Fox News recently launched a new subscription-based streaming service called Fox Nation and it’s even more of a sh*tshow than the actual network.
For some background, “Fox Nation” was the name of Fox News’ now-defunct openly conservative news aggregation blog. It was basically a slightly better formatted Drudge Report (and I mean very slightly) that gave us such winning insights as “Obama’s Hip-Hop BBQ Didn’t Create Jobs” (archived here):
This was back when Fox News was still pretending to be “fair and balanced” so it was at least a little odd that they would launch a parallel out-and-proud conservative news blog.
Fox Nation the blog rapidly became a haven for birthers and other racists, thanks to headlines like: ‘White Kid Beaten Up Because Of Slavery’ and ‘Big Union Recruiting Minority Army For Obama.’
Now, Fox News has relaunched the property as a subscription streaming service for the most rabid Fox News viewer who can’t seem to get enough from 24 hours of right-wing propaganda spread across two cable channels.
Trying to imagine the kind of person who would pay a monthly subscription fee because the current programming schedule doesn’t provide them with enough Fox News. Pretty grim!
— Patrick Monahan (@pattymo) November 27, 2018
It costs, $5.99 a month in case you’re doing your Christmas shopping for someone you intensely dislike.
The service features a mix of new live programming, pre-recorded programs, and old Fox News specials, and folks, it is baaaad. Both the live programming and pre-recorded segments are tortuously dull and the Fox specials are as stale as the crackers in Fox’s green room (and I’m not talking about Newt Gingrich).
— Patrick Monahan (@pattymo) November 28, 2018
Tomi Lahren, the poster child of Fox Nation, kicks things off every morning with a screaming torrent of nonsense called “First Thoughts” (the first was yelling at Republicans to shut the government down to get Trump’s border wall). Things go downhill from there.
Tammy is insufferable.
“Here’s some advice, if you don’t want to be tear gassed when you rush the border, don’t rush the border.”
Fox Nation is banking on people wanting to listen to both Tony’s “First Thoughts” and “Final Thoughts” every day. Which, no thanks. pic.twitter.com/uaMsFfkQ6O
— Lis Power (@LisPower1) November 27, 2018
None of their new offerings are particularly well-produced with canned music, poorly edited segments, and meandering live discussions. The whole thing feels phoned-in, which I guess is kind of a relief.
No matter what you think of it, Fox News is a finely tuned infotainment machine, which is what makes it so effective as a vehicle for right-wing propaganda. Fox Nation, on the other hand, is a cobbled together mess populated by amateur talent who all seem to realize their only job is filling time. Blessedly, many of the programs are so short they don’t even have to do too much of that.
There were numerous mishaps on the first day, including when monotone “Reality Check” host David Webb was surprised and confused (join the club) by an on-air visit from a cake maker whose confectionary construction featured the host on a hot air balloon for some reason:
There’s also “The First Family,” an entire series devoted to brown-nosing the Trumps (can’t wait for Tiffany’s episode!), and the Trump-boosting is shameless even by Fox standards.
The not-subtle message of a lot of the Fox Nation programming is, “we have unbelievable access to the Trump administration and family, and we use it to schmooze with them and make them look good.” pic.twitter.com/ySpjOjLUm4
— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) November 27, 2018
It hasn’t premiered yet, but Steve Doocy has a cooking show, which is impressive for a man so dumb he needs a recipe to make ice.
Getting Turnt Up with Steve Doocy pic.twitter.com/1TPEWatxwm
— Will Sommer (@willsommer) November 27, 2018
I kid you not, Steve Doocy’s favorite dish is a pot roast made with Lipton French onion soup mix, and his wife cooks it, not him. Crazy how the entire Republican Party got taken over by someone who was given everything, acts like that makes him a hard worker, and pretends to be an expert on things he knows nothing about!
And speaking of dumb, there’s also a “Quiz Show” that seems designed specifically to embarrass Fox personalities:
Jesse Watters thinks Stan Lee created Superman. pic.twitter.com/CYc53qfnry
— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) November 28, 2018
Why is there a quiz show, you ask? Good question! Why is there any of this? Who is this for? Media Matters writer Matt Gertz has one intriguing idea—the service’s business model is banking on elderly people who can’t figure out how to cancel it:
“Maybe, given the advanced age of the network’s typical viewer, the audience for Fox Nation is actually people who have trouble unsubscribing after signing up for services. Perhaps the hope is if the network promotes this schlock enough on Fox News, enough of its fans will sign up and then forget that they did so, making it a lucrative revenue stream, even if its audience is low.”
Daily Beast put together a supercut of the most bizarre moments from the service’s launch and—unlike Fox Nation—it’s highly watchable, entertaining, and definitely worth your time:
MY GOD. As bad as you imagined ‘Fox Nation’ is … it’s worse. Click if you dare: pic.twitter.com/jtxYr6eIFC
— Noah Shachtman (@NoahShachtman) November 28, 2018
Even better, it’s free.