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Fox News' Surprising Constituency

Author: Lydia Khalil
October 30, 2009
Washington Post


Despite his star power, not everyone loves Barack Obama. Your average Fox News junkie falls into that category. Fox's criticism has gotten so out of hand that the administration has declared open war on the network.

When you think of typical Fox News viewer, what comes to mind? Probably a white, Republican, social conservative from the exurbs-one of those America-first-and-all-else-be-damned types. Someone the Obama administration deems as a lost cause in terms of voters or support because they don't appreciate his finesse on the international stage.

An image that probably doesn't pop up is that of an Arab American-a supposedly natural constituency for the Obama administration who would appreciate his overtures to the Muslim world. But Arab Americans are a surprising segment of Fox News viewers that the network, and the Obama administration, probably doesn't know exists. This is ironic, considering that common wisdom among many Fox adherents is that Obama is a secret Muslim and his greatest appeal is with his "co-religionists."

Every Sunday morning I meet for coffee with my parents' retiree social group that consists of their Arab, 60-something friends. And every morning, the discussion revolves around the Obama coverage on Fox News. "Did you know that Obama healthcare plan will force you to make group doctor visits? At least in Egypt you have a private appointment. We left our country for this? Just as I'm about to go on Medicare?" comments the former Mass General surgeon who was trained at Cairo University. "Says who?" I ask. "Glen Beck."


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