Fox Makes It Easy for Amnesty

Mickey Kaus, Kaus File, March 18, 2015

[Note: I posted this on Daily Caller. They took it down, saying I couldn’t “trash Fox” on their site. I quit Daily Caller. Reposting the item here without changes.]

Axelrod’s Wish: On page 424 of his recent memoir, Obama’s former top strategist David Axelrod describes running into Fox chieftain (and immigration amnesty supporter) Rupert Murdoch at a dinner in the fall of 2010:

During the dinner, Murdoch, who was seated beside me, insisted that the president had to move on immigration reform. ….

“But the solution has to be comprehensive,” I said. “We can’t just attack a piece of the immigration problem. And you know, there’s one big thing that you can do to help, and that is to keep your cable network from stoking the nativism that keeps us from solving this.” [Emphasis added]

Four years later, Axelrod may be getting his wish. Most of the mainstream broadcast and cable networks avoided giving excessive coverage to the recent congressional fight over the Department of Homeland Security, which was all about Republicans trying to block Obama’s executive amnesty by attaching restrictions to DHS funding. NBC Nightly News went a step further and avoided mentioning the immigration issue even when covering the funding fight–treating the threat of a DHS shutdown as if it were some sort of out-of-the-blue natural disaster.

But it’s one thing for Dem-friendly NBC to go to bat for Obama’s causes. It’s another if Fox does it too. Fox is supposed to be the feisty opposition network. You’d think it would wage a rousing campaign against Obama’s executive actions on immigration, which are surely wildly unpopular among its viewers, both because of their ends (de facto legalizing of illegals) and their means (presidential overreach).

You’d think that. But you would be wrong.

Fox didn’t editorialize in favor of Obama. It just covered other issues. This is a proven pro-amnesty posture, pioneered in the spring of 2013 when the “Gang of 8″ amnesty bill snuck through the Senate while conservatives were distracted by a seeming trifecta of Obama scandals (IRS/Benghazi/seizing AP reporters’ phone records). Given the unpopularity of amnesty with a large swath of voters, any publicity given to the issue is likely to result in an intimidating blizzard of phone calls to the U.S. Capitol, complete with threats against Republicans who might be primaried from the right, Cantor-style. Corporate pro-amnesty lobbyists need peace and quiet to work their influence on Republicans in the face of this GOP-base opposition. No stoking!

That’s what Fox delivered. What makes me so sure? I’ve got proof! Or close to it. Here is a list of the lead story each day on Megyn Kelly’s “Kelly File” show from January 14 (the day the House sent the Senate a DHS bill with a “rider” blocking Obama’s amnesty) until March 3, the day the House finally caved and passed a “clean” DHS bill. (I picked Kelly File because it seemed the high-viewership show likely to best express Fox News Channel’s id. Bill O’Reilly is powerful and egomaniacal enough to go rogue.) I’ve also noted when immigration was discussed, even if it wasn’t the main story–which (spoiler) it never was:

1/14 — ISIS

1/15 — ISIS

1/16 – ISIS

1/19 – State of the Union

1/20 –State of the Union/Terror. (Obama veto threat over immigration is mentioned)

1/21 — Iran (Later in the show, Gov. Perry is interviewed and immigration is discussed)

1/22 — Terror (Yemen)

1/23 – Israel

1/26 — Blizzard/Terror

1/27 –Terror/Israel

1/28 — Terror (Later in the show, Sen. Sessions is interviewed and the immigration fight is discussed at some length)

1/29 — Terror/Taliban

1/30 – Terror/Taliban (Immigration later mentioned in passing by a pundit)

2/2 – Terror

2/3 — Terror (ISIS)

2/4 — ISIS (Immigration by Muslims mentioned later in the show by Gov. Jindal)

2/5 — Terror

2/6 — Terror

2/9 — Terror (ISIS) (General Dempsey in passing mentions open borders as a security issue)

