the Republican Establishment all but ceded control of the party, or at least the public face of the party, to Fox News (and Rush Limbaugh) in January, 2009.
How Fox News is Destroying the Republican Party
Still, it's becoming increasingly clear that Fox's programming and the radical, fear-based agenda it's setting for Republicans is now doing lasting damage to the Grand Old Party.
That's because Fox News isn't simply offering a rightward take on the day's events, or innocently providing Republican-friendly commentary, of course. It's leading an exhausting, day-in, day-out attack campaign against Obama, Democrats and all their liberal allies. (Real or imagined.)
Its relentless, paranoid crusade falls well outside the mainstream of American politics, which is why the Republican primary season, so proudly sponsored by Fox News, is shaping up to be such an embarrassment.
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With Fox News at the irresponsible helm, the conservative movement in America, including the emerging Tea Party, became first and foremost a media movement, and one that gleefully cut ties with common sense and decency. (See: Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh.)
As blogger Andrew Sullivan noted this week:
The Republican Establishment is Rush Limbaugh, Roger Ailes, Karl Rove, and their mainfold products, from Hannity to Levin. They rule on the talk radio airwaves and on the GOP's own "news" channel, Fox.
With media outlets setting the conservative agenda, as well as raising campaign funds and boosting GOP candidates, it was Fox News that quickly transformed itself into the Opposition Party.