Fox News contributor and former CBS News correspondent Liz Trotta claimed "everybody" was watching Fox News on election night in November 2004 to support her assertion that liberal bias has caused the public to abandon network news.
Responding to former CBS News correspondent Bill Lynch's claim that CBS' bias was "more blue hair than blue state," Trotta replied, "I can't just let that go by," and described what she identified as "the feminization of news," calling it "part of the leftist ideology." Asked for a final thought, she replied, "Where was everybody election night? They were watching Fox."
In fact, election night ratings show that the three network news outlets each had more viewers than Fox News Channel:
Source: Nielsen Media Ratings via Associated Press, 11/3/2004
From the March 8 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
LYNCH: The ratings stabilized, they have been going down. The audience is more blue hair than blue state then, I would suggest. And I think the ideological bias, if any, was tilting toward health coverage. All the stuff that appeals to the demographics that buy the Geritol.
TROTTA: I just can't let that go by.
BILL O'REILLY (host): Go ahead.
TROTTA: We have also seen what no grown male has the courage to admit, the feminization of news. I mean, we had our -- pardon me for being so graphic -- a little gynecological segment every night where every bloody women's problem, real or imagined, is trotted out on all three networks. Why? Because that's part of the leftist ideology, be nice to feminists every night. And in addition to that, you had producers, most of them women, who came into the business with that kind of ideology. Certainly Mary Mapes, the producer of the now-legendary documentary [about President Bush's National Guard service], in which Rather is stepping down because of, was right out of the can on this one. She is an absolute icon for this kind of thinking.
O'REILLY: That's what I said to Mr. [Van Gordon] Sauter [former CBS News president] earlier on. I think it's more of a politically correct bias than a let's-elect-John-Kerry bias.
TROTTA: Absolutely. I think that's what occurred.
O'REILLY: Now, we only have about 90 seconds -- interesting discussion, I want to whip around the horn here. I don't think network news at this point is going to have any dramatic influence on the country ever again. Bill Lynch, am I wrong?
O'REILLY: Liz? A final word.
TROTTA: Where was everybody election night? They were watching Fox.
According to her Fox News bio, Trotta is the former New York bureau chief for The Washington Times and has also worked for the Inter-Catholic Press Agency, the Long Island Press, the Chicago Tribune, Newsday and NBC, in addition to CBS. She has taught journalism at Stern College of Yeshiva University.
Trotta is also the author of a book, Fighting for Air: In the Trenches With Television News (University of Missouri Press, 1994), which purports to chronicle her career as a "self-described 'conservative in the generally liberal climate of the media," according to Library Journal. In the book, Trotta calls retiring CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather a "small-town sorehead," according to Publisher's Weekly.