It seems Fox's plan for filling the 5 pm EDT slot once held by Glenn Beck is to trot out some of its pundits and see which of them floats to the top. With, of course, a lone Democrat along for comic relief/punching bag duty.
The show is called "The Five," and it debuted Monday with a lineup that pretty much tells you Fox's idea of a "fair and balanced" debate: four right-wingers and a lone Fox Democrat, in this case Bob Beckel, whose function as usual is to mealy-mouth the liberal position and give a lukewarm defense of the targeted liberals du jour. He was joined by a cast of right-wingers ranging from the usual smarmy Establishment type long favored at Fox (Dana Perino) to the haplessly juvenile frat/sorority types (Andrea Tantaros and Greg Gutfeld) to the simply execrable (Eric Bolling).
This segment -- featuring a discussion of whether or not Media Matters should be permitted to maintain its tax-exempt status because it takes an obvious liberal position, while the permeation of the Beltway with right-wing think tanks and Tea Party apparatchiks bothers them not one whit -- was pretty representative of the quality of discussion to be had on the show. Which is to say, only a technician's half-step away from being something I might run across late at night on my local access cable TV.
It's all part of Fox's sad and pathetic attacks on Media Matters, which Karoli posted about yesterday, The hypocrisy here is profound: Fox and its hosts, after all, are fond of declaring that their critics -- who merely criticize them -- are out to "silence" them and shut them down. But these attacks on MM are in fact quite explicitly intended to silence the organization and shut it down.