 whether Ruben, Clay, or Kimberley will ascend to celebrity nirvana, courtesy of American Idol. But the biggest winner has already been chosen: Fox Broadcasting. Thanks to Idol, as well as Joe Millionaire, Fox hijacked the February ratings "sweeps" and could run off with the May ones; it came very close to unseating NBC this season as the top destination for the 18-to-49-year-old crowd coveted by advertisers. This week, as the major broadcast networks gather in New York to unveil their lineups and sell commercial time for the fall season, Fox is expected to make the biggest gains, increasing its take by 16 percent over last year to $1.55 billion. That is more than double the growth rate of the overall market, which is expected to rise about 7 percent to $8.6 billion.

Such performance is the kind executives like to take out for a stroll around HQ. But these days it's tough to get a brag in edgewise at the Fox Entertainment Group, part of Rupert Murdoch's $18 billion media colossus, News Corp. In addition to Fox Broadcasting's prime-time accomplishments, the Fox News Channel trounced CNN to win the 24-hour cable news ratings war during the war in Iraq and is winning the peace as well. At cable networks FX and Fox Sports Net, subscribers and ratings are up strongly. And the movie studio Twentieth Century Fox not only broke the $1 billion mark at the box office last year for the first time but has also started off the summer with a $155 million worldwide opening for X-Men 2. That's the biggest global bow in film history. "It's weird," says News Corp.'s chief operating officer, Peter Chernin. "Everything seems to be clicking all at once."

But get ready for the encore. Murdoch, already the world's most powerful media mogul, is about to acquire DirecTV, the world's second-largest satellite network. The $6.6 billion purchase would give the Aussie multibillionaire the U.S. platform he has been seeking for years to distribute Fox news and entertainment.

In addition, the Federal Communications Commission is expected to vote next month to relax rules that limit media ownership. That will give Fox, which has been bumping up against the ownership ceiling in several markets where it has newspapers and local TV stations, even more room to grow. "Clearly, the company is firing on all cylinders," says independent media analyst Christopher Dixon, noting that Fox Entertainment's stock was the top media performer in 2002. "But it's still all about what comes next."

Right now, the network's prime-time success hinges almost exclusively on the performance of two shows, Idol and Millionaire. Without them, Fox would be last in the 18-to-49 category. The network, which is still in the red from the soft advertising market of the past two years, "desperately needs to find some successful half-hour comedies and hourlong dramas to cover the holes in its schedule," says Brad Adgate, a vice president at Horizon Media, a large ad-buying firm in New York. "It can't depend on reality TV" (box, Page 38).

That said, Fox, which brought the world When Animals Attack and Caught Red Handed: Cops' 15 Greatest Take Downs, has been masterful in using Idol for cross-promotion and leading viewers to other shows such as 24, The Bernie Mac Show, and That '70s Show, all of whose ratings have increased. Idol so seamlessly blends entertainment and marketing that it's hard to tell where the show stops and the commercials begin. In a recent episode, the Idols stormed the red carpet at the premiere of X-Men 2 (a Fox movie), hit the set of Boston Public (a Fox TV show), and performed their new Fox-backed single "What the World Needs Now." Kelly Clarkson, the first Idol winner, dropped by during a number by Justin Guarini (another Idol alum), who stars with her in the new Fox film From Justin to Kelly.

That barely left time for the paying advertisers, who are ponying up fees of $500,000 for a 30-second spot. "You can't survive in the marketplace without having one of these phenoms on your schedule," says Sandy Grushow, chairman of Fox Television Entertainment Group. "The danger is overdoing it."

Fox has had less success with shows such as Married by America (a bomb) and Mr. Personality, featuring Monica Lewinsky and a band of masked men who compete for the attention of a beautiful woman. Although the show opened big, ratings have steadily dropped off.

Conservative tilt. No such problems can be found at Fox News, which is No. 1 among cable news and only recently slipped out of the top spot among all cable networks during prime time. With its heavily conservative roster of talk-show hosts (Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly), it has been accused of being an extension of the Bush administration. Others have charged that Murdoch uses the network to butter up the Bush folks in return for favorable treatment from regulators.

