Fox News

Two Americas, tuning each other out

Data: Google; Map: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The country's heightening polarization extends even to the television we watch, severing another thread of America's collective consciousness as it gears up for the 2020 presidential election.

Why it matters: Americans used to have only a few TV options, leading to moments of mass culture like The Beatles' appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" or the "M*A*S*H" finale. But just as the spread of social media jumpstarted political tribalization, the rise of cable and streaming services has necessitated a need for a wealth of content — increasingly targeted and niche — that has hastened a cultural splintering.

Trump breaks with Fox News

Trump on Fox News debate stage
Trump participates in a debate sponsored by Fox News in 2016. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump publicly turned against Fox News on Wednesday, tweeting that the conservative-leaning cable network "isn't working for us anymore" and that "[w]e have to start looking for a new News Outlet."

Be smart: The words "us" and "we" presumably refer to the most loyal supporters that make up Trump's base, whom the president hopes will help him pressure Fox into elevating pro-Trump coverage leading up to the 2020 election.