- By Thomas E. RicksThomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008.
By coincidence, I was over at Fox News headquarters in midtown Manhattan yesterday morning, just as the election results were setting in incontrovertible concrete. The scene reminded me of something that David Eisenhower once said to me about living in the Nixon White House during Watergate: "It was painful for others, but you know, it sure was interesting for me." At Fox, the faces in the hallways were sober but chin-up. There clearly was some head-scratching going on. Like, "Hey, perhaps the Republican Party shouldn’t have dissed women, Hispanics, the poor and the rest of the electorate so much?"
I wonder if the jig is up for Fox: On election night they looked like they couldn’t decide whether they were a political party or a news network. That peculiar combination is no longer working. It was kind of like being in the line yesterday at Romney’s D.C. transition office to hand in your cell phones. Or, if you’re into 1962, like being at U. Miss.
On the other hand, Obama’s re-election may have helped the Fox MO. After all, it is much easier to work in opposition. You don’t have to deal with messy realities, or defend the awkward compromises that come with it, and can criticize at will. That likely will be the case come Monday, when Fox will have their memory banks adequately scrubbed. So maybe their business model is safe — despite it being built on the rubble of the national comity.
Gordon Lubold is a national security reporter for Foreign Policy. He is also the author of FP's Situation Report, an e-mailed newsletter that is blasted out to more than 70,000 national security and foreign affairs subscribers each morning that includes the top nat-sec news, breaking news, tidbits, nuggets and what he likes to call "candy." Before arriving at FP, he was a senior advisor at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, where he wrote on national security and foreign policy. Prior to his arrival at USIP, he was a defense reporter for Politico, where he launched the popular Morning Defense early morning blog and tip-sheet. Prior to that, he was the Pentagon and national security correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, and before that he was the Pentagon correspondent for the Army Times chain of newspapers. He has covered conflict in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries in South Asia, and has reported on military matters in sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia and Latin America as well as at American military bases across the country. He has spoken frequently on the sometimes-contentious relationship between the military and the media as a guest on numerous panels. He also appears on radio and television, including on CNN, public radio's Diane Rehm and To the Point, and C-SPAN's Washington Journal. He lives in Alexandria with his wife and two children.| The Complex |