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Right-Wing Media: Make Obama Work for You

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With a Democrat in the White House, what role should Fox News play?

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Pollster Scott Rasmussen says President-Elect Barack Obama won by running on Ronald Reagan's themes of tax cuts, easing economic anxiety, setting foreign policy right and delivering on America's promise for the future.

It's therefore a mistake to think the nation is as liberal as it looked on election night. Conservative media will thrive with a Democrat in the White House - as long as it doesn't veer left.

The Washington Post (WPO), the New York Times (NYT) and the networks didn't embrace supply-side economics during President Reagan's 2 terms, and there's no reason to think the Wall Street Journal and Fox News -- both part of News Corp. (NWS), will -- or should -- suddenly see the virtue of high taxes, increased regulation and a weaker national defense during Obama's administration.

Rasmussen says 55% of voters believe tax cuts are good for the economy, while only 19% view tax cuts as bad policy. That's a conservative view of government and markets - good news for conservative media seeking to expand its reach.

Obama took the tax issue away from Senator John McCain and rode it to victory - just like the last Democratic president, Bill Clinton. "[Obama's] victory confirmed that voters still embrace the guiding beliefs of the Reagan era," Rasmussen wrote in the Wall Street Journal.

Basic conservative principles such as low taxation will be buried, or at least obscured, by cheers for bigger government in the next few years. The conservative media can do a good business by dusting them off.

The conservative media must remain separate from the old-line liberal press if it hopes to thrive. Obama's lofty rhetoric will wear thin before he's ready to abandon it - especially if foreign policy turns sour. The conservative press can start undermining Obama by providing a running critique of the president's performance.
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