2/10 — Brian Williams/Terror

2/11 — Yemen/Terror

2/12 — Yemen/Terror

2/13 — ISIS

2/16 — ISIS

2/17 — ISIS (Federal court decision on immigration and Senate filibuster discussed later in the show)

2/18 — ISIS (Federal court decision discussed later in show)

2/19 — ISIS (Appeal of federal court decision discussed briefly later in show)

2/20 — ISIS, Feds fear right-wing radicals (Funding fight discussed later in the show)

2/23 — Terror (Mall of America threat) (Senator Lee gets to give anti-amnesty funding pitch in second half of show)

2/24 – “American Sniper” Trial

2/25 — ISIS

2/26 –CPAC convention/ISIS

2/27 — CPAC convention (Jeb Bush immigration pitch discussed. Mention of House funding vote but not that it was about immigration. Segment on possible “Dreamer” murderer)

3/2 — Netanyahu (Mid-show discussion of federal court case, “Dreamer” murder case, Jeb Bush position.)

3/3– Netanyahu (Brief mid-show mention that “the standoff over funding the Homeland Security Department is over.”)

I sense a pattern! For this entire period, Kelly File was basically ISIS and Terror, with a few off-lead excursions into the DHS funding fight, usually when absolutely necessary (as when a federal judge blocked Obama’s executive action). Even some discussions of the federal court decision failed to mention the parallel Congressional funding fight. In fact, immigration was discussed as the underlying issue in the funding fight only 6 times over the whole 34 show period–and only 3 times in the crucial 20 show period that followed the Senate Dems’ initial filibuster of the Republican DHS proposal. These were the weeks when anti-amnesty organizations were desperate for some outfit like FOX to apply pressure on possibly wavering Senate Dems. Instead they got more ISIS. I would suggest that the near-exclusive obsession with Middle Eastern terror is difficult to justify by the inherent news value of the subject, let alone its value to Fox viewers. You’d think the network would want to take a break if only for variety’s sake.


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  • It was then they realized that the consolidation of conservative media under the aegis of one Rupert Murdoch wasn’t such a good idea.

    When Instapundit did a thread about this a few days ago, I was glad to see that most of the comments were on Mickey Kaus’s side.

    • Oil Can Harry

      Typical neocon “invade the world / invite the world” garbage. FOX tells their viewers we should get involved in another Mideast war while ignoring the Third World invasion of our country.

      BTW kudos to Mickey Kaus.

  • Publius Pompilius Quietus

    This seems like an empirical study of FOX News’ coverage. It is mild criticism, but the piece does not “trash FOX.”

    • Truthseeker

      I’ve never liked Tucker Carlson. For well over a decade I’ve felt that he’s just a phony pundit playing the “conservative” role all the way to the bank. Very few “conservative” pundits have any sense of what it is they’re conserving. They aren’t grounded in principle, so they go along with the Left whenever it seems reasonable to them, and offer some obligatory opposition at times to make it clear which team they’re supposed to play for. Stuff like this is why I never choose to watch Fox. It’s all a big charade.

      • Xerxes22

        Tucker Carlson was always a joke. He came off as a smart ass frat jerk. The only good thing he did was to admit that the Republican leadership views the Christian right as a bunch of dopes to be used and they don’t have any respect for them.

    • E_Pluribus_Pluribus

      Tucker Carson gave Mickey Kaus a forum — until it risked Carson’s position at Fox. Rove, Norquist wouldn’t, for a moment, consider bringing Kaus on to one of their media projects.

  • Puggg

    You know there’s not a show on that station that I feel like I’ve missed out on something if I can’t or don’t watch it. Makes me wonder why so many people do watch that station.

    • Realist

      What percentage of Americans watch Fox? Hint it’s minuscule.

      • The metric they want is not comparing their viewership to the whole country, but by comparing their viewership to that of their news-talk competitors, CNN and MSNBC and HLN and maybe a few others. And they’re perfectly happy in that arena for obvious reasons.

