Fox News is #1 in the Ratings. So what?

Often after I attack Fox News for lying, some supporter points out that it is #1 in the ratings of news networks.

So what?

More people eat at McDonald’s than fine restaurants. More listen to Justin Beiber than Elvis Costello. More view reality shows than documentaries. More watched the latest “Transformers” movie than all of last year’s Oscar-winning films combined. FoxNewsMore read “50 Shades of Gray” than “Bloodsuckers:  A Vampire Runs for President.” (See what I did there?)

Using popularity to legitimize the worth of something is a weak argument. Yes, sometimes the most popular thing really is very good, but simply appealing to the majority doesn’t guarantee that.

And it certainly doesn’t mean it’s true. A large percentage of Americans also believe in astrology, ghosts, and various gods … that doesn’t mean they’re real.

I should also point out that the average age of a Fox News viewer is 68.8.  MSNBC is only slightly lower, at 62.5.  That’s because a majority of Americans don’t watch 24-hour news channels, and many get their news these days from the internet.

Further, Fox viewers are overwhelmingly tremendously conservative even though the majority of Americans are not. Fox News viewers are absolutely not representative of America in the same way that, for instance, viewers of the Super Bowl are.

So when you say “more people watch Fox,” you’re really saying “More old people who do not represent the majority of Americans” watch Fox.

I repeat:  So what?

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