But while Fox clearly does have more conservatives on air than CNN or MSNBC (a fact the network does not dispute), that alone does not explain its current popularity. "Fox News has figured how to move from news to an entertaining discussion of the news, full of shouting and loud opinions, without losing viewers," says Tim Brooks, the senior vice president for research at Lifetime Television. "The average CNN viewer drops in for 10 minutes and leaves; the average Fox viewer hangs around for 20 to 25 minutes."

Fox also has created so-called appointment television--not an easy accomplishment on a news network--where viewers tune in specifically to see, say, The O'Reilly Factor (the top cable news show with 4.6 million viewers nightly) as they once did for Larry King Live, now in sixth place with 2.7 million. Although the war coverage cost all the networks in advertising dollars, Fox's ad revenue is expected to climb 50 percent this year.

But all of that pales in comparison with what might be coming. The DirecTV deal will give Murdoch not only a U.S. platform and 11 million new subscribers to add to his growing worldwide network but also leverage that few can match in both the $72 billion pay-TV industry and in cable programming.

With a satellite network, Fox will have a protected outlet for its own programming, particularly sports. But Murdoch, who says the deal will create more than $700 million in savings, also will be able to wrangle better deals with the big cable companies whom Fox must pay for carriage of its programming. Murdoch can push them to give him a good price in return for distribution on DirecTV. "It is a transformative deal that will have an impact throughout the media business," says Dennis McAlpine, an entertainment analyst. "That's why Rupert has lusted after it for so long."

Bulking up. But deals of their dreams have been the undoing of media moguls before, and integrating DirecTV with News Corp.'s other properties will be no small task. "There's a big difference between looking at the company and actually being in there," says Chernin. "This is a huge, huge undertaking for us, and there's a lot to learn."

Fox may also be about to learn what it's like to be in even greater control of the national news appetite. Next month, the FCC is expected to lift the ban on cross-ownership between newspapers and television. Current restrictions forbid a company from owning two of the top television stations or a TV station and large daily newspaper in the same city. There also are bans on owning stations across the country that reach more than 35 percent of the national audience.

When it was suggested to Chernin that he might like to have any of the superhuman powers of the mutants in Fox's hit movie X-Men 2 to take the company into the future, he shied away from choosing among them. Perhaps that's because he knows that Fox will need them all.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: foxnews
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1 posted on 05/10/2003 6:47:16 PM PDT by Pokey78
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To: Pokey78; Grampa Dave; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Sabertooth; MeeknMing; Miss Marple; PhiKapMom; Howlin; ..
But get ready for the encore. Murdoch, already the world's most powerful media mogul, is about to acquire DirecTV, the world's second-largest satellite network. The $6.6 billion purchase would give the Aussie multibillionaire the U.S. platform he has been seeking for years to distribute Fox news and entertainment.

WWWAAAAAAAHHOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

We get to watch, participate by viewing and in general add to the destruction of CNNNBCABCCBSPBS, not to mention liberal pukes and the demise of the RAT party.

Mad Max-ine Waters was foaming at the mouth at Murdoch the other day. He's got her soiling her drawers in FEAR. Comin' atcha Maxy, thru your freakin' sattelite dish.

HAHAHAHAHAHhahahaha

2 posted on 05/10/2003 7:01:19 PM PDT by BOBTHENAILER (FReepers discover the TRUTH, and distribute it.)
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To: Pokey78

FOX ROX!!!

3 posted on 05/10/2003 7:03:04 PM PDT by BlueOneGolf (3rd Infantry Division. "Rock of the Marne!")
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To: BlueOneGolf
FoX RoX
4 posted on 05/10/2003 7:08:50 PM PDT by ALOHA RONNIE (Vet-Battle of IA DRANG-1965 www.LZXRAY.com)
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To: BOBTHENAILER
Murdoch and the jacka$$ commentators on FOX news and entertainment are digging their own grave. Britt et al, are an embarassment, slobbering for war, preaching for blind obedience.
5 posted on 05/10/2003 7:10:04 PM PDT by UnBlinkingEye
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To: BOBTHENAILER; Pokey78
More eyeballs watching Brit Hume and Sean would help the country!
6 posted on 05/10/2003 7:11:52 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Iran will feel the heat from our Iraq victory!)
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To: BOBTHENAILER
Heheheh. I bought NewsCorp stock right after the re-opening of Wall Street in the wake of September 11. My broker thought I was a bit emotional.

