Enjoy the diversity. It occurred to me that for most folks who don’t watch any news or opinion shows on Fox News–at least, not on a regular basis–the channel is seen as “all one thing”. For the Fox aficionado, though, each program has its own persona. Some of them grate on me, and I’ll turn the channel as quickly as any progressive Democrat when it’s their turn to hit the airwaves. Others speak to me, and I’ll pause my computer keyboarding long enough to pay close attention to key segments of those programs.
If you are a Fox News fan, you already have your own list of favorite and not so favorite shows…but here’s my take on the programming, ranked from “most Ghost friendly” to “least Ghost friendly”…excluding shows that air early in the day and most of those only seen on the weekends. Some great shows may be airing then, but I wouldn’t know; my TV is hardly ever on except in prime time.
1. On the Record with Greta Van Susteren (news)
If Greta’s signature show comes on while I’m working at the computer keyboard in my office, it has the best chance of all Fox News programs to avoid having the channel changed. Thanks to her apparently damaged and motionless upper lip, it’s hard for me to look directly at Ms. Susteren for too long–but thanks to her skill as a journalist and her expert presentation, I have to rank her gig as my #1 Fox News show anyway. Five stars.
2, 3. (Tie) Special Report with Bret Baier (and) Studio B with Shepard Smith (news)
Both of these guys are flat out awesome. Their voices, pacing, presentation of facts, and personal insights are outstanding. Give either one of them a run at a major story like the Benghazi scandal, then kick back and enjoy. Better than watching the Super Bowl, and you don’t have to understand football to follow their down to earth deliveries of the news. Five stars.
- 4. Hannity (opinion)
The very approach that makes Sean Hannity’s show work for most viewers is the thing I find hardest to stomach. The well known conservative thrives on direct yelling-over-each-other confrontation with an endless parade of guests who join him on the set, usually in pairs (one liberal, one conservative). I hate that–in fact, one such segment is yammering at me from the TV as I’m typing this, and it’s taking all the self control I have to keep from turning the channel. If it weren’t for the fact that On the Record is coming up next and I want a good screen shot to use for the header photo on this page, I’d have either found Phineas and Ferb on the cartoon channel or shut off the TV for the night.
Yet, despite the discomfort, I do keep a close eye on Sean’s show most of the time, living for the episodes where he polls his studio audience. Those interactive segments are the best and often provide interesting political insights–and not a few surprises. Additionally, I do agree with most of Sean’s political positions (being a conservative myself in many, but not all, areas), and ya gotta love the way he serves as a lightning rod for the hardcore true blue haters on the left. Four stars.
- 5. The Kelly File with Megyn Kelly (news)
Megyn is simply one of the sharpest swords in the Fox News arsenal. She lays out the news stories cleanly, crisply, and to the point. It doesn’t hurt that she’s an attractive blonde, but in my opinion, she’s also a deadly pro you don’t want working for your opposition no matter how tough you think you are. She doesn’t suffer fools gladly, either; ask any guest on her show who’s tried to throw B.S. her way. Four stars.
- 6. The O’Reilly Factor with Bill O’Reilly (news)
Bill’s show is apparently the top rated cable TV news show on the air…but I personally can’t stand the guy. Were we to end up stuck in the same room together, it’s highly likely he couldn’t stand me, either. To me, he comes across as an arrogant know it all who really, really thinks he’s all that, hiding a “secret smugness” beneath a thin veneer of supposedly professional, detached journalism. When his show comes on, I immediately check the Channel Guide to see if maybe Storage Wars might be on, or Slugterra, or perhaps the Karate Kid movie with Will Smith’s son breaking some absolutely unbelievable kung fu moves.
If there’s nothing but Duck Dynasty available, then it comes down to either leaving O’Reilly’s show on for the noise of it or turning off the TV. Three stars.
- 7. The Five with Andrea Tantaros, Bob Beckel, Dana Perino, Eric Bolling, Greg Gutfeld, Juan Williams, Kimberly Guilfoyle (panel discussion)
Wait a sec. That’s seven co-hosts, not five. Until it came time to look this show up on the Fox News scheduling page, I hadn’t even noticed a couple of the panel members were rotating–or at least must have been, since there really are five, countem five, panelists sitting at each filming. That goes to show you just how little attention I generally pay to this show when it is on, noticing Gutfeld, Beckel, Williams, and sometimes Perino, but ignoring the remaining cast members like so much wall paper. The most enjoyable liberal, Bob Beckel, is worth watching. Sometimes he even makes sense, and he’s got heart. Three stars.
- 8. Your World with Neil Cavuto (news)
Neil runs a good program. It’s just that his voice is so scratchy, I’m constantly concerned we’re going to hear any minute that he’s scheduled for surgery to replace his vocal chords. Two stars.
- 9. Geraldo at Large with Geraldo Rivera and John Stossel (news)
It’s hard to say which is more frustrating with these two. I like Geraldo’s delivery but disagree with his political views. I like Stossel’s political views, but his delivery grates on my nerve endings something fierce. One star.
- 10. Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld, Andy Levy, and Bill Schulz (garbage)
Man, I hate this show. The second this one comes on, I’m either grabbing for the remote to change channels or out of my chair like a shot to shut down the TV. When those guys come onscreen, laughing like hyenas and making stupid remarks they think are so-o-o-o funny it keeps them in nonstop hysterical convulsions throughout the program, I know it’s time to click OFF. My reaction is so strong that I seldom even catch what the heck they were talking about. Zero stars. Oh, heck, let’s just give ’em negative five stars.
Did I mention how much I hate this show?
Those are the ten Fox News shows I care about (positively or negatively), at least a little. There are plenty of others, but either I’ve not seen them at all or they just don’t seem worth mentioning. Obviously, this is only one viewer’s opinion; you might prefer Fox and Friends or Huckabee or the ever angry Judge Jeanine.
But those are my picks, and I’m sticking to ’em.