Tag Archive: Rupert Murdoch

Dec 13 2012

FCC: Merry Christmas, Rupert

The Obama administration’s Federal Communications Commission is on the verge of handing media mogul Rupert Murdoch a very nice Christmas present. Murdoch, who already owns Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, Fox News Channel, Fox movie studios, 27 local TV stations and more, now wants to purchase the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, that are currently owned by the bankrupt Tribune Company, and a controlling stake in the Yes Network. Julius Genachowski, the F.C.C. chairman, is about to ease the rules to let him.

We were down this road before during the Bush administration and it was roundly rejected, not only by the public, but by Congress and the courts:

Genachowski’s proposal is essentially indistinguishable from the failed Bush administration policies that millions rallied against in 2003 and 2007. Ninety-nine percent of the public comments received by the FCC opposed lifting these rules when the Republicans tried to do it.

Genachowski’s proposal is nearly identical to the one the Senate voted to overturn with a bipartisan “resolution of disapproval” back in 2008. Among the senators who co-sponsored that rebuke to runaway media concentration were Joe Biden and Barack Obama.

At the time, Obama blasted the FCC for having “failed to further the goals of diversity in the media and promote localism,” saying the agency was in “no position to justify allowing for increased consolidation.” Nothing has changed — except which party controls the White House.

The federal courts have repeatedly — and as recently as 2011 — struck down these same rules, noting the FCC’s failure to “consider the effect of its rules on minority and female ownership.” The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the FCC to study the impact of any rule changes before changing the rules. The FCC has done nothing of the kind.

Yet, the Obama FCC now wants to hand control of the news in a media outlet to one man.

Bill Moyers addressed this issue with Sen. Bernie Sanders on why big media shouldn’t get bigger.

In 1983, 50 corporations controlled a majority of American media. Now that number is six. And Big Media may get even bigger, thanks to the FCC’s consideration of ending a rule preventing companies from owning a newspaper and radio and TV stations in the same big city. Such a move – which they’ve tried in 2003 and 2007 as well -would give these massive media companies free rein to devour more of the competition, control the public message, and also limit diversity across the media landscape. On this week’s Moyers & Company (check local listings), Senator Bernie Sanders, one of several Senators who have written FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski asking him to suspend the plan, joins Bill to discuss why Big Media is a threat to democracy and what citizens can do to fight back.

Sanders also expresses his dismay that such a move would come from an Obama appointee. “Why the Obama Administration is doing something that the Bush Administration failed to do is beyond my understanding,” Sanders tells Bill. “And we’re gonna do everything we can to prevent it from happening.”

FCC May Give Murdoch a Very Merry Christmas

by Bill Moyers and Michael Winship

Until now, this hasn’t been the best year for media mogul Rupert Murdoch. For one, none of the Republicans who’d been on the payroll of his Fox News Channel – not Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum or Mike Huckabee or Sarah Palin – became this year’s GOP nominee for president. [..]

But Murdoch’s luck may be changing. Despite Fox News’ moonlighting as the propaganda ministry of the Republican Party, President Obama’s team may be making it possible for Sir Rupert to increase his power, perversely rewarding the man who did his best to make sure Barack Obama didn’t have a second term. The Federal Communications Commission could be preparing him one big Christmas present, the kind of gift that keeps on giving – unless we all get together and do something about it. [..]

In prior years, the FCC has granted waivers to the rules, but this latest move on their part would be more permanent, allowing a monolithic corporation like News Corp or Disney, Comcast, Viacom, CBS or Time Warner – in any of the top twenty markets – to own newspapers, two TV stations, eight radio stations and even the local Internet provider. [..]

Make your voices heard – write or call Genachowski and the other commissioners – you can find their names, e-mail addresses and phone numbers at the website fcc.gov, or on the “Take Action” page at our website, BillMoyers.com. Write your senators and representatives, too, tell them the FCC must delay this decision and give the public a chance to have its opposition known. We’ve done it before.

Just ask the FCC this basic question: What part of “no” don’t you understand?

May 07 2012

No Hulu for You

Hulu’s owners – Disney, News Corp. and Comcast, which respectively own ABC, Fox and NBC – want to ruin the future of TV.1 If they have their way, you’ll need a cable subscription to watch any TV show on the Internet.

They want to move to a so-called “authentication” system that would allow only cable TV subscribers to access shows on Hulu.

It’s just the latest in their ongoing efforts to derail Internet innovation and control the future of television. Sign this letter to stop Disney, News Corp. and Comcast from putting the Internet genie back in the bottle.

Sign the Petition

Hulu has created a revolution in how millions watch TV – putting control over what what we watch in the hands of viewers. But your decision to allow only cable subscribers to access TV shows on Hulu would take away all that.

The Internet is the future of TV. Stop trying to derail innovation. Reverse your backwards decision to restrict access to TV programming online.

Jul 19 2011

“Bury Your Mistakes”

The problem with Rupert Murdoch’s “philosophy” is that eventually something starts to “smell” really bad and they start digging. The more they dig, the more bodies they find. Like peeling an onion.

David Carr, “Media Equation” columnist for The New York Times, taks with Rachel Maddow about the News Corps record of unethical bullying and illegal business behavior and looks ahead to Rupert Murdoch, James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks testifying before British Parliament Tuesday.

There is a possibility that Ms. Brooks may not testify because of her arrest on Sunday.

Troubles That Money Can’t Dispel

By David Carr

“Bury your mistakes,” Rupert Murdoch is fond of saying. But some mistakes don’t stay buried, no matter how much money you throw at them.