Heheheh.

7 posted on 05/10/2003 7:12:12 PM PDT by Miss Marple
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To: BOBTHENAILER
Great, when Fox obtains Direct Tv and makes it competitive to Dish. I will switch.

The Fox entertainment shows are kicking butt on the regular nets. The regular nets are pushing Diversity, PC crap and DNC mantras on most of their shows. People don't want that stuff. West Wing is prime example of left wing DNC mantras, and it apparently is losing big time. It couldn't happpen to a more deserving cast from Sheen on down.

Direct tv will smash the cable companies who only show CNN and not Fox news. My local cable company still doesn't carry Fox News due to the left winger in the county and in control of the cable. I left them going four years and went to Dish. That was a great move on my part.

No wonder the talentless ones in Follywood hate America and GW. Their cash cows are drying up!

Please pass the popcorn and beer Bob. This is going to be a great spring, summer fall and winter. Then 2004 will be even better for us.
8 posted on 05/10/2003 7:12:16 PM PDT by Grampa Dave (Free Republic, where leftist liars are exposed 24/7!)
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To: UnBlinkingEye
Hey, I've got your unblinking eye right here!

Now scurry along, Captain Dan!

9 posted on 05/10/2003 7:15:02 PM PDT by Miss Marple
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To: Miss Marple
Nice graphic. I take it that you have no dispute with my comment.
10 posted on 05/10/2003 7:22:02 PM PDT by UnBlinkingEye
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To: UnBlinkingEye; ALOHA RONNIE; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Grampa Dave; Miss Marple
Murdoch and the jacka$$ commentators on FOX news and entertainment are digging their own grave. Britt et al, are an embarassment, slobbering for war, preaching for blind obedience.

You can go on home to your DU scum slum now Eye. Britt, et al are light years ahead of the DU/DNC Stalinist networks you must prefer. And as for digging their own grave, you musta missed the part about them crushing CNN in the ratings.

Go on home now and wail, moan and gnash your teeth.

11 posted on 05/10/2003 7:29:54 PM PDT by BOBTHENAILER (FReepers discover the TRUTH, and distribute it.)
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To: Miss Marple
My broker thought I was a bit emotional. Heheheh.

Good call. I'll bet your broker calls you for advice now.

12 posted on 05/10/2003 7:31:21 PM PDT by BOBTHENAILER (FReepers discover the TRUTH, and distribute it.)
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To: Pokey78
"The average CNN viewer drops in for 10 minutes and leaves; the average Fox viewer hangs around for 20 to 25 minutes."


,,,
You mean they switch as quick as they can. Run Run run away from the liberal bias media news stations.
13 posted on 05/10/2003 7:31:30 PM PDT by TLBSHOW (the gift is to see the truth)
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To: UnBlinkingEye
Apparently you do not read other replies. Not only do I not agree with you, I put my money where my mouth is.

I am a shareholder in Newscorp, and proudly so. Brit Hume is the best journalist on television.

Now slink back to DU.

14 posted on 05/10/2003 7:32:07 PM PDT by Miss Marple
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To: Grampa Dave
Please pass the popcorn and beer Bob. This is going to be a great spring, summer fall and winter. Then 2004 will be even better for us.

Beer and popcorn all around. Couldn't agree more with your predictions. This is gonna be downright FUN.

15 posted on 05/10/2003 7:33:16 PM PDT by BOBTHENAILER (FReepers discover the TRUTH, and distribute it.)
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To: BOBTHENAILER
Have you ever heard Britt oppose the Bush administration, or demand Constitutional government?
16 posted on 05/10/2003 7:33:44 PM PDT by UnBlinkingEye
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To: UnBlinkingEye
Have you ever heard Britt oppose the Bush administration, or demand Constitutional government?

yes and no (it's not a journalist's job to demand Constitutional government). Who do you watch?

