Posts tagged "Rupert Murdoch"


Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich is busy running for reelection, but that hasn’t stopped his former Fox News colleagues from promoting him as a possible 2016 presidential candidate. Fox News has praised Kasich’s tenure as governor, and touted him as “a serious potential candidate for president” with a record that gives progressives “reason to fear.”

Kasich is the quintessential Fox News candidate, having used a perch at the network to profitably stay in the public eye between runs for public office. He joined Fox in 2001 after serving nine terms in Congress and left in 2009 to run for Ohio governor. He was a frequent presence on the network as a guest host for The O’Reilly Factor, and the host of the programs From The Heartland and Heroes.

Fox News treated Kasich to numerous softball interviews during his successful 2010 run. Sean Hannity told Kasich during one such interview: “You do me a favor. Go get elected governor” and “You can help us. Win the state of Ohio.” During an appearance on The O’Reilly Factor, Kasich asked for donations while Fox News put his website address on-screen (which drew a complaint from the Democratic Governors Association).

Kasich’s gubernatorial campaign also received fundraising support from Fox News. Sean Hannity headlined a "high-dollar fund-raiser" for Kasich in October 2009. Mike Huckabee appeared at a 2009 Kasich campaign event. Fox News founder Rupert Murdoch and his then-wife contributed $20,000 to the campaign, and then-Fox News parent company News Corporation gave $1 million to the Republican Governors Association, which helped elect Kasich.

Kasich has claimed he’s not interested in running for president in 2016, telling an Ohio reporter that he “tried to run for president back at the end of the ’90s and 2000 and no one was interested … Now, I’m not interested.” In his gubernatorial campaign, Kasich will likely face Democrat Ed FitzGerald, who has unsuccessfully askedKasich to sign a pledge promising to serve a full term if reelected.

A 2016 Kasich campaign has been a popular topic of conversation for Fox News. While the network frequently applauds Ohio’s economic performance during Kasich’s tenure, the state’s "rate of job growth was below the national average." 

Fox News Sunday Anchor Chris Wallace: Kasich A “Serious Potential Candidate For President.”During his March 23 show, Wallace previewed Kasich’s segment by stating, “as the 2016 race for the White House heats up, one potential GOP candidate is counting his states’ economic turnaround.” Wallace later introduced Kasich by focusing on his presidential prospects:

WALLACE: With two years until the 2016 presidential election, there’s a lot of talk the strongest GOP nominee would be a governor from the Midwest. One possibility from the key electoral state of Ohio is making his state’s economic turnaround the basis for his re- election bid in November. Joining us now from Columbus, Ohio, Governor John Kasich and, governor, welcome back to Fox News Sunday.

Wallace’s first question to Kasich was about his tenure as Ohio governor, asking: “What is the secret to your success?” Wallace later asked Kasich about criticism from FitzGerald, including about whether he would pledge to serve his entire term (Kasich dodged the question).

While previewing his show on the March 20 broadcast of Fox News Radio’s Kilmeade & Friends, Wallace said Kasich has led a “big turnaround in the economy of Ohio” and he “really is a serious potential candidate for president in 2016 even though at this point he’s saying, ‘not interested.’”’s promotion of Kasich’s interview focused on Kasich and 2016:

Fox News Sunday exclusive

Fox VP Cavuto: George Soros “Has Reason To Fear You” In 2016. Fox News host and vice president Neil Cavuto told Kasich on the March 18 edition of Your World that he’s heard “reports” that financier (and Media Matters donor) George Soros “fears you the most of any prospective candidate.” Cavuto then listed Kasich’s “success” as governor, and said Soros “has reason to fear you.” At the end of the interview, Kasich told Cavuto, “you’re the best.” Op-Ed: “Why Progressive, George Soros Crowd Fears Run By Ohio Governor.” Republican strategist and lobbyist Van Hipp wrote a March 7 piece touting Kasich’s tenure as governor as a “shining example” of “why the free enterprise system works.” Hipp added: “The more I thought about it, the more I realized why the George Soros crowd fears Kasich the most. They can’t demonize him and use the same old worn out liberal playbook they’ve used against national GOP contenders in recent years.”

