Fox News viewers offer snapshot of an American past

Fox News Host Bill O’Reilly has said that, given its enormous viewership, Fox News is where “you have to come” to know what’s happening in America. O’Reilly is right, to some extent. The network drubs any of its cable TV rivals in ratings. What kind of America is O’Reilly’s America? Nielson reports that the Fox-viewing millions and millions of Americans are almost all older white people. The average age of Fox fans is 65 and only 1.38 percent of the Fox audience is black.

As Steve Benen writes, the Fox reign may be less than a long-term phenomenon. Fact is, old people die sooner not later and Americans are less and less white. Also, people under 65 don’t get their news from cable TV. They watch Jon Stewart on the internet, where they get everything else.

Fox wins on the tube. They lose on the nets.

Foxnews.com averages around 12 million or 13 million monthly unique users, according to Nielsen Online, rarely approaching the 35 million to 40 million uniques that leaders Yahoo News, MSNBC and CNN regularly deliver in aggregate.

Benen rounds up thoughts on why this may be the case.

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