David Folkenflik, David, Al Jazeera discussed on All Things Considered
It seems to be aimed not at never Trumpers, but not at the kinds of people necessarily who were baying for blood at the The base of the Hill of Congress just a month and a half ago. Well, I think one of the reason that this is I catching is that you know Al Jazeera until recently had a cable TV news channel for the U. S. Al Jazeera America. That first of all, I had a lot of resistance kind of getting picked up by seven cable systems around the country. So there was when they had a lot of difficulty getting interviews with certain you know, right leaning Figures Number two and number three. Ah, lot of the center of gravity of that channel didn't seem to be focused on conservatives. I mean, like their initial Sort of branding or outreach if I could call it that was based on, you know, kind of like the Guardian, which is we're going to report stories that the other media outlets aren't reporting like that kind of thing. If that makes sense, so it just seems like a surprised. Do you agree? Think it's baffling Al Jazeera America didn't work here for the reasons you described Al Jazeera. English still exists and has reporters around the country and a J. Plus his, you know, certainly got a decent footprint digitally. What they always promised was to hold the mirror up to America. In a way that corporate media in America was disinclined to do, perhaps because all of the fault of America were baked into American corporate structures, including its corporate media. This seems like it's in some ways some sort of rail politics played by doing something much more explicitly conservative, explicitly ideological foreign audience that may be extremely reluctant to absorb whatever they have to say, given the source of it, what you know to that end as an ideological play, you know, some journalists inside al Jazira wrote a letter to Management objecting to this new platform, saying it would tarnish the network's brand. And the letter also said that quote the media in the U. S is already polarized. That's a quote and that this new platform wouldn't be a solution, but rather a deepening of the problem. So what has been the reaction more broadly to this? Well, you know, I've talked to a few people inside Algerian. Some formalities here people and they are even more confounded than I am about it, You know, in part because it's explicitly ideological, in part because that ideology is is explicitly on the right. And in part because it's based on at least from the outset appears to be based on conversation and interviews rather than on reporting. You know, this appears to be really we don't know fully what form it will take. But at the moment to be done is conversation. You know, the podcast world has supplemented that enormously like I'm not sure what it is that there Value added will be which is not to say it couldn't be wonderful. You know, one of the things that people have been critical of Fox and other news outlets on the right for is for the contentious nature of its tone, and for its unwillingness to accept criticism or information that cuts against what they have to say. You know, we really haven't seen this outfit play out yet. We've got to give them a little bit of time to show. That they're able do something constructive and interesting here, but so far it does seem to be a puzzlement. So just a few months ago when President Trump didn't like how Fox News reported on his election, basically refusing to go along with his falsehoods, he very publicly and those around him. Started very publicly catering to This even more conservative one American news network and you can imagine some of the fraction of the audience. He's outlets are playing to getting narrower and narrower. Do you think that That's what's inevitable here. You know, look even before the Trump years, a senior Fox news executive said. To me Look at our best moments were getting 34 million viewers in prime time in our top rated shows, and that's you know, less than 2% of the nation. 1 1.5% of the country is watching. And yet it had an outsized influence on that to be successful in cable is too narrow cast its to identify a large, small, discernible audience. And to hold onto as much of it is possible. And I do think that the more entrance there are, the more it weakens. Fox is holding them or that the narrow cast becomes increasingly splintered. That was NPR's media correspondent. David Folkenflik. David, Thank you so much, You bet. You're listening to all things considered from NPR news. Support.