Fox News Contributors Tout Kasich As Contender. Kasich has been mentioned by Fox News personalities during discussions about 2016 presidential candidates. Sean Hannity said on January 21 that he wants a president big field with Kasich, among others. Contributor George Will said on February 16’s Fox News Sunday that the race will be decided in the Midwest and said “you have to get three more presidential candidates out of those states — Governors Kasich in Ohio, Snyder in Michigan and Walker in Wisconsin.” And contributor Karl Rove also mentioned Kasich as a potential candidate on the January 13 edition of The O’Reilly Factor.

h/t: Eric Hananoki at MMFA


The trial of several News Corp. employees accused of being involved in the widespread phone hacking scandal has now entered its third month. British royalty, actors, politicians and crime victims all had their privacy compromised. In February, the prosecution — which rested its case during the month — alleged that former Prime Minister Tony Blair offered to “secretly advise” News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch as the scandal unfolded. Testimony from former News Corp. executive Rebekah Brooks supplied the bulk of information for the month, as the defense began its presentation. Among other revelations, Brooks admitted to authorizing “half a dozen” payments to public officials during her time working as an editor at The Sun. 

h/t: Oliver Willis at MMFA


Via mediamattersforamerica

Here are several notable things we learned from the phone hacking trial in January:

  • Actress Sienna Miller testified that a private phone message between her and actor Daniel Craig was made public and had been turned into “a titillating piece of information” for the media, who claimed that the two were having an affair. After her testimony via video link, Judge John Saunders told Miller that “I am very sorry what has gone on in this court and reported in the press has caused you distress.” Her ex-boyfriend, actor Jude Law, also testified at the trial.
  • The jury was given a police statement from former News of the World journalist Dan Evans, who said that he was “encouraged” to talk about phone hacking when interviewing with former News of the World editor Andy Coulson, and that he told Coulson that intercepting voicemails had saved money for his previous employer, the Sunday Mirror. Evans has already pleaded guilty to four charges, including two that are related to phone hacking.
  • News of the World archivist Nicholas Mays testified that Rebekah Brooks’ personal assistant asked for Brooks’ notebooks from the same time period that the phone hacking took place on the day that staff was told the newspaper would be shut down.
  • The jury was shown police evidence that as many as 10 mobile phones issued to Brooks during the time she edited News Corp.’s The Sun newspaper and worked as chief executive for News International have disappeared and have not been accounted for.
  • News International had its offices and the homes of executives like Brooks swept for eavesdropping bugs as Rupert Murdoch was bidding to purchase broadcaster BSkyB.
  • Jurors were shown CCTV footage of Brooks’ husband leaving a laptop and garbage bag in a parking garage under their apartment building on the same day she was arrested. Brooks has been accused of withholding evidence from police as they investigated the phone hacking.

Sherman is right on with the statement that Romney’s 2012 General Election War Room basically being run by Fox and RWNJ Talk Radio.

From the 01.14.2014 edition of CNN’s Piers Morgan Live:


When Rupert Murdoch Takes Over Your Country


Murdoch’s News Corp. holds up to 70% of newspaper sales in Australia’s big cities, according to Reuters.

In the annals of Fox News, October 2012 will likely stand out as a shining moment. Buoyed by a wave of Republican optimism about Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, the network seemed tantalizingly close to realizing one of its key ideological goals: ousting President Obama from the White House. Renewed enthusiasm among conservatives was, in turn, triggering record-high ratings for much of the network’s programming and helping it to beat not just rival news competitors MSNBC and CNN during prime time, but every other TV channel on the cable dial. What’s more, the prospect of an ascendant GOP come January meant Fox News might soon return to the era of access and prestige it enjoyed in Washington during the presidency of George W. Bush. The future looked so bright that News Corporation CEO Rupert Murdoch signed Fox News president Roger Ailes to a lucrative four-year contract extension, even though the 72-year-old Ailes’s existing contract wasn’t due to expire until 2013.

Then November arrived, and with it reality. 

Fox News’s shellshocked election night coverage, punctuated by Karl Rove’s surreal meltdown upon hearing of Obama’s victory in Ohio and, thus, the election, capped off a historic day of reckoning for the network and conservatives alike. Chastened by defeat, Republican politicians and right-wing pundits have subsequently been grappling with the repercussions of the caustic tone and incendiary rhetoric their movement has adopted. This ongoing debate about whether broadening conservatism’s appeal requires new messages or just new messaging has ignored the 800-pound gorilla in the room, however. Noticeably absent from all the right wing’s public self-criticism is any interest in confronting the potent role played by the Republican Party’s single most important messenger, Fox News.