        On the other hand, it also means that when someone like Baraq Obama blames FNC for all his political problems, it makes him look silly and petty. Someone who got 65.9 million votes in 2012 has no business blaming a network whose best rated show regularly gets 2.5 million viewers.

        • Realist

          I agree with what you say. But my response was to “Makes me wonder why so many people do watch that station.”
          They don’t.

          • Still, it makes me wonder why they even have the ratings they do. I look at Bill O’Reilly, who is all over the place, who has taken almost every position in the book on almost every issue in the book since he’s been on FNC, and it makes me wonder how he even has two and a half thousand viewers much less two and a half million.

          • Realist

            “Still, it makes me wonder why they even have the ratings they do. ”
            There are lots and lots of really stupid American.
            Whose our President?

  • Truthseeker

    Liberal-lite Fox is such a banal network. Everything on it seems like some misdirection meant to distract conservatives from real issues. Right now they can’t stop talking about Netanyahu’s victory in the Israeli elections, as if that were more important than the destruction of the Historic American Nation.

    • Jacobite2

      My guess would be that few who worry about the destruction of the Historical American Nation care about the election in Israel. And vice versa. Many of America’s troubles would be on the way to solution if most Americans realized that the two groups’ interests are incompatible.

    • Spikeygrrl

      The USA needs its own Bibi Netanyahu, better sooner than later.

      • Rustler

        It he were the president of the USA, he would be promoting a hardcore cultural marxist agenda just like his close friends the neocons do.

        Any white person who says “bibi” is not on our side. What is he, your boyfriend?

  • WR_the_realist

    Face reality. Fox is and always has been neocon, not conservative.

  • Dave4088

    FOX’s first loyalty is to Israel followed closely by diaspora Jewry. So any issues of import to Israel generally get priority coverage over issues, like amnesty, that the hapless white American hoi polloi are concerned about.

  • E_Pluribus_Pluribus

    RUPERT MURDOCH (owner of Fox News): “We need to give those individuals who are already here—after they have passed checks to ensure they are not dangerous criminals—a path to citizenship so they can pay their full taxes, be counted, and become more productive members of our community.” (“Immigration Reform Can’t Wait,” Rupert Murdoch, Wall Street Journal, June 18, 2014)

    Roger Ailes, Fox News CEO: “I Don’t Have Any Problem With A Path To Citizenship” for illegal aliens (

    “Fox News Chief Roger Ailes: ‘I Don’t Have Any Problem With A Path To Citizenship'” TPM Livewire, Feb. 13, 2013)

    • There’s also a reported quote where Murdoch promised David Axelrod that he’ll keep the “nativism” on FNC down to a minimum. Now, I don’t think of David Axelrod as the most naive of his ilk, and I think he has way more overall horse sense than Karl Roverrated. But Axelrod is being naive when he thinks that the only reason anyone is opposed to immigration amnesty is that FNC talks about it.

      • E_Pluribus_Pluribus

        There’s also a report that Lindsey Grahamnesty had four meetings with Ailes a year and a half or so ago to get Fox to tone down any anti-immigration coverage to help get the Gang of Eight bill through. Grahamnesty had higt praise for Ailes’ efforts to neuter Fox.

      • Xerxes22

        It’s all about controlling the flow of information. If the peasants don’t see or hear anything about it then they won’t be upset. That is the way Axelrod and is ilk view the world. They don’t have a very high opinion of us.

        • Realist

          But the internet is a big problem for them.

      • Jacobite2

        They don’t care whether anyone opposes amnesty, only that he keep his mouth shut about his opposition. As long as opposition is individual and disorganized, while the MSM, Hollywood, academia, and political leadership convince everybody that if they oppose amnesty, he is the only one. You don’t have to kill every enemy soldier if you can keep them all head-down in their foxholes.

        • Rustler

          One of the best posts ever at amren. Its all about organization. Our enemies are well organized and we are not. Thats the whole ball game right there.

