Editors note: Over the years people have given me grief over saying Fox News isn’t a legitimate news organization. They lie, deceive and manipulate viewers and it’s nothing less than a right wing propaganda machine. Recently Jon Stewart said a national poll learned that Fox viewers are the most misinformed of all media outlets, pointing that out got a couple people quite upset with me. Thou doest protest a wee bit too much…
Well, apparently it’s only a matter of time before Fox News is exposed for the corrupt news organization that it is. Especially now that Rupert Murdoch has been exposed in the UK for running a highly unethical, thuggish, criminal organization guilty of committing bribery, invasion of privacy, hacking phones and computers, and more.
As a result Murdoch’s kingdom in the UK is crumbling and it’s only a matter of time before the scandal snowballs in the US and Fox News is exposed for the filth and lies it spews. Anyone who believes any different has obviously never been exposed to a real newscast and doesn’t understand how they are supposed to be structured and produced. Having my education and professional background in radio broadcasting helps me to understand these things better than the normal layperson.
Using a technique called NLP, Neural Linguistic Programming, Fox news has literally brainwashed an entire segment of people into believing an unreal, simplistic version of government that has nothing to do with reality. Which can be the only explanation for the completely unqualified, sociopathic group of people they voted into office last election. People who’s campaign’s were based entirely on simplistic talking points that have nothing to do with creating solutions for a very complicated reality.
Maybe, just maybe if Fox News and other authoritarian forms of mass media outlets can be exposed for what they are, people will wake up to the truth of what’s happening to our world.
By: Keach Hagey
July 13, 2011 08:27 PM EDT
The phone-hacking scandal that has engulfed News Corp. and Rupert Murdoch, its billionaire chairman and CEO, has definitely crossed the pond.
U.S. lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have begun calling for inquiries into whether the unsavory reporting practices of the company’s British newspapers have broken U.S. law and affected U.S. citizens, signaling the possible beginnings of the kind of political pile-on that forced News Corp. to shutter its biggest-selling newspaper in Britain, the News of the World, and withdraw from a huge pending broadcasting deal on Wednesday.
Michael Wolff, Murdoch’s biographer, said turning the spotlight to News Corp.’s U.S. holdings and operations operations is inevitable.
“What is happening in the U.K. is a nuclear meltdown,” said Wolff. “News Corp. will have to withdraw from the U.K.. It is essentially in full retreat. It will have to dispose of its assets there which are losing value by the minute, so that puts the U.S. in an interesting a peculiar position, that a company could essentially fold in one country and continue as though nothing happened in another country.
“So what it means is that the focus turns here,” he added, “and the analysis is going to be that this is a company that engaged in practices that are anathema to reasonable men.”
There is no indication of any wrongdoing at News Corp.’s U.S. media properties, which included Fox News, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post. But at least four Democratic senators, a Democratic congresswoman and a Republican congressman – Peter King of New York – have asked the FBI, Justice Department and Security and Exchange Commission to look into whether News of the World journalists hacked the phones of 9/11 victims or broke the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act when it allegedly bribed police officers for scoops in the UK.
These calls come as group of News Corp.’s American shareholders, led by Amalgamated Bank, expanded their lawsuit against the company that argues that Murdoch has engaged in “nepotism” and self-dealing at the expense of shareholders, to include the phone-hacking scandal.
A News Corp. spokesman declined to comment.
The unraveling of the company in Britain has been dizzyingly fast.
In the last 24 hours, News Corp has withdrawn its bid for the remaining 61% of British Sky Broadcasting, or BSkyB, that it does not own – reversing a $12 billion deal a year in the making – and floated stories in its own Wall Street Journal that executives were considering dumping all of its British newspaper holdings in an effort to stop the scandal’s contagion.
The dropping of the BSkyB deal came after calls to do so from Prime Minister David Cameron, a staunch Murdoch ally in the past, and British politicians of all three major parties – an incredible reversal of political fortune for Murdoch in a country where he has exerted outsize influence.
The catalyst for this seismic shift was the report that News of the World journalists had hacked the voice mail of Milly Dowler, a 13-year-old girl who was missing and later turned up dead, and given her family false hope that she was alive after they deleted voicemail messages to make room for new messages.
