Ten years from now I can picture a lively debate about which ephemeral News Corp ratings bomb was worse: the Half Hour News Hour or Fox Business Network. The former is already resigned to the "bad idea" pile of history while the latter was recently launched to much fanfare and absolutely no interest. I give it six months. Tops. The fishtank at your dentist's office has more viewers. Frankly I don't understand how the public can resist tuning in for gems like this interview between FBN's David Asman and Our Leader:
ASMAN: You call yourself a supply sider. You speech today was all about tax cuts. But were even you surprised at how much revenue came into the Treasury when you lowered those tax rates?
Rupert Murdoch said when pitching the concept of the new network that CNBC is "too negative toward business" and FBN would be more "business friendly." And boy howdy did they deliver. If you haven't watched it, treat yourself to a couple of minutes. It is exactly what you would expect – cloying, insipid cheerleading sandwiched between chunks of fluff. The effect is not unlike being waterboarded with high-fructose corn syrup.
This won't make any sense to you unless you take the plunge and briefly tune in, but I have one burning question – who or what do they think is the market for this shit? Obviously, judging by the ratings, the answer is "no one." But I'd really like to get inside the heads of the marketing folks and Exec VPs of Programming who dreamed up this backyard abortion of a network. I can't imagine anyone who knows about, cares about, or works in the field of finance sitting down and watching tripe like this. It would be akin to expecting professional chefs to watch "Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee" with rapt attention.
Apparently (as best I can tell) the brilliant minds at Fox were expecting to create a business channel for idiots, having already mastered news for idiots. They thought that people who don't know a goddamn thing about finance or the economy would tune in and be easily influenced by psychotically perky "experts" telling them how wonderful everything is. Unfortunately, as they are now learning, mouth-breathing adults who process the world at a grade school level simply aren't going to be watching a business network – no matter how lobotomized and dumbed-down. Where are the "breaking news" stories about celebrities? Where are the heated discussions about Hulk Hogan's divorce? Where's the sports break every 10 minutes?
So congratulations, Rupert. You've got your business network; your own 24-7 platform to tell the world how f'n great the Greatest Story Never Told really is for the average man. The result is something far too vacuous and irrelevant for people who actually care about business news…and not remotely interesting to the average Fox News drone with a 30-second attention span. Fire up the TiVO and record your very own slice of what will soon be forgotten. Ten years from now you may need to reassure yourself that it existed and you did not imagine something so ridiculous.