          The issue is that our people are really bad compared to othes at knowing who their real friends and enemies are.

          • Jacobite2

            Thanks, Well, we’ve always been told that “united we stand; divided we fall”. What he Left has been doing since they arrived here in the 1890s, is to convince ‘we’ that there is no ‘we’. That ‘we’ are nothing more than a bunch of individuals who happen to accept “The American Creed”. Such BS is seldom heard of. Dictionary time: a nation is a group of individuals sharing a common origin (i.e., race), language, religion, culture, history, customs, etc. Any individual not sharing those common characteristics is not, and can never be, a member of that nation. Period. Today the word ‘nation’ has no commonly understood meaning (used as a synonym for ‘state’ — making ‘nation-state’ a nonsense term). Now, guess who would want to do the Orwell-thing to this old word? Hmmm, perhaps people who are not members of the American nation? It’s almost impossible to pass as a native in an alien nation. But, if you can convince a people that their nation does not exist, and that making any distinction between fellow-nationals and aliens is horrible, Right-wing, nativist, un-American (what brass), and zenophobic, then your out-group status becomes a non-issue. “The Emperor’s New Clothes” is the defining fable for America since WW II. ‘Americans’ have always been the European-derived peoples who originally settled the territory that became the USA. Nobody else is an American (as opposed to a US citizen). The author of the first Federalist Paper thanked God that Americans were one people speaking one language. Quote that sentence today and see what happens. The fact of American-ness hasn’t changed — only the freedom to mention it in public (because non-Americans get sooo upset). Screw them!

  • Race Heretic

    Republicans, mainstream conservatives – worse than useless on immigration.

  • Jason Lewis

    Republicans had Bush as president and control of both sides of Congress for six years and did nothing about illegal immigration.

    • Big business wanted cheap labor.

    • Ringo Lennon

      They could’ve solved a lot of problems, like the anchor baby baloney. Instead they actually enticed illegals with guest worker program scam.

  • IstvanIN

    There is almost no one, except Mr. Sessions, in a position of influence on our side.

    • Jo

      Louis Gohmert

    • Sick of it

      David Vitter

  • Hilis Hatki

    Immigrants are just more consumers for the corporations.

    • JohnEngelman

      And more job applicants to lower wages.

  • Charles Lufkin

    Fox and Rupert Murdoch are TRAITORS and pro-amnesty scum.Fox is playing up pro-amnesty Jeb Bush.

    • Ringo Lennon

      No doubt liberal media will shove Jeb Bush down your throat. Then, once that is secure they will go full out for Dem candidate in presidential.

      • The official line we’re hearing now is that the Stupid Party needs to nominate Jeb because he’s the only one that can get the Hispanic vote.

        Then once they nominate Jeb, the new party line will be that he can’t get the Hispanic vote, his bowling ball Mexican wife is just a prop, and that he’s evil for being in the same party as the even more evil Jeff Sessions. Then Jeb will get 20% of the Hispanic vote versus whatever Democrat.

        Then after the election, they’ll say that Jeb was too right wing, and in 2020, the Republicans will have to nominate someone that can really get the Hispanic vote.

        Lather, rinse, repeat.

  • Dan B. Cooper

    Southerners and conservatives: boycott Fox News

    • Spikeygrrl

      Already done, but not intentionally. Over the past year or two, hubby and I have simply stopped enjoying the programming. They ditched Beck. They ditched Alan Colmes, without whom Hannity is just one more me-too radio/TV host. Bill O’Reilly should be put out to pasture already. Megyn is doing a great job, but she’s too centrist for my own personal taste. Red Eye is clearly involved in some sort of smoky-back-room stuff: Bill Schulz just disappeared with no explanation given (not that I miss him); and now Greg Gutfeld got yanked from the show without a successor named. .

      So we didn’t quit watching Fox just to make a political or aesthetic point…we more or less just drifted away for lack of compelling appeal.

