- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 12, 2013

Though they have dominated national cable news ratings for the past 140 months, Fox News is upping its game. Consider chief news anchorman Shepard Smith, who appears to be morphing into the proverbial newsman-of-the-future. He has just been named managing editor of a newfangled breaking-news division, headquartered on a reinvented set that has even warranted its own title: the Fox News Deck.

Management sees it as a command center, twitching with news feeds and manned by producers, social media mavens and “information specialists.” The nimble Mr. Smith might lead his network into a forward-thinking hybrid that continues to nab the nation’s attention.

“He will exemplify the ethos that Fox News is when and where the news is, as it happens, no longer bound by a traditional evening format conceived in the 1960s,” says Roger Ailes, chairman of the network.

Then there is the saga of Elisabeth Hasselbeck. She withstood with grace the rigors of being the sole conservative voice on ABC’s “The View.” Now she arrives on friendlier territory, debuting Monday as a co-host of “Fox & Friends,” joining current on-camera veterans Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade on a redesigned set.

There are affable guests during the first week. Mrs. Hasselbeck launches her new broadcast identity with a visit to the quirky cast of “Duck Dynasty,” on their home turf in Louisiana. Yes, she’ll learn everything there is to know about making duck calls. Mrs. Hasselbeck also anticipates a harmonious launch with Mr. Doocy and Mr. Kilmeade.

“They’re like my brothers,” she says. “Joining the Fox News family is the equivalent of growing up as a Boston Red Sox fan or a Yankees fan and getting asked to play for the team. I’m just beyond thrilled.”

THREE SENATORS SUMMARIZE

“Putin’s NYT op-ed is an insult to the intelligence of every American.”

— Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, tweeting a reaction to Russia President Vladimir Putin’s contribution to The New York Times that cautions the U.S. not to consider itself “exceptional” and to “avoid force” in Syria.

“Mr. Putin worries that it is ‘extremely dangerous’ for President Obama to encourage Americans to see themselves as exceptional. His concern is well placed. Historically it has not boded well for autocrats when Americans are clearly focused on the values and principles that have made our nation great.”

— Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, reacting to the same op-ed.

“History teaches us that a strong and engaged America is a source of good in the world.”

— Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, on Mr. Putin’s claims.

RESTLESS WORLD

The United Nations reports that there is more international migration than ever before, with “the United States remaining the most popular destination.” New figures from the U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs show that 232 million people worldwide, or 3.2 per cent of the world’s population, live abroad, compared with 175 million in 2000 and 154 million in 1990.

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