Fox News Fair and Balanced

Fox News Dropping 'Fair & Balanced' Slogan After Two Decades

You can’t call Fox News “fair and balanced” anymore… because they’re not calling themselves that anymore.

The cable news network is dropping its famous “Fair & Balanced” marketing slogan, according to New York Magazine — a slogan that’s been an integral part of Fox News since the channel debuted in 1996. The motto was an invention of late founder/chairman Roger Ailes, who resigned last year after a series of sexual-harassment allegations. Fox will reportedly rely on its other tagline going forward: “Most Watched. Most Trusted.”

The “Fair & Balanced” moniker was a controversial one, viewed by some as a way for the conservative-leaning news channel to feign editorial objectivity. (NY Mag‘s Gabriel Sherman calls it an example of “Ailes’ cynical genius at its most successful.”) But Ailes insisted it was a necessary guideline to fight the tide of a largely liberal media. “He would say, ‘The news is like a ship. If you take hands off the wheel, it pulls hard to the left,'” a Fox News senior producer remembers.

The move is the latest sign that Fox News is busy rebuilding its identity in the wake of Ailes’ departure, along with the high-profile exits of anchors Megyn Kelly (who left to join NBC News) and Bill O’Reilly (who was fired following his own sexual-harassment scandal).

A Fox News spokesperson confirmed that the network hasn’t used the “Fair & Balanced” slogan in external marketing or on-air promotions since August, but said “the shift has nothing to do with programming or editorial decisions.”

Does dropping the “Fair & Balanced” slogan make you more likely to watch Fox News? Drop your thoughts in a comment below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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41 Comments
  1. April Livings says:

    Nope. Doesn’t make them any better. Just less snaky about what they’re doing there.

  2. Ron says:

    “Fair and balanced” was always laughable. But I think “most trusted” might be even more laughable. I feel like a motto that incorporates the descriptions of “subjective journalism,” or “sexual assaulters,” or “conspiracy theorists” is more apt.

    • Derek says:

      Most trusted doesn’t necessarily means trustworthy. You can trust liars and, unfortunately, many people do trust Fox News and what all cable news has become: infotainment based on partisan bickering with little reporting going on.

    • lrdslvrhnd says:

      Yep, what Derek said. “Most trusted” is, sadly, accurate… and a far cry from “most trustworthy’. Remember, their core audience also think Trump can be trusted…

  3. iHeart says:

    But have they ever been?

    • PatriciaLee says:

      Now, they don’t have to waste time and money on a facade. They have the viewers, the ones that trust them and the ones that tune in to see what the other side is saying. Now, they can just say it.

  4. Tony Lang says:

    Does it matter at this point? It’s not like their core audience cares that they lie or their detractors doubt that they do.

  5. TV Gord says:

    This move actually makes them a little more accurate, ironically.

  6. pickles says:

    There is not one news show or person trustworthy across all media outlets.

  7. AprilJo says:

    Fox fair and balanced? Nope. Neither is CNN thiugh. They both have their own political agenda. Sure wish I could find a news station that would just report the news without a political agnda.

    • peterwdawson says:

      Well it’s hard to do these days since being critical of something usually causes at least some hint of a bias to seep through. Criticizing the President and how you handle it, for example, with seeming a bit defensive suggesting, in the current case, you’re at least pro-Republican to a degree, while seeming over-aggressive suggesting you’re pro-Democrat. It can also be hard when you have to judge what’s more or less a strongly circulated rumor and how much credence to actually get it, since even with verification it can be shaky. In a world of rumor, BS and contradiction, true non-bias, or at least perceived non-bias, may sadly be impossible.

      • geegee says:

        It is much more complicated than that. If one believes, for example, that the Government’s job is to regulate everyone and everything, and provide XYZ, and most of one’s world view is based on that belief, and you have someone who believes that the job of the Government is minimum intrusion in personal and public affairs, and their world view is shaped by that belief, and both of those options trust that it’s a way to a better life – then you have such conflicting world view options that there is absolutely no way they will see, understand, and report on the same actions, ideas, developments, policy in the same way. There simply is no objectivity there to be achieved.

