Fox News' Gretchen Carlson is graduating from the goofily toxic morning program Fox & Friends to Fox News' more staid (but no less toxic) daytime programming block. Per Politico, The View regular Elisabeth Hasselbeck will be taking over co-host duties on Fox & Friends while Carlson will “anchor an hour-long daytime show.” The distinction between Fox News' morning and daytime programming is significant (at least on paper), as network executives insist that a clear division exists between the morning and evening “opinion” programs, and the “objective” news coverage during the day. In practice, this “division” is a fiction meant to prop up the equally fictional “Fair & Balanced” network slogan.
The mere fact that Fox News would transition a host from the “opinion” block to the news side suggests that the network doesn't give any real import to the news/opinion divide. Carlson, however, should fit right in as a Fox daytime anchor. She's delightfully unobjective and is not shy about dispensing campaign advice to Republican candidates and offering helpful suggestions on how to best attack their Democratic opponents. She even once struggled with her intense desire to “deck” Joe Biden after his vice presidential debate with Paul Ryan. She's a big believer in the pernicious “liberal media” conspiracy, sounds the alarm over “class warfare,” thinks President Obama is on an apology tour, and attributes the president's popularity to Americans' general ignorance.
Carlson gets tripped up on how the tax code works. Her grasp of how unemployment statistics work is sometimes lacking. She believes “entitlement programs” like Social Security and Medicare, which workers pay into, are "government handouts." All those deficiencies might be a deal-killer at an actual news outfit, but at Fox they get you promoted.
Carlson's most important attribute, however, is her connection to the people. Not all the people, mind you. Just "some people," and what they're "saying." And that “some people are saying” construction is really all one needs to find success as a Fox News daytime anchor. As a news anchor she can frame a story around a truculent pile of right-wing nonsense, but so long as it's swaddled in the "some say" dodge, she can maintain the illusion of journalistic detachment. It's not Gretchen Carlson who's saying Barack Obama is “apologizing to these Muslim terrorists,” it's some people who are saying that. Gretchen Carlson would never say “the American dream” is “under attack” from the Obama White House; that's just what “a lot of people” think. And she's just reporting what they're saying. Like a real reporter would.
In that respect, Carlson will be a perfect fit for Fox News' “straight news” daytime schedule. At least, that's what some are saying.