The Web site will attempt to emulate the social aspects of Facebook — as well as MySpace, which, like Fox, is owned by Rupert Murdoch — by encouraging readers to post comments and argue with one another. And the hook will be columns, blogs and videos from the likes of Bill O’Reilly, Greta Van Susteren and Hannity, which will likely draw their strongest followers.
“We felt that giving people a real destination to go and express themselves would give them a feeling of belonging,” says Senior Vice President Joel Cheatwood, adding “If they’re critical of Fox News, that’s fine. You just can’t say anything that’s hateful or hurtful to someone else.”
The new site will be linked from FoxNews.com, which trails its cable news competitors’ Websites. FoxNews.com drew 16 million uniques in February, behind msnbc.com’s 41 million and CNN.com’s 36 million.
Says senior VP Bill Shine: “We’re calling it a mix between the Huffington Post and Drudge.”
> More from CJR: “You might not conclude, in baffled frustration, hey, there’s nothing wrong with partisan journalism…but only if it’s up-front with its audience about its biases; only if it doesn’t try to disguise those biases under a glib motto of objectivity; only if it doesn’t perpetuate a laughable line of logic that purposely confuses conservatism with patriotism.”