        Add to that the extremists of all shades, and you have the media picture of many countries, USA especially.

    • Kenneth Schmidt says:

      Amen

    • at least we still have media and news. If Trump gets his way, we’ll end up like China.

  8. Larc says:

    FOX certainly hasn’t presented “fair and balanced” news for quite a while now, if they ever did. There are almost no news sources that do.

  9. lrdslvrhnd says:

    Nope, still not gonna watch. Just because they’re no longer lying about being “fair and balanced” doesn’t mean they’re still not fair *or* balanced.

  10. John DeChaine says:

    Fox has been more Fair and Balanced than any other network. That’s obvious. However, lately Fox seems to have come to the conclusion “if you can’t beat them – join them”. They have “sickenly brought in some of the worst liberals who could easily be anchor persons on CNN or CNBC than Fox. Fox’s culture of conservatism only exists in one or two of their features. For Conservatives, Fox’s ownership/management have screwed up the network and it may never recover.

    • Eli says:

      You beat me too it. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

    • Jerri says:

      The only way Fox can be more fair and balanced than any other network is if it’s the only network you’re able to receive.

      • S says:

        Oooo good one jerri…. Let’s be real here. MSNBC, CNN, etc are exactly the same except they very heavily lean to the far left. Let’s not pretend that any of these network news stations are fair and balanced. There’s always going to be far right and far left, that’s simply how it is and always will be.

        • maggie says:

          The difference between FOX and MSNBC is that the liberal hosts on MSNBC don’t hide their personal views, respectfully listen to those with opposing views, and make corrections when they are wrong. FOX anchors always pretend that they are simply reporting facts when they are giving opinion, will cut off the microphone of someone who disagrees with them, and rarely admit when they are wrong. CNN is just a mess, that I don’t know what they are. A long time ago they were straight news, but not they seem to be shows with groups of people who yell at each other. I prefer BBC and PBS for news.

    • Mary says:

      Many feel the same way about CNN. They have bought in the worst right conservatives possible. Jeffrey Lord anyone.

    • Corky says:

      Yep. Lately it seems Shep Smith is moving to the other side and Geraldo always was a two faced lib.

  11. Rob says:

    Fair & Balanced what a bunch of horse &^%$. I’ve always found that slogan a complete lie but it won’t change the insane lies and distortion that Fox is known for and right-wing media in general

  12. Anne says:

    Hahahaha

  13. Chuck says:

    Most watched? I think MSNBC would have something to say about that.

    • Corky says:

      My service provider has a feature that shows me what the top 5 shows being watched at that moment are and apart from prime time FNC is usually #1.

  14. readenreply says:

    Privileged and Pompous has a better ring

  15. Dena says:

    Most watched is misleading. Cable companies impose Fox news on basic cable tier; however, MSNBC is on a more expensive tier. Therefore, Fox news has an unfair edge. Most trusted?- alternative fact!

  16. Shirley says:

    Dropping “Fair & Balanced” would not move me to watch Fox News. They should drop “News” also.

  17. Juan G. Casanova says:

    Not at all. I don’t think that somehow they will become more fair and balanced by dropping the slogan.and trustworthy they are certainly not. Must Trusted it is not either.

  18. Mary says:

    About time. Talk about false advertising. They have never been fair or balance. Might be the most watched but forget about trusted unless of course your are one of those alt right conservatives.

  19. MMD says:

    Nope and I don’t have it on my cable tier on purpose. I do have BBC World, CNN, CBC New Channel, etc. among many others.

  20. M says:

    Possibly the most honest action they’ve ever taken.

  21. Mike says:

    “Fair & Balanced” – biggest lie they’ve ever told. And that’s saying a lot!!!

  22. Andrew says:

    What, did they FINALLY realize no one was buying that B.S.?

  23. Billy Bob Johnson says:

    Doesn’t change anything because they were never Fair and Balanced.

  24. why use Shep Smith’s photo? He’s less of an idiot than most of the others..

  25. Ally McBeale says:

    They had to drop it. None of the presenters could say it with a straight face anymore.