17 posted on 05/10/2003 7:37:49 PM PDT by BOBTHENAILER (FReepers discover the TRUTH, and distribute it.)
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To: BOBTHENAILER; Grampa Dave
Bob, you mentioned something I have been thinking lately.

President Bush's successes and the attendant whining from the left have become FUN. I am constantly fascinated with how the "dumb cowboy" always manages to outmaneuver the slick pros inside the Beltway and the Euoweenies. Chirac and Schroeder don't look so smart right now, do they?

In addition, it is my considered belief that most of the things that we see in attacks on the President are instigated by the Clinton Mob, so it is even more gleeful to me knowing that those creeps have to keep going back to the drawing board.

President Bush has brough actual joy back into public life, as demonstrated by his carrier landing. We haven't seen that in a very, very long time. It is great fun!

18 posted on 05/10/2003 7:37:59 PM PDT by Miss Marple
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To: Miss Marple
I am a shareholder in Newscorp, and proudly so. Brit Hume is the best journalist on television.

Brit Hume is on television, he is not a journalist, he is a mouthpiece.

19 posted on 05/10/2003 7:38:04 PM PDT by UnBlinkingEye
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To: TLBSHOW
People are emotionally invested in this country and conservative principles, and Fox, talk radio, (and FR!) are the vehicles we use to connect. They are more than passive entertainment for the true conservative who cares. They are addictions.
20 posted on 05/10/2003 7:39:56 PM PDT by I still care (America is great because it is good. When it ceases to be good, it will cease to be great.)
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To: UnBlinkingEye
Sorry. I don't agree. My stock is up, as well as viewership.

Why don't you e-mail Roger Ailes and tell him that you have some suggestions for his network? I am sure he will give you the attention you deserve.

21 posted on 05/10/2003 7:40:18 PM PDT by Miss Marple
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To: UnBlinkingEye
Work for CNN, do you?
22 posted on 05/10/2003 7:42:12 PM PDT by mewzilla
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To: UnBlinkingEye
FR has turned into a bunch of f***ing lemmings. FOX is sensationalist and has lost it to MSNBC. Seriously, the FOX Report is an insult to anyone who has both feet on the ground.
23 posted on 05/10/2003 7:43:00 PM PDT by balls
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To: BOBTHENAILER
(it's not a journalist's job to demand Constitutional government).

I think it is their job to report the truth. In that I find them sadly lacking.

Who do you watch?

As many news outlets as I can and our own government, a state of disgrace.

24 posted on 05/10/2003 7:43:40 PM PDT by UnBlinkingEye
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To: Miss Marple
In addition, it is my considered belief that most of the things that we see in attacks on the President are instigated by the Clinton Mob, so it is even more gleeful to me knowing that those creeps have to keep going back to the drawing board.

Ain't it the truth. That "vaunted political attack machine", the Carville "pit bull" intelligence, the never ending political war room; they all look very stupid, inept, whiney and childish, now.

The adults are back in charge and it's FUN.

25 posted on 05/10/2003 7:44:07 PM PDT by BOBTHENAILER (FReepers discover the TRUTH, and distribute it.)
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To: Pokey78
bttt
26 posted on 05/10/2003 7:44:12 PM PDT by firewalk
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To: UnBlinkingEye
I think it is their job to report the truth. In that I find them sadly lacking.

Your opinion is noted and I couldn't disagree more.

27 posted on 05/10/2003 7:46:44 PM PDT by BOBTHENAILER (FReepers discover the TRUTH, and distribute it.)
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To: Miss Marple
MM,

Do you think your boy Brit is a journalist? If so, please define the term.

28 posted on 05/10/2003 7:47:48 PM PDT by UnBlinkingEye
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To: mewzilla
Work for CNN, do you?

No more than you work for CWebBrowser.

29 posted on 05/10/2003 7:49:57 PM PDT by UnBlinkingEye
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To: UnBlinkingEye
I am not playing twenty questions with you. You are here to disrupt in a negative manner, and I won't play your games.

If you don't like Fox, change the channel. No one is forcing you to watch it.