Standing at the epicenter of the network—and any new Republican Party groundswell—is Ailes. A former political operative of President Richard Nixon, Ailes has inextricably intertwined his professional and political pursuits since founding Fox News in 1996. Indeed, the network chief functions as a kind of proxy kingmaker within the party, frequently meeting with Republican politicians to offer strategic advice. He is a regular confidant of Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, and at various times, he (or a network emissary of his) has counseled 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Gen. David Petraeus on their potential future. “Ailes,” says former Reagan White House economic adviser Bruce Bartlett, “is quite open about offering his free advice to Republicans…. If you visit New York City, you go see Roger Ailes and kiss his ring. It’s like visiting the Vatican. My guess is that there’s a lot of back-and-forth between Ailes and whoever is at the pinnacle of power in the Republican Party.” 

To keep relying on a shrinking number of elderly, white and male subsets of the public, whether to win elections or win ratings, has become a strategy of diminishing returns, however. “I think that you can’t separate the problem at Fox [News] from the problem that the Republicans are going through,” Bartlett says. He can speak firsthand to this incestuous relationship, as his 2006 book, Impostor—which broke with party orthodoxy over the Bush administration’s deficit spending—quickly made him persona non grata at Fox News, he says. (Fox News did not respond to questions about his comment.) “The Republicans are trying to retool to win. That’s all they care about, and they’re trying to decide, ‘How can we be more pragmatic? How can we shave off the rough edges? How can we get rid of the whack jobs who are embarrassing us, costing us Senate seats? But at the same time, we can’t do this in such a way that it alienates our base.’” Fox News faces a similar dilemma, Bartlett contends: “It’s ‘How do we modernize? How do we attract new audiences without losing the old audience? How do we remain relevant without abandoning our traditions?’” 

These are fundamental questions, and lately Fox News’s 
fundamentals—audience, ratings and public trust—have faltered. A 2010 study by Steve Sternberg found the network’s viewership to be the oldest (with an average age of 65) among an already elderly cable news audience. (CNN’s was 63 and MSNBC’s was 59.) By comparison, lifestyle cable channels Oxygen, Bravo and TLC were among the youngest, with an average viewer age of 42. And with MSNBC’s recent decision to plug 34-year-old rising star Chris Hayes into the coveted 
8 pm slot, the average age of that network’s prime-time hosts will now be 45, while Fox News’s rotation, anchored by 63-year-old Bill O’Reilly, has an average age of 57. 

Having cable news’s oldest average age for both prime-time hosts and audiences represents something of a double-edged sword for Fox in the cutthroat world of cable TV. One advantage is that older audiences are traditionally more loyal, which is why several industry experts say that Fox News is unlikely to be dislodged from its perch atop overall cable TV news ratings anytime soon. This age-loyalty effect redounds to the benefit of Fox News’s best-known prime-time hosts, Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly, as roughly two-thirds of their viewers are age 50 or older, according to a recent Pew State of the News Media survey. 

But at the same time, there is an undeniable actuarial reality at work—or as Bartlett bluntly puts it, “Their viewership is quite literally dying.” The most lucrative advertising dollars flow to TV shows that attract viewers “in the demo,” short for “demographic”—industry parlance for people ages 25 to 54. By contrast, Fox News’s prime-time commercial breaks are blanketed with pitches for cheap medical devices and insurance companies aimed at retirees and the elderly. Perhaps not surprisingly, the network’s advertising rates have grown at a much more modest pace in recent years, according to the Pew survey. Similarly, the growth of its ad revenues has diminished every year since 2008. 

Because of the relatively older age and smaller size of the cable news audience, viewership tends to be relatively stable, says Columbia University Journalism School professor and former NBC News president Richard Wald. “Its [ratings] move in very small increments.” To understand why viewers come and go, he compares a TV network’s audience to a target with concentric rings. The core audience—those who are loyal to your channel and watch frequently (and, for partisan media outlets, those who are most ideologically compatible)—is the bull’s-eye. Each concentric ring outward represents a segment of the audience that is less likely to watch because of diminished interest or less enthusiastic partisan sympathies. Dramatic ratings shifts can occur, but they tend to be driven by external events, like elections, rather than programming and thus affect all of the networks simultaneously. Most ratings fluctuations are statistical noise, Wald says, resulting from people in the outermost rings tuning in or out based on varying interest. “I would guess that [Fox News’s] numbers could change by 5, 6, 7, 8 percent and not reflect a change in the loyalty of the audience.” 

