Breitbart ‘More Powerful Media Institution’ Than Fox News

Breitbart ‘More Powerful Media Institution’ Than Fox News, by Tony Lee.

NBC and MSNBC contributor John Heilemann told Chris Matthews on Monday that Breitbart News is more powerful and influential than Fox News when it comes to influencing elections. …

Conservative talk radio icon Rush Limbaugh has pointed out that though those in the legacy media still think of Fox News as a conservative network, viewers in the Heartland do not think so. Many right-of-center viewers watch Fox News because it is quite simply the least offensive alternative they have, and Limbaugh once said on his radio show that it was “quite telling” that Fox News executives would not let him criticize the comprehensive amnesty legislation that Fox News and the “Gang of Eight” backed after the 2012 election.

Breitbart News and Fox News were on opposites sides of the two most important battles after the 2012 election–amnesty for illegal immigrants and Donald Trump. And working-class Americans sided with Breitbart News each time.

As Devil’s Bargain author Joshua Green pointed out, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), the face of the Gang of Eight, was the darling of Fox News, and that is why pro-amnesty advocates believed Republicans could get a comprehensive amnesty bill passed in Congress …

Breitbart News adopted Nolan Richardson’s “40 minutes of hell” strategy to oppose the establishment and their coveted amnesty bill. As I noted, “Breitbart News was undersized, outmanned, and taking on the ‘professional conservative’ establishment, the GOP establishment, the establishment media and their liberal allies, the international establishment, and the left. All too often, all five of these camps tried to swarm Breitbart News. But Breitbart News prevailed and got even stronger because, like the honey badger, Bannon and Breitbart News didn’t give a sh*t” about what the political and media establishments thought and only cared about the concerns of working-class Americans of all backgrounds.

And in 2016, Fox News tried to undercut Donald Trump every step of the way during the primary season — favoring candidates like former Florida Governor Jeb! Bush and Rubio. And the network faced immediate backlash when former anchor Megyn Kelly … tried to kneecap frontrunner Trump in the first GOP primary debate. New York magazine’s Gabriel Sherman “pointed out that Ailes was livid that nearly all of the emails took Trump’s side” after Trump clashed with Kelly, as Breitbart News noted.

Even though Trump won the White House, Murdoch’s sons reportedly want to turn Fox News into a CNN-lite network and move the channel further away from working-class Americans–some of whom are Democrats or unaffiliated–who support economic nationalism. …

In a recent New York Times magazine cover story about Breitbart News, Wil Hylton wrote that there is “no real precursor for Breitbart” of a news outlet that has so quickly emerged to “dominate the political conversation in a pivotal election” like Breitbart News did in 2016.

Harvard Law Professor Yochai Benkler, who led a Harvard/MIT team that extensively studied the media ecosystem, found that Breitbart News had three times as much influence as Fox News on the right.

Just as the left moves to grab all the media and opinion forming institutions, up springs another outlet for non-conforming views. Amazing coincidence, eh?