      • Anon Wyatt

        It’s interesting that you mention Red Eye:

        I’ve been a fan since the near beginning and it’s the only Fox show I’m devoted to. Gavin McInnes and Anthony Cumia are recurring guests that I enjoy among others I’ve discovered due to the show. Both are unapologetic about the “race” issue and the former has been featured here and the latter had his famous Twitter tirade against a black woman that cost him his job with Sirius, though he’s bounced back with his own independent online radio show.
        I have ideas about what may have transpired in regards to Schulz and Gutfeld on Red Eye, but from what the latter said a week ago during his last episode, he’s moving on to develop weekend programming for FNC.
        I’m wondering if something akin to Jon Stewart/Daily Show is in the works at FNC…

  • John Smith

    Murdoch is a guy who discovered that by being less left-wing than the other networks and throwing out some patriotic jingoism every once in a while, he could make the lower-info conservative-type voter think they actually were a conservative news network. It doesn’t hurt that leftists are reflexively conditioned to attack anyone who doesn’t toe the “progressive” line as an evil “conservative.” The net result is the guy rakes in the bucks, just like he intended by serving an otherwise unserved market, while he is personally pro-gun control and pro-illegal immigration and his entertainment divisions promote pro-negroid, pro-miscegenation trash like the show “Empire” with his obvious approval.

    • JohnEngelman

      FOX News and Rush Limbaugh advocate economic policies that benefit the richest one to ten percent of the American population. They present their arguments in ways to make them appealing to a much larger number of middle aged and elderly angry white men.

      Ironically, many of these white men are angry because wealth and income has shifted away from the working and middle classes to the richest one to ten percent of the American population.

    • I like listening to and reading the words that certain people think, because I like analyzing their underlying assumptions. Because they usually wind up confessing their own methods by way of projection.

      To listen and read the typical kook leftist, you’d think the only reason there’s a right (or “right”) wing in this country is because of FNC and Rush Limbaugh. Therefore, get rid of FNC and Rush Limbaugh, and the right will disappear, and therefore all opposition to the left will disappear. Utopia within months.

      (Small print: Here in the real word, there is no opposition to the left. We’re still waiting on a piece of legislation to come out of Congress, the one right now which is controlled on both ends by the supposed right opposition party, that blocks Baraq Obama’s amnesty fatwa. Tick tock.)

      What the kook left is admitting about themselves is that their entire worldview is nothing more than creations of their own media and talking heads, and much of their existence as it stands right now ultimately traces back to George Soros. They’re basically admitting that if you wipe out Soros, you wipe out the left for a good long time to come.

  • Augustus3709

    1965 Immigration Act.

    “This will not change the racial balance of the country.”

    Strike one.

    Amnesty for Illegals under Reagen.

    “This is a one time thing. No more illegals.”

    Strike two.

    Three Strikes and you’re out.

    • Ringo Lennon

      Obama presidency. Strike three. Yer out!

  • JohnEngelman

    No one should be surprised by this. The Republican Party exists to advance the economic interests of the richest ten percent of the population. I do not care what else they talk about. That is what they do. Since the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 they have done it very well. More immigrants mean lower wages for American employees, and consequently higher profits for their employers.

    • Ram Paul

      Richest 10%?

      More like a few dozen financial players overseas who rule just about everything.

      Estimates are that the Rothschild family is worth 30 trillion or more.

  • JohnEngelman

    For the employer – investor class the perfect solution is amnesty without citizenship. The illegals will be transferred into a class of virtual serfs with low wages, and no labor rights. Employers will find ways to replace American citizens with these.

    If the Republicans win the White House in 2016, and increase their majorities in both houses of Congress, that is what they will achieve.

  • Light from the East

    Here is my perspective:

    1. You rarely see the left media like MSNBC, New Your Times report other irrelevant things when an incident involving anti-white movement is on the heat such as Ferguson shooting. It should be a discussion of the relation of a law enforcer and a criminal, but the left media distorts it to a white vs black issue.