30 posted on 05/10/2003 7:50:18 PM PDT by Miss Marple
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To: UnBlinkingEye
Is that a non-denial denial?
31 posted on 05/10/2003 7:50:34 PM PDT by mewzilla
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To: UnBlinkingEye
Do you think your boy Brit is a journalist? If so, please define the term.

How would you define it?

32 posted on 05/10/2003 7:53:21 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Iran will feel the heat from our Iraq victory!)
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To: BOBTHENAILER
Me: I think it is their job to report the truth. In that I find them sadly lacking.

You: Your opinion is noted and I couldn't disagree more.

Bob, our government lies to us all the time and FOX is repeating false statements issued by the government as truth. Do you view government as God, a bastion of truth?

33 posted on 05/10/2003 7:56:56 PM PDT by UnBlinkingEye
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To: balls
FR has turned into a bunch of f***ing lemmings.

Lemmings are cute! We would prefer to be compared to Freepers than Democrats. Or Libertarians.

We make love by the way. We don't f***!

Oh! And I know what you are thinking! So no Richard Gere jokes! We are Lemmings! Not Gerbils!

Bob the Lemming

34 posted on 05/10/2003 7:57:41 PM PDT by isthisnickcool (Tag, your're it!)
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To: BOBTHENAILER; Joy Angela; conservogirl; Ragtime Cowgirl; amom; Fred Mertz; VOA
On FoX =

...Right after the Attacks of Sept. 11th Guest MONSOOR IJAZ disclosed the 3 Offers he brokered with the Sudan during the 1990's to bring OSAMA bin LADEN to an American Jail and Trial which were turned down by HILLARY RODHAM & BILL CLINTON..!!!

On FoX =

...On the Day JFK jr's smashed Plane was located at the bottom of the Atlantic Commentator DICK MORRIS shared how JFK jr was threatened by HILLARY RODHAM right after he told her of his plan to enter the New York Senate Race earlier in the year.

On FoX =

...A Guest Expert shared how t'was our own Suitcase NUKE Technology that was stolen under the cover of the Fires of Los Alamos, fires authorized by Friend of HILLARY and Los Alamos Native BILL RICHARDSON.

On FoX =

...A Political Expert shared how HILLARY RODHAM's New York Senate Campaign had had trouble getting off the ground because someone started a...

..'HILLARY in a NY Cap =
...DUKAKIS in a Tank'

...Campaign that she had trouble recovering from.


...Can't imagine who got that "Little Number" fired up on the Internet, can you..?

(Hint: T'was a Freeper)

35 posted on 05/10/2003 7:59:33 PM PDT by ALOHA RONNIE (Vet-Battle of IA DRANG-1965 www.LZXRAY.com)
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To: UnBlinkingEye
Pretty amusing, but I ain't biting. Here's a good read for you on CNN.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/909333/posts
36 posted on 05/10/2003 8:00:20 PM PDT by BOBTHENAILER (FReepers discover the TRUTH, and distribute it.)
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To: Miss Marple
I am not playing twenty questions with you. You are here to disrupt in a negative manner, and I won't play your games.

MM, I am here to encourage debate, not to suppress opposition. My goal is a better America and a return to Constitutional government.

What's your goal?

37 posted on 05/10/2003 8:03:10 PM PDT by UnBlinkingEye
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To: ALOHA RONNIE
...Can't imagine who got that "Little Number" fired up on the Internet, can you..?
(Hint: T'was a Freeper)

Great recitation of Dangerous Hillary FACTS. Some people wouldn't know the truth if it hit 'em like a 2X4.

Richardson is very dangerous as well. Very Draconian gun bill forwarded to me by a buddy in NM, don't know it's present status.

38 posted on 05/10/2003 8:07:34 PM PDT by BOBTHENAILER (FReepers discover the TRUTH, and distribute it.)
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To: UnBlinkingEye
I have been on another thread, where you are also trying to provoke people. Your goal isn't debate; it is argument for the sake of argument. I notice how you always end a reply with another question.

As Bob and I both told you, we aren't participating. Now scoot along.

39 posted on 05/10/2003 8:07:34 PM PDT by Miss Marple
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To: Grampa Dave

Direct tv will smash the cable companies who only show CNN and not Fox news.


