How do people deal with the torrent of information pouring down on us all? What sources can't they live without? We regularly reach out to prominent figures in media, entertainment, politics, the arts and the literary world, to hear their answers. This is drawn from a conversation with Bret Baier, host of Special Report with Bret Baier on Fox News.
My morning starts with my kids. I have a 4-year-old and a 15-month-old. I get up and spend time with them before flipping through the newspapers. I get The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and New York Post delivered to my house. I read those papers and go to my iPhone and iPad for e-mails consolidating the morning's news like Mike Allen's Playbook or, on my iPad, a page setup by this political junky called ChasesFeed.com. He doesn't have a stake in the game. It's sort of like what Drudge and the Huffington Post do but it includes everything from Slate to The New York Times to Rasmussen to all the latest polls. It's a one-stop shopping thing for me. After that, I go to Fox's internal Urgent Cue, which is a central area where all the breaking news developments go. By the time I get in, my producer has a lineup of what different reporters have pitched. We go through each correspondent and a lot of times our focus changes dramatically by 6 p.m.
I post actively on Facebook and Twitter. I spend about an hour and a half every day responding to viewers' tweets and Facebook messages. If folks say they have a problem with x, y or z, you'd be surprised how grateful they are when you reply and explain yourself. The folks who are the loudest painting a broad brush about Fox News usually don't watch my show or Shep Smith's show. I usually tell them: stay tuned for a few days, e-mail me back and tell me what you think. 98 percent of the people who actually do that tell me that we're fair.
I know the people who actually watch the network get the difference between an opinion show and a news show. We don't often compare ourselves to MSNBC but they are all opinion once they get to 6 p.m. I'm at 6 p.m. and we really do try to make it fair. Fortunately, there have been many studies where respondents say Fox News Channel is the network they trust most. I think Pew just did a breakdown of how we rank among Democrats, Republicans and Independents and our rank is the highest among the cable companies. Clearly, when setting this up 15 years ago, Roger Ailes had a thought that a large section of the country felt news was slanted. That was the genesis of his thinking and he took that and really connected with folks. I don't have a specific person that I dislike in the media but a quality I dislike is when an anchor is more personality-driven than substance-driven. My goal is to let the correspondents tell the story.
In the evening, I read a note from the Fox News desk that wraps up the night. It basically covers me after I've left at 7:30 p.m. I take off for home, eat dinner with the family, relax, and hopefully watch some golf and not Real Housewives. For magazine reading, I like Golf magazine. I played golf in college. I love reading items about swing tips or what clubs are the best. I don't watch a ton of TV outside of news and the Golf Channel. My wife watches all those crazy reality shows. Real Housewives of whatever city, the Kardashians and all kinds of stuff. I can usually tolerate it for about five minutes before I go to a different TV.