But here, too, the news does not bode well. Though the network did retain its status as the top-rated cable news network in 2012—its eleventh consecutive year at number one—the steep drop in ratings that its shows have experienced since Election Day has raised eyebrows, precisely because corresponding shows on MSNBC and CNN have not experienced the same precipitous decline. 

Just how much of a drop are we talking about? According to Nielsen data, Fox News’s prime-time monthly audience fell to its lowest level in twelve years in January among the 25-to-54 demographic. Daytime Fox News programming likewise saw its lowest monthly ratings in this age cohort since June 2008. Even the network’s two biggest stars, O’Reilly and Hannity, have not been immune from viewer desertion: Hannity lost close to 50 percent of his pre-election audience in the final weeks of 2012, and O’Reilly more than a quarter. The slide hasn’t stopped in 2013, either. Compared with a year ago, O’Reilly’s February prime-time ratings dropped 
26 percent in the coveted 25-to-54 demographic, his worst performance since July 2008. Hannity’s sank even further, to the lowest point in his show’s history. 

As Wald points out, short-term ratings snapshots can be deceptive. But in the weeks following Obama’s 2009 inauguration, Fox News’s viewership actually surged, averaging 539,000 prime-time demo viewers versus 388,000 and 357,000 for CNN and MSNBC, respectively. This past January, however, Fox could only muster 267,000 average nightly viewers—a 50 percent drop from that 2009 level, and not much more than MSNBC’s 235,000 or CNN’s 200,000. 

So why are all these Fox News viewers tuning out? Some of the decline may be due to a broader cultural trend of people deciding to avoid cable TV news altogether. However, a recent Public Policy Polling survey of news media trustworthiness suggests there’s more going on than public apathy. In February, PPP found a marked drop in Fox News’s credibility. A record-high
46 percent of Americans say they put no trust in the network, a nine-point increase over 2010. What’s more, 39 percent name Fox News as their least-trusted news source, dwarfing all other news channels. (MSNBC came in second, at 14 percent.)

As might be expected, Fox News’s credibility barely budged among liberals and moderates (roughly three-quarters of whom still distrust the network) and very conservative viewers (three-quarters of whom still trust it). However, among those who identified themselves as “somewhat conservative,” the level of trust fell by an eye-opening 27 percentage points during the previous twelve months (from a net plus–47 percent  ”trust” rating in 2012 to plus–20 percent now). Only a bare majority of center-right conservatives surveyed by PPP say that Fox News is trustworthy. 

"The people who are among the moderate-rights are actually the ones tuning out most," says Dan Cassino, a political science professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University who specializes in studying partisan psychology. Last May, Cassino conducted a survey that found Fox News’s viewers were less informed about current political issues than those who watched no news at all. In response, the network’s public relations team mocked FDU’s college ranking in Forbes and belittled its student body as "ill-informed." This kind of ad hominem attack symbolizes the over-the-top, pugilistic messaging style of Ailes, whose no-holds-barred political instincts have dictated the network’s direction since day one. 

Ailes’s foundational idea for Fox News, explains Washington Post media critic Erik Wemple, was to package this bias under the guise of “fair and balanced” news. “It is indeed the artifice of neutrality that makes so much of what they do objectionable, or not just objectionable but noteworthy,” Wemple says. And it is effective, he adds: at a recent Value Voters conference, rock-ribbed conservatives almost involuntarily spouted the network’s motto back at him when he asked them about Fox’s coverage. It’s a maddeningly clever bit of misdirection—the network whose branding is most identified with objectivity and accuracy is, in fact, anything but.

Thanks to its loyal conservative audience and its cozy relationship with the GOP leadership, Fox News has long been insulated from the consequences of its serial misinforming. “If your job is to say the most outrageous thing you possibly can and be rewarded for it, why shouldn’t you?” Cassino points out. “As long as you get ratings, you’re going to keep on doing it.” But the recent erosion in ratings and cracks in the network’s reputation, Cassino says, have created external pressure to make changes inside the network. (Neither Ailes nor anyone else at Fox News would comment when contacted for this story.)

