Here’s something I’ve been watching for a bit. You can see here that “New Fox” has just hired Hope Hicks as its chief communications officer. Sort of a lateral transfer in the state propaganda world. But here’s something worth noting about “New Fox”.
‘New Fox’ is the company that will remain after Disney absorbs Fox studios and a few other Fox properties. The big holdings are Fox News, Fox sports and the Fox broadcast network. Before it’s various corporate restructuring, splits and mergers, NewsCorp was always a bit of an odd beast. You had Fox News Channel and all the newspaper holdings, which towed the right-wing Murdoch family political line. But you also had the broadcast network that had some ties to the politics of Fox News but was mainly just an entertainment network.
In fact, if anything Fox tended to push cultural boundaries at least as much as the other networks, especially in its early days. It continues to host the brilliantly transgressive show The Simpsons. Further afield from NewsCorp’s propaganda hold was Fox studios, which of course makes TV in addition to movies and has a long pre-News Corp history. All of this meant that Fox News and its sister propaganda outlets were the chief nemeses of liberal Hollywood and the deracinated coastal elites and meanwhile also deep in business with liberal Hollywood and the deracinated coastal elites. Go figure.
The new arrangement changes this mix significantly. Now Fox broadcast isn’t just one big company in a massive, fairly diversified international media conglomerate. It’s much more tightly coupled to Fox News, in a company that will be much more focused on politics, sports and local news.
So here’s the question. Hollywood, as the right never tires of telling us, is dominated by liberals, at least on a certain range of issues. But lots of them are literally in business with Fox. As long as Fox was, for their purposes, mainly one of the country’s oldest movie studios (20th Century Fox), that didn’t stand out quite so much. But in the new set up the broadcast network will really be the partner of Fox News, the biggest political propaganda outlet in the country. Over time that doesn’t seem sustainable to me. They will be making money for Fox News, and vice versa.