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U.S. version of ‘one country, two systems’

20 2 0

WASHINGTON - I am writing this column in a Washington hotel room at midnight. Whenever my room is upgraded, I always watch two TV sets, one with CNN on in the bedroom and another with Fox News on in the living room. Why do I do this? Because those two channels seem to represent completely different groups of American constituents.

When I have only one TV set in my hotel room, I try to watch CNN and Fox News semi-simultaneously by changing channels every 10 to 15 minutes. If you compare the ways how those two channels report the same news at the same time, you might feel as if you were in one country with two contradictory systems.

Of course, this is nothing new. According to Nielsen Media Research, the Fox News Channel, established by Rupert Murdoch in 1996 to attract conservative viewers, allegedly became the dominant subscription news network in the United States as early as in 2008. The market trend has reportedly not changed much since.

Until recently, the market of cable news networks has been dominated by “conservative” Fox News, “liberal” MSNBC and CNN located somewhere in between. The gap between CNN and Fox News, however, seems to have widened since Donald Trump was elected president in 2016.

I first noticed that in June 2017 when I visited Washington for the fifth time since the start of 2016. While I was switching between CNN and Fox News as usual, I saw an extraordinary report on Fox News. A Fox anchorperson was not only talking about “fake news by CNN” but also referring to the “deep state” of America.

For readers who need clarification, the term “deep........

© The Japan Times