Most notable among these post-election changes involved Fox News ridding itself of contributors Sarah Palin and Dick Morris and replacing them with former Congressman and left-wing gadfly Dennis Kucinich, former GOP Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts, and editor in chief Erick Erickson. To some, this personnel turnover confirmed that Fox News was embracing a more intellectually honest, ideologically diverse worldview. 

But there’s less here than meets the eye. First of all, the impact an individual contributor can have on the network’s overall nature is minimal; permanent hosts like O’Reilly and Hannity drive its day-to-day brand. And in the midst of the 2012 campaign, Ailes locked up O’Reilly and Hannity as well as news host Bret Baier—the Fox News lineup from 7 through 10 pm—all the way to 2016. What’s more, one shouldn’t read too much into the cashiering of Palin and Morris, since, by all accounts, they were terrible at their jobs: the former was criticized internally for being uncooperative with programming suggestions and personally disloyal to Ailes, while the latter was guilty of humiliating the network with his ridiculous election predictions (as well as auctioning off an unauthorized personal tour of Fox News’ studios at a GOP fund-
raiser). “They were only interested in promoting themselves or perhaps promoting an ideology that may not win,” says Bartlett, who singles out Palin’s lack of substance for his harshest criticism. “Totally and professionally, she’s the Lindsay Lohan of cable news.” 

Indeed, Ailes’s new hires are little more than new faces plugged into a well-worn programming strategy. Kucinich fills the slot of house liberal formerly occupied by Alan Colmes, serving as a handy foil for conservatives to shout at or over. The telegenic Brown, a blue-state Republican, endorses textbook anti-woman Republican policies, but does so without giving off an overtly extremist vibe. And die-hard conservative Erickson is there to reassure the Tea Partiers and the netroots—some of whom inexplicably believe that Fox News is drifting left—that they still have a voice on the network. 

Whether these recent, road-to-Damascus conversions are genuine or artificial may not matter much at this point, though. Hannity and many of his Fox News colleagues have invested so much time inciting animosity toward “illegals” and excoriating legislative attempts at “amnesty” that the network has acquired a reputation of harboring anti-Hispanic tendencies. In the aforementioned PPP poll on media trustworthiness, Hispanics ranked Fox News as their least credible news source, with a net four-point negative rating. (Broadcast news networks all enjoyed double-digit positive ratings.) Likewise, a National Hispanic Media Coalition survey from last fall found that Fox News hosts were more likely than those from any other network to negatively stereotype Latinos. It also noted that the network’s audience had the highest percentage of viewers with negative feelings about Hispanics and undocumented immigrants. 

h/t: Reed Richardson at AlterNet, via The Nation

News Corp. chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch criticized the “Jewish owned press” for its coverage of the conflict in Gaza in a November 17 tweet:

Murdoch tweet

The Anti-Defamation League writes of the “anti-Semitic lie” that “Jews control the banks, the media, and the government”:

This myth originates with The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, a proven forgery. The forgery continues to promote the stereotype that Jews own the banks and control the media. The reality is, in societies, like the United States, individuals who identify as Jews have succeeded. But in almost every other country where Jews have lived, they have been a small minority and experienced centuries of persecution.

The Daily Beast’s Peter Beinert writes that Murdoch’s comment is offensive to journalists as well as to Jewish people and suggests that Murdoch believes reporters for his publications should conform their reporting to his political views:

It’s offensive to journalists because it implies that institutions of the “press” should reflect the ideological biases of their owners. Reading Murdoch’s tweet, it would be logical to conclude that he believes that any newspaper he owns should reflect his right-wing views, even in its news coverage. The FCC might want to consider that when evaluating Murdoch’s reported bid to buy the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times.

h/t: MMFA

 Brooks, Coulson and five NoW staff plus Mulcaire charged
• Six charged with conspiracy to intercept Dowler’s voicemail
• Seven accused of six-year conspiracy to intercept voicemails
• Two charged with conspiracy over Jolie and Pitt’s voicemails
• CPS announce three others will not face charges
• Prosecutors defer decision on two other suspects

Prosecutors are to charge eight people, including Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks, in connection with the phone-hacking scandal at the News of the World, reports the Guardian’s Vikram Dodd.

Coulson, a former aide to the prime minister and ex-editor of the defunct Sunday tabloid, and Brooks, News International’s former chief executive, will face charges in connection with the hacking of the phone of the murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler.

Read the full story here.

