The long-mocked catchphrase of Fox News is reportedly on the way out, marking the end of the final vestiges of the ‘good old days’ on the most regressive news network.
Now that Fox has lost most of their leadership and showrunners to sexual assault allegations and outright discrimination, it appears they have decided to cut ties with their age-old ironic catchphrase “Fair and Balanced.”
According to the New York Magazine, Fox is now dropping their infamous catchphrase “Fair and Balanced.” The phrase is to be replaced with “Most watched. Most Trusted.”
The decision was made by Fox executives in the wake of the resignation and death of former Fox President and CEO Roger Ailes. The original phrase was the brainchild of Ailes and was one of the last legacies of the late leader and sexual harasser.
Of course, the new slogan relies not on objective facts (is it fair? is it balanced?), but instead on the behaviors of its audience (do they watch? do they trust?). In this way, even though Fox may be consistently losing their viewership, at least they are no longer outright lying.
As for being the “most trusted,” one cannot look at the loyal audience of Fox News without thinking of just how deeply they trust their source for reporting. After all, how many of us are familiar with friends and family members who seem to only watch Fox News?
Having never really stood for honesty, fairness, or balance, the cutting of the phrase was a long time coming. Still, that Fox could be self-aware enough to finally acknowledge their incredible bias – at least through removing language denying that bias – is astounding.
The slogan has been in place since the start of Fox News, and was put into place by Roger Ailes all the way back in 1996 when he first launched the network.
Interestingly, Ailes purposefully chose the slogan in order to counteract what he saw as a natural leftward inclination for news reporting. A senior producer who spoke to the New Yorker shared his experiences regarding the slogan while working with Ailes:
“He would say, ‘The news is like a ship. If you take hands off the wheel, it pulls hard to the left.’”
“Fair and Balanced” will go down in history as one of the most memorable catchphrases in media history, regardless of its accuracy in describing the network it helped immortalize. Still, just as Ailes no doubt imagined he would rule Fox forever, so, too, can we celebrate the downfall of the infamous catchphrase which represents the end of an era and the continued discreditation of Fox News as a whole.