Sunday, September 23, 2012

FOX: Running out of Headlines

Devin Bartolotta

Despite the fact that nearly every news outlet across the country finds something to analyze, decontextualize, or criticize about the election or specific candidates every single day, FOX news seems to have largely put the presidential race on the back burner when it comes to updated coverage.

I've noticed that, this week in particular, FOX news seems to be running out of things to talk about. The current headline on the FOX news election page is covering Colorado as a swing state.

I could almost hear them in the newsroom, "Hey, did anything significant happen this week? Anyone win yet? No? How about another piece on swing states! That'll get 'em!"

I found myself reading the article and thinking to myself, big deal.

Something new that FOX is incorporating is a Candidate Tracker that highlights stops that Team Romney and Team Obama make throughout the country (And yes, Athens, Ohio has a blue dot for Team Obama's stop a few weeks ago). I don't really know how this feature would pull one's vote in one direction or the other, but it's an interesting feature. I think it shows just how close the media follows these candidates - almost to the point of stalking them.

But as I continued to poke through the site's updates from the weekend, any of the other stories on the site seem to be just about people who don't know what to expect from the election. After headlines like, "Bill Clinton: No 'earthly' idea what Hillary will do next" and  "2012 Challenge: Corral undecided likely voters," I realized how tired I am of news outlets stating the obvious: presidential elections are very predictably unpredictable. Many of these headlines could have been carbon copied from articles in 2008, with a mere substitution of names.

One article that I found extremely interesting was about Romney's health. Looking back, the health and age of John McCain were in the headlines constantly in 2008. It details his height, weight, and all the medical problems he does (and some that he doesn't) have. This might be a way for Romney to separate himself from the previous republican candidate, or maybe just his way of reassuring America that taking baby aspirin really does wonderful things for your cholesterol.

But for FOX news, I imagine that analyzing how Obamacare would view that method of treatment would be a whole other story.

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