Each of the eight, with the exception of Glenn Mulcaire, will be charged with conspiring to intercept communications without lawful authority, from 3 October 2000 to 9 August 2006.

In addition, each will face a number of further charges of conspiracy unlawfully to intercept communications, as follows:

Rebekah Brooks will face two additional charges:

• the first relates to the voicemails of the late Milly Dowler
• the second to the voicemails of Andrew Gilchrist

Andrew Coulson will face four additional charges, relating to the following victims:

• Milly Dowler
• the Rt Hon David Blunkett MP
• the Rt Hon Charles Clarke, and
• Calum Best

Stuart Kuttner will face two additional charges, relating to:

• Milly Dowler and
• the Rt Hon David Blunkett MP

Greg Miskiw will face nine further charges, relating to the following victims or groups of victims:

• Milly Dowler
• Sven-Goran Eriksson
• Abigail Titmuss and John Leslie
• Andrew Gilchrist
• the Rt Hon David Blunkett MP
• Delia Smith
• the Rt Hon Charles Clarke
• Jude Law, Sadie Frost and Sienna Miller, and
• Wayne Rooney

Ian Edmondson will face a further eleven charges, relating to the following victims or groups of victims:

• the Rt Hon David Blunkett MP
• the Rt Hon Charles Clarke
• Jude Law, Sadie Frost and Sienna Miller
• Mark Oaten
• Wayne Rooney
• Calum Best
• the Rt Hon Dame Tessa Jowell MP and David Mills
• the Rt Hon Lord Prescott
• Professor John Tulloch
• Lord Frederick Windsor
• Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills 

Neville Thurlbeck
 will face a further seven charges in relation to the following victims or groups of victims:

• Milly Dowler
• Sven-Goran Eriksson
• the Rt Hon David Blunkett MP
• the Rt Hon Charles Clarke
• Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt
• Mark Oaten
• the Rt Hon Dame Tessa Jowell MP and David Mills

James Weatherup will face a further seven charges in relation to the following victims or groups of victims:

• the Rt Hon David Blunkett MP
• the Rt Hon Charles Clarke
• Jude Law, Sadie Frost and Sienna Miller
• Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt
• Wayne Rooney
• the Rt Hon Lord Prescott
• Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills

For legal reasons, Glenn Mulcaire does not face the first of these charges. However, he will face four charges, relating to:

• Milly Dowler
• Andrew Gilchrist
• Delia Smith, and
• the Rt Hon Charles Clarke

h/t: The Guardian

Rupert Murdoch’s grip on UK newspapers is loosening “finger by finger”, as he resigns string of directorships.

Murdoch has resigned as a director of a string of companies behind The Sun, The Times and The Sunday Times, fuelling expectations that he is preparing to sell the newspaper group.

Companies House filings show that Mr Murdoch stepped down from the boards of the NI Group, Times Newspaper Holdings and News Corp Investments in the UK last week. He also quit a number of News Corp’s US boards, the details of which have yet to be disclosed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

News Corporation played down the significance of the resignations as “nothing more than a corporate housecleaning exercise prior to the company split”.

The media giant took a similar line when James Murdoch resigned a string of directorships at News International last November, pouring cold water on suggestions that he was walking away from the UK newspaper arm. He quit as chairman three months later.

h/t: The Telegraph


By Charles P. Pierce

On a day when the full voice of the British government told the world that the media empire of Rupert Murdoch is a truthless, reckless enterprise, the journalistic equivalent of a hazardous waste dump, this story about the EPA guy who resigned really rather leaps with hobnailed boots on my very last nerve.

The Brits have give everyone who doesn’t work for a Fox News cover now. Nobody has to pay attention to what they say ever again because they are part of an organization unworthy of attention, let alone respect. Their little hobby-horses can be mocked, their little crusades ridiculed. And, certainly, the government of the United States can treat them like the half-assed crooks that they are.

But no.

Consider what happened here. This guy said these things two years ago. Nobody said anything, not even the local reporter covering the story. But a career whackaloon like James Inhofe opens his yap and lets the bats fly forth, Fox picks up the stupidity, and the guy resigns. My question is why did Lisa Jackson even care? Why couldn’t she simply have said, “Look, goober, we don’t have to pay attention every time you decide to gin up the rubes who watch your network, and we don’t have to care what Inhofe says, either, because his brain was used as a placemat at Golden Corral 10 years ago. Go sit over there on the Group W bench with the birthers and the UFO guy. We’ll get to you some time in 2017.” What is the political price to be paid here? Nobody who gets his urethra in a knot over something like this ever is going to support the president anyway. I don’t understand it and I never will.