Time and again in the United States and elsewhere, Mr. Murdoch’s News Corporation has used blunt force spending to skate past judgment, agreeing to payments to settle legal cases and, undoubtedly more important, silence its critics. In the case of News America Marketing, its obscure but profitable in-store and newspaper insert marketing business, the News Corporation has paid out about $655 million to make embarrassing charges of corporate espionage and anticompetitive behavior go away.

snip

Litigation can have an annealing effect on companies, forcing them to re-examine the way they do business. But as it was, the full extent and villainy of the hacking was never known because the News Corporation paid serious money to make sure it stayed that way.

And the money the company reportedly paid out to hacking victims is chicken feed compared with what it has spent trying to paper over the tactics of News America in a series of lawsuits filed by smaller competitors in the United States.

snip

In 2009, a federal case in New Jersey brought by a company called Floorgraphics went to trial, accusing News America of, wait for it, hacking its way into Floorgraphics’s password protected computer system.

snip

The complaint stated that the breach was traced to an I.P. address registered to News America and that after the break-in, Floorgraphics lost contracts from Safeway, Winn-Dixie and Piggly Wiggly.

Much of the lawsuit was based on the testimony of Robert Emmel, a former News America executive who had become a whistle-blower. After a few days of testimony, the News Corporation had heard enough. It settled with Floorgraphics for $29.5 million and then, days later, bought it, even though it reportedly had sales of less than $1 million.

Murdoch’s tactics are not a secret. In an article from Forbes written in 2005, Peter Lattman described the business practices by Paul V. Carlucci, then head of the marketing division of News America:

Paul V. Carlucci takes no prisoners. The head of a marketing division of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., Carlucci once rallied his sales force by showing a film clip from The

Untouchables
in which Al Capone beats a man to death with a baseball bat.

I wonder if Mr. Carlucci is friends with Carl Palladino the former NY State gubernatorial candidate with a penchant for solving problems with a baseball bat?

Jul 17 2011

Brits Arrest Brooks In Murdoch Wiretap Scandal

The British are not looking kindly on Rupert Murdoch’s wiretap scandal that erupted over two weeks ago. Murdoch, who is the chairman and CEO of News Corporation, shut down the tabloid, News of the World, when it was revealed that they had hacked the cell phone and erased messages of a missing girl who was later found dead. Rather than just fire the executive, Rebekah Brooks who allowed the phone hacking, he fired over 130 people in an attempt to protect his “protégé”. Ms Brooks who resigned Friday from Murdoch’s operations, was arrested “by appointment” in London on Sunday.

Brooks was due to give evidence before MPs on the culture select committee on Tuesday.

An arrest by appointment on a Sunday by police is unusual.

In a statement the Met said: “The MPS [Metropolitan police service] has this afternoon, Sunday 17 July, arrested a female in connection with allegations of corruption and phone hacking.

“At approximately 12.00 a 43-year-old woman was arrested by appointment at a London police station by officers from Operation Weeting [phone hacking investigation] together with officers from Operation Elveden [bribing of police officers investigation]. She is currently in custody.

“She was arrested on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications, contrary to Section1(1) Criminal Law Act 1977 and on suspicion of corruption allegations contrary to Section 1 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906.

The scandal has also embroiled the UK police who have been accused of being too close to News Corps, not scrutinizing the complaints and bribe taking.

The scandal has embroiled Britain’s police, who are accused of being too close to News Corp, of accepting cash from the now defunct News of the World tabloid that was at the heart of the scandal, and from other newspapers, and of not doing enough to investigate phone-hacking allegations that surfaced as far as back as 2005.

Britain’s senior police chief Paul Stephenson came under renewed pressure late on Saturday after it emerged he had stayed at a luxury spa at which Neil Wallis, a former News of the World deputy editor, was a public relations adviser.

A police statement said Stephenson did not know of Wallis’s connection with the spa, and his stay was paid for by the spa’s managing director, a family friend with no links to his professional life.

Stephenson already had come under fire after his force said Wallis, who has been arrested over the phone-hacking scandal and is free on bail, had been hired as a consultant by the police.

The investigation has spread to the US. The FBI is now investigating possible phone hacking of 9/11 survivors cell phone.

It also precipitated the resignation of Les Hinton, head of News Corp’s Dow Jones & Co, who was chief executive of News International and Ms Brooke’s boss at the time of the hacking and brought even further scrutiny of the tight knit board of directors.

And how is Fox News handling this? heh

More predictably, support has also come from News Corp’s right-leaning cable channel Fox News, where there has been a reluctance to devote as much time to the story as other outlets, especially the left-leaning MSNBC network. A recent episode of the show Fox and Friends featured a media consultant, Robert Dilenschneider, who said that the scandal was being overplayed and Murdoch had “done all the right things”.

Sep 02 2010

The Week in Editorial Cartoons – Of Kings and Wingnut Clowns, with Special Comment

Crossposted at Daily Kos and Docudharma

John Sherffius

John Sherffius, Comics.com (Boulder Daily Camera)

When I see a 9/11 victim family on television, or whatever, I’m just like, “Oh shut up” I’m so sick of them because they’re always complaining. — Glenn Beck

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Man is man because he is free to operate within the framework of his destiny.  He is free to deliberate, to make decisions, and to choose between alternatives.  He is distinguished from animals by his freedom to do evil or to do good and to walk the high road of beauty or tread the low road of ugly degeneracy. — Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.