This is what I don't understand.  The present DirecTV viewers, of which I am  one,
already have Fox News available.  How would Newscorp owning DirecTV make
a cable company put Fox on their system if it's not there now?  And how will Fox
owning DirecTV smash a cable company that didn't?  IOW what difference does
it make who owns DirecTV if Fox is already on it?
40 posted on 05/10/2003 8:09:33 PM PDT by gcruse (Vice is nice, but virtue can hurt you. --Bill Bennett)
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To: Miss Marple
I take it that your only goal is to suppress discussion.
41 posted on 05/10/2003 8:11:56 PM PDT by UnBlinkingEye
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To: UnBlinkingEye
Are you some kind of nut? Silly me, you are just another typical liberal lefty demonRAT out trolling.
42 posted on 05/10/2003 8:24:50 PM PDT by Ursus arctos horribilis ("It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees!" Emiliano Zapata 1879-1919)
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To: UnBlinkingEye
"What's your goal?" For some, (present company excepted of course) it is to punch your lights out.
43 posted on 05/10/2003 8:27:06 PM PDT by Ursus arctos horribilis ("It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees!" Emiliano Zapata 1879-1919)
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To: Ursus arctos horribilis
Are you some kind of a nut? Do you believe whatever the Republicrats tell you? How about that whopper, they haven't spent the Social Security trust fund?
44 posted on 05/10/2003 8:30:42 PM PDT by UnBlinkingEye
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To: gcruse
"This is what I don't understand. The present DirecTV viewers, of which I am one,
already have Fox News available. How would Newscorp owning DirecTV make
a cable company put Fox on their system if it's not there now? And how will Fox
owning DirecTV smash a cable company that didn't? IOW what difference does
it make who owns DirecTV if Fox is already on it?"


A great many cable shows are carried on Direct TV, but few cable companies allow Fox coverage. Now if Fox owns Direct TV and then if ...., I think you now begin to get the picture.
45 posted on 05/10/2003 8:31:42 PM PDT by Ursus arctos horribilis ("It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees!" Emiliano Zapata 1879-1919)
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To: UnBlinkingEye
Bob, our government lies to us all the time and FOX is repeating false statements issued by the government as truth. Do you view government as God, a bastion of truth?

What gov't? Local? State? Federal? If whatever one you are referring to "lies all the time" please give some examples of such lies, by whom and when. Then who on Fox repeated the "gov't" lies and when.

You asked "do you view government as God, a bastion of truth?" Why ask such a question?

46 posted on 05/10/2003 8:32:02 PM PDT by isthisnickcool (Tag, your're it!)
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To: Ursus arctos horribilis
I'm surprised they would admit that, but nothing else makes sense. Thanks.
47 posted on 05/10/2003 8:33:41 PM PDT by gcruse (Vice is nice, but virtue can hurt you. --Bill Bennett)
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I do not watch the Fox Channel...and I've never watch the Idol or the Millionaire; but the News Channel is always on. From room to room; except where Dora the Explorer or Blues Clues might be on. Brit is the best....except for Tony Snow.
48 posted on 05/10/2003 8:40:02 PM PDT by jatfla
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To: isthisnickcool
Gulf war one, we through our ambassador sanctioned the attack, then we demanded withdrawal. We lied about incubators and war crimes.

Yugoslavia, we lied about genocide and laid waste to people that had never attacked us.

Gulf War Two, we lied about massive stockpiles of WMD's, we lied about genocide and laid waste to people that had never attacked us.

Cool, Huh?

49 posted on 05/10/2003 8:44:25 PM PDT by UnBlinkingEye
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To: isthisnickcool
What gov't? Local? State? Federal? If whatever one you are referring to "lies all the time" please give some examples of such lies, by whom and when. Then who on Fox repeated the "gov't" lies and when.

I'm surprised you are uniformed. We were told that massive threats to our nation from Iraqs WMD were the reason for our pre-emptive attack. Please bear in mind that they have never attacked us and we supported them in their war with Iran. Note that we have found no so-called WMDs. Our justification is groundless God Forgive Us.

50 posted on 05/10/2003 8:54:34 PM PDT by UnBlinkingEye
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