Read more:

A scathing UK parliamentary report into the culture of phone hacking in Rupert Murdoch’s media empire concludes that he “is not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company.” 

British Parliament Report On “News International and Phone-hacking”

h/t: TPM Livewire


RT @BreakingNewsUK: More: MPs say Rupert Murdoch ‘is not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company’ - @p …

Canada’s answer to Fox News turned one last week. It was not a happy birthday.

Sun TV News launched with the stated goals of taking Canadian cable news by storm and giving viewers an entertaining alternative to what its executives called the "smug, condescending, irrelevant"journalism of the nation’s leading networks, led by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 

It didn’t work out that way, and Sun TV News enters its second year on ratings life-support. According to recent reports in the Canadian press, between Aug. 31, 2011 and March 31, 2012, 0.1 percent of Canadian viewers watched the network, equal to one-fourteenth of the CBC’s audience and one-ninth of those tuning into American CNN (or TeaNN).

In the weeks before the network’s debut last April, Sun Media blitzed Canadian airwaves with a brash pre-launch promotional campaign that quickly cemented its nickname, “Fox News North.” Heavy on nature imagery, hockey sticks, and aggrieved everyday Canadians holding grocery bags, the ads declared, “It’s time,” “Political correctness  has run amok…  We’re on your side,” and “Unapologetically patriotic.”

A year later, for most Canadians the network is unapologetically associated with crude sets, club-and-grunt ambush interviews, and anchor Pat Bolland’s Rollie Fingers mustache. “The sets are very stale and look like leftovers from Who Wants to Be A Millionaire,” says Bill Brioux, a former Sun Media columnist who now writes for the Toronto Star. “Canadians like news, but the style is just so over-the-top. A lot of the programming is similar to what you might see on the Daily Show, only they aren’t in on the joke.”

he recent push for a Canadian Fox News analogue may date to  the afternoon of March 30, 2009, when Canada’s Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his press secretary, Kory Teneycke, dined privately in New York with Rupert Murdoch and Fox News chief Roger Ailes. Among the known topics of conversation that afternoon was Murdoch’s frustration with Canada’s strict laws governing the foreign ownership of print and electronic media. According to the National Post, Murdoch complained to the prime minister of the deep regulatory moat that in 2003 stymied his effort to launch Fox News Canada in a joint venture with Calgary-based Shaw Media. 

If Harper and his party were to enjoy the benefits of a Fox News-style network, they would have to build one on their own. A few months after the New York lunch, Teneycke left the prime minister’s office and a year later became Vice President of Development for Quebecor, the Quebec-based media conglomerate and publisher of the conservative Sun newspaper chain. Teneycke was tasked with launching an all-news cable channel, Sun News TV.

If Teneycke is Sun News’ Ailes figure, the political operative turned conservative echo-chamber architect, Quebecor also has its Janus-faced Murdoch in the form of the brothers Peladeau, Canadian media titans whose grand ambitions are streaked with deep resentments of the Canadian media and cultural establishments embodied by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Teneycke quickly recruited for the new network a roster of right-wing radio hosts and Sun print columnists, many of them known for CBC-bashing and animus towards Canada’s European-style welfare state that provides universal health insurance and subsidized university study. To manage this roster of rightwing talent, Teneycke staffed the production side with at least three former Conservative Party alumni from Harper’s office. One of them, Jason Plotz, specialized in opposition research.

The Conservative Party emerged in 2003 out of the cattle ranches and oil fields of Alberta, sometimes called the Texas of Canada. With its devotion to deregulationtax-cut fever, and relatively hawkish foreign policy, the Conservative Party represented a new kind of rightwing politics in Canada. Observers considered it self-evident that Quebecor created Sun News to function as this disturbing development’s media partner — the Fox News to Harper’s GOP. “The Harper-Murdoch-Ailes lunch and the putative right-wing political attack news channel is more evidence, as if Canadians need any, of the Harper Conservatives’ determination to be the northern branch plant of today’s Republican Party — bruisingly partisan, all the time,” wrote a columnist at the Winnipeg Free Press shortly before the station began broadcasting.