Oct
18
2013

Income Inequality? The TV Industry Is on Top of It

Les Moonves (cc photo: David Shankbone)

TV bosses are in the top 20 percent of big corporations in terms of how much more they make than their employees.

Jan
06
2012

When You Take Murdoch's Leftovers, You Get Murdoch's Sleaze

Real estate developer and media mogul Mort Zuckerman has picked Colin Myler to be the new top editor for his New York tabloid, the Daily News. That's a surprising choice on at least a couple of accounts. One is that Myler's last job was at Rupert Murdoch's News of the World, which was shut down while he was boss due to the scandal over News reporters hacking into people's voicemail for scoops. True, the phone hacking seems to have happened before Myler got there–but he seems to have been brought in by Murdoch not so much to clean up as […]

Jul
15
2011

McHistory: Fox Launched to Counter Nonexistent Leftism of MSNBC

The headline of Al Neuharth's column in USA Today (7/15/11) summed up his case: "Murdoch Media Give You What You Want." That sort of depends on who "you" is. Neuharth explains: Murdoch has an uncanny knack for figuring out what a sizable segment of readers and viewers want and giving it to them. Straight or slanted. His Fox News television network is as blatantly right-wing as Murdoch intended it to be when he started it in 1996 to counter the left-wing MSNBC. Oh, so that's what explained the launch of Fox News Channel in October 1996–the rampant left-wing bias of […]

Jul
12
2011

Fox Media Show Skips Murdoch Scandal

Fox News Channel airs a weekly media criticism show called Fox News Watch. Disgraced New York Times reporter Judith Miller is one of the panelists because…well, it's Fox. TVNewser noticed that the show posts a web video of the chatter among the panelists during commercial breaks. On this weekend's show, they started talking about how they weren't gonna talk about Murdoch's current scandal. You can watch the video here. The conversation consisted mainly of right-wing panelist Cal Thomas saying, "Anyone want to bring up the subject we're not talking about, for the streamers?" That elicited some chuckles, and Thomas said: […]

Jul
11
2011

Could Hack Scandal Spell Trouble for Murdoch's U.S. TV Licenses?

As noted by an account on the TVNewser blog (7/11/11), on ABC's This Week panel there was some talk of Rupert Murdoch losing his U.S. television licenses over the News of the World phone hacking scandal. There is a "character clause" for broadcast licensees, and the current scandal would go a long way towards demonstrating a certain type of bad behavior. Here's how panelist Steven Brill put it: News Corp has a lot of FCC licenses. There's still a clause in the federal communications law that requires that you have to be of good character to have such a license, […]

Nov
10
2010

Fox News: The No. 1 Name in Murder Fantasies

Bill O'Reilly's recent "joke" about decapitating Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank was only the latest example of a demented Fox News culture that permits on-air personalities to fantasize about assassination and other forms of violence against those deemed enemies of the station, its personalities or their worldview. During the cable channel's 2008 election coverage, in what she later called an attempt at humor, Fox News contributor Liz Trotta linked Osama bin Laden to Barack Obama as people who both should be assassinated: And now we have what some are reading as a suggestion that somebody knock off Osama, uh Obama. […]

Nov
09
2010

Arson Threats and Other Negotiating Tips From Rupert Murdoch

People love Fox News…. We said to the cable operators when we put the price up, we said do you want a monument to yourself….  Cancel us, you might get your house burnt down. –Rupert Murdoch (Australian Financial Review, 11/5/10)

Aug
25
2009

The Downside to Murdoch's Plan to Control Online News

The problem with Rupert Murdoch's proposal to create an online news consortium, in which major publishers would all band together to put their news content behind pay walls (L.A. Times, 8/21/09), is that it's not illegal to discuss news events online. And you don't want to make it illegal to discuss news events online. And yet, absent a law forbidding such discussions, there's nothing to stop someone from buying subscriptions to the various pay news sites and starting a website (like this one, but more so) in which they write about what they've learned from them–thus offering for free what […]

Aug
24
2009

Thanking Murdoch's Journal for More of Rove's Lies

OpEd News has published an open letter from attorney Dana Jill Simpson (8/20/09) to "Mr. Murdoch and all the editors at the Wall Street Journal," in which she expresses her wish to "thank you from the very bottom of my heart for running Karl Rove's delusional article, 'Closing In on Rove,' on August 20, 2009": The reason I want to thank you is that Mr. Rove has clearly lied about me in this article. You have captured and printed it without even checking to see if it is so or not. The lie he has told is and I quote, […]

Jul
13
2009

'No Worries' in Fox Coverage of Murdoch Crimes

News Corpse blogger Mark Howard (7/8/09) has linked to a London Guardian "story that simply must be read": Rupert Murdoch's News Group Newspapers has paid out more than £1m to settle legal cases that threatened to reveal evidence of his journalists' repeated involvement in the use of criminal methods to get stories. The payments secured secrecy over out-of-court settlements in three cases that threatened to expose evidence of Murdoch journalists using private investigators who illegally hacked into the mobile phone messages of numerous public figures and to gain unlawful access to confidential personal data, including tax records, social security files, […]

May
17
2009

On the Depths of Rupert Murdoch's 'Crass' Roots

Taking down "Michael Wolff's fat masterpiece of sycophancy about Rupert Murdoch, The Man Who Owns the News," Murdoch Archipelago co-author Bruce Page (CounterPunch, 5/15/09) counters Wolff's "astigmatic lens of gossip" with "a true outline" of Fox/Wall Street Journal mogul Murdoch's roots: Rupert's father, Sir Keith, founded the dynasty during World War I as a dirty-tricks minion for "Billy" Hughes, probably Australia's nastiest prime minister. His cover myth as a heroic war reporter has been so thoroughly dismantled that now it impresses none but family retainers and–of course–Mr. Wolff. At Versailles, Keith was Billy's ever-present aide in striving to make the […]

Apr
15
2009

If Google Is Handing Out Free Money, Newspapers Would Like Some

Maureen Dowd today (New York Times, 4/15/09) writes about the newspaper industry's complaints about Google: Robert Thomson, the top editor of the Wall Street Journal, denounced websites like Google as "tapeworms." His boss, Rupert Murdoch, said that big newspapers do not have to let Google "steal our copyrights." The AP has threatened to take legal action against Google and others that use the work of news organizations without obtaining permission and sharing a "fair" portion of revenue. But what's fair will be hard to prove. First of all, Google is not stealing anyone's copyrights; quoting the headline and a small […]

Mar
23
2009

When Are the Rich Not Really 'Rich'?

If you look at the front page of the New York Post today (3/23/09), you see a big headline about New York State's "Secret Deal to Tax 'Rich.'" The scare quotes are there to indicate, presumably, that the taxpayers in question–whom the Post refers to as "anyone making more than $500,000 a year"–are not really rich. It's true that such taxpayers aren't as wealthy as, say, Rupert Murdoch, the guy who owns the Post, who has an estimated net worth of $8.3 billion. But they're still doing pretty well, with an income that puts them well into the top half […]