“If you look at what happened in Britain, the outlines of this phone hacking scandal were known for a long time, and the country pretty much yawned,” said Rem Rieder, editor and publisher of American Journalism Review. “But when the hacking of the phone of the murdered 13-year-old girl came out, it changed the stakes completely. Murdoch’s political allies as well as his political rivals turned on him, and the whole situation has just snowballed from there.”
Allegations that the phones of 9/11 victims were hacked could have a similar emotional – and political impact – even if, to date, there is no evidence beyond the Daily Mirror report that the allegations are true.
But the story was enough to get King, whose Long Island district includes people directly affected by the attacks on the World Trade Center, to call on the FBI to investigate, even if it meant dinging the parent company of several media properties with whom he said he has had good relations.
“I don’t want to sound sanctimonious, but when it comes to September 11th, I really don’t care about politics one way or the other,” King said. “I know and get along with Rupert Murdoch, I get treated well by Fox and the New York Post, but I lost so many friends and neighbors, it’s a personal thing for me.”
King said it was precisely because he has seen the snowballing of the backlash in Britain that he asked the FBI to get to the bottom of the allegations ahead of the upcoming 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
“There is definitely going to be a media feeding frenzy over the next several weeks,” he said. “With the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11th coming up, and with the likelihood that more allegations or stories are going to come out, it’s going to be such a hardship on the families that I wanted to call on the FBI to conduct an investigation to get to the bottom of it.”
His call joins a joint request by Democratic Sens. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia and Barbara Boxer to both the Justice Department and the SEC to investigate both the 9/11 victims hacking allegations and the charges of lawbreaking under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
New Jersey’s two Democratic senators – Sen. Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez – have also also asked for an inquiry, as has Rep. Louise Slaughter of New York.
Justice Dept. spokesman Laura Sweeney confirmed the letter had been received but had no further comment.
Over the years, News Corp.’s U.S. tabloid, the New York Post has seemed to model itself on Fleet Street, but there is no evidence it engaged in any of the practices of the News of the World.
At this point, the greatest scandal-related risk may reside not at the Post but at the Wall Street Journal. Les Hinton, CEO of Dow Jones, the Journal’s parent company, was once chairman of News International, the News Corp. division that runs its British papers. In 2007, Hinton testified before the British parliament that the phone hacking scandal was the work of a lone reporter – a statement that turned out not to be true.
His role in the scandal has increased pressure on him, to the point that Christopher Bancroft, a member of the family that sold Dow Jones to Murdoch, said he “probably ought be moved aside.”
Bancroft also told Pro Publica that, if he had known what he knows now about News International’s phone hacking scandal, he would have pushed harder against his family selling the paper to Murdoch.
But while News Corp may be taking public relations beating on both sides of the Atlantic, there has been a silver lining for the company’s American investors.
The withdrawal from the BSkyB deal leaves an extra $12 billion on News Corp.’s books, helping to send the stock price up 1.7% in trading Wednesday. That, on top of the $5 billion stock buyback the company announced earlier this week, is good news for American investors.
Laura Martin, an analyst at Needham, noted the irony.
“Who lost here were the BSKyB shareholders, who were primarily UK residents,” she said. “So Rupert takes his money and goes home to buy shares. Who gets the money? U.S. investors. I think it will be good for U.S. shareholders and bad for U.K. shareholders. The great irony is that the politicians in the U.K .are the ones that demanded News Corp. drop the BSkyB deal.”
Analysts saw the withdrawal from the BSkyB deal as a political act. Though there was some early speculation that the company would just wait for things to blow over and make another move for the pay-TV broadcaster, by midday many analysts agreed that a later deal was unlikely.
And analysts said it was even more unlikely that News Corp would get rid of its U.S. newspapers – even money-losing ones like the Post, which is rumored to lose around $50 million a year, or the fledgling iPad experiment, The Daily. Murdoch has ink in his veins, and won’t sell the papers, even if many of his shareholders would like him to.
But the scandal may have shaken Murdoch’s grip on the company, Wolff argues.
“I think that the board will be forced into a position of having to exercise some real oversight,” he said. “And I think the inevitable conclusion to that will be to purge management of people named Murdoch.”