    2. Fox should be focused more on illegal aliens’ invasion but somehow focused on things happening aboard. Yes, ISIS is a problem but you can’t talk it all the time when Obama tried to amnesty those aliens.

    3. After my observation on department of journalism across Western countries, I found all of them are liberal bias, more or less. It does not mean it is bad but the concept of liberal vs conservative is supposed to work in a homogeneous society (same language, same ethnicity, same race, etc). If you apply those liberal concept to another society with different culture or different demographics, things only go into chaos. Thus, people from journalist background are used to liberal way of thinking and reasoning, no matter his/her political stance.

    4. Right wingers seldom buy the left media let alone influence the basic tone of it but left wingers are interested penetrating the right media especially the government is at their backs, things only get easier.

    5. Remember John Boehner and some other republicans betrayed their original proposal? Why? Obama knows very clear that some republicans place their personal interest over their ideal so Obama could “buy” them to achieve his goal. Of course those republicans don’t want the public to know their “embarrassment”, they pressure Fox news to divert the real issue.

    It concludes that politics, money, and education system largely determine the landscape of our media, Fox news is no exception. Only when we change the above 3 things, we may finally have a media dedicating to truth.

  • Ram Paul

    Murdoch is a globalist jew, just like all 5 of the other jewish men who control the American media.

  • AndrewInterrupted

    “….keep your cable network from stoking the nativism that keeps us from solving this.” [Emphasis added]…”

    How dare the founding population want to keep their country. The nerve!

    Kaus makes it sound like the Africans kept Africa for Africans. Oh wait, they did. OK, Kaus makes it sound like the Chinese kept China for Chinese. Oh wait, they did….

  • Dan B. Cooper

    NewsBusters will permanently block you from commenting on their site if you badmouth Fox News.

  • Ringo Lennon

    O’Reilly’s a sellout on amnesty. “You can’t deport 11 million people” is the battle cry of OReilly, who’s a master of self promotion. Also, unrelated, Katie Holmes dating the negro, Jamie Foxx.

    • Americaandthewestshouldbewhite

      Shame on her.

    • Rustler

      Almost no one under the age of sixty watches him.

  • Earl P. Holt III

    I rarely watch Fox News anymore: In addition to the “chickafication of the news” that Rush complains about, there also seems to be a lot of political correctness, as well as a lot of the silly “human interest” news “stories” that comprise the typical fare on “Good Morning America,” or some of the other, equally insipid network morning shows…

    • Ringo Lennon

      Too many women on Fox. Not good when you’re have an opinion outlet. For example, OReilly now has a Dana Purina segment.

      • Earl P. Holt III

        Funny you should mention that: When I read a particularly insipid and ludicrous opinion by some dizzy feminist, I reply that they are “…a living, breathing example of why the Framers did not include women’s suffrage in the original Constitution…”

  • Rustler

    Not many people actually watch Fox News. Its gets outsized attention because it’s the only broadcast media outlet that is partisan Republican. When liberals want to bash right wing media, they bash Fox because there is nothing else. It gives th impression of Fox being some huge presence when in reality its only a few million elderly white fools who watch it.

    Rupert Murdoch is one of the worst race traitors in history, right up there with the Bush family.

    • I don’t hold its age-skewed viewer demographics against it especially. Politics are old people’s games, always have been, always will be. Here’s a hint: Look up the etymology of the word “Senate.”

      There are lots of other very good reasons to be suspicious of that channel.

  • In fact, much to my incredible disgust, just the other day, I spotted a poll somewhere on the web that said, out of all the mainstream networks, the American morons ‘trust’ the absolute garbage that flows out of the mouths of the overpaid stooges on Faux News more than any other network.

    Easy, when the “other networks” are CNN and MSNBC.

  • puffdaddy

    That’s because Tucker Carlson founded Daily Caller and now he’s a talking head on Fox & Friends Weekend, so he probably made a deal with them not to criticize the network, i.e., bite the hand that now feeds him…not much of a libertarian, is he?