News of the World reporters and management considered it perfectly reasonable to engage in a variety of smarmy, slimy and clearly illegal activities, including hacking into the phone and internet accounts, not of just celebrities as we might expect, but those of politicians and average citizens, including crime victims, 9/11 victims, and even that of a 13-year old murdered British girl, going so far as to erase messages when her phone message box was full. Fallout from the hacking debacle has subsequently revealed a pattern of bribery of policemen by the paper, paying for telephone numbers and other contacts. Allegations reveal an unseemly coziness between Murdoch and many British politicians, especially the conservatives, including current Prime Minister David Cameron. Turns out one ex News of the World editor was Cameron's communications director. Another News of the World ex-editor was public relations director of Scotland Yard. Both exers are now under arrest.
The shit has hit the fan in Britain, to the extent that Murdoch himself felt compelled to rush over from his New York redoubt to stem the damage. It didn't work. The puddle of crud was so black and foul not even Magic Murdoch could sort things out, so he pulled the plug on News of the World. And so one of Great Britain's venerable old papers, one that had been around for over 160 years, was ruined by the Murdoch ethic: win at any cost; no tactic is too sleazy.
Worse for Murdoch, the raging controversy sunk his shot at a lucrative deal for British cable network BSkyB, which would have pumped up his already formidable UK footprint. Adding to his woes, he has been summoned to testify before Parliament to answer for the sins of his spawn.
It doesn't fly that poor Rupert is himself innocent of these sins. His own son, James Murdoch, was chairman of the News Corp division that controlled News of the World. Les HInton, one of Murdoch's most trusted allies and advisors for over 50 years and most recently chief executive of Murdoch's Wall Street Journal, previously directly oversaw the company's British empire. Hinton has resigned as a result of the scandal. And Rebekah Brooks, a "virtual daughter" of Murdoch's, was one of his primary British lieutenants and had her hands all over News of the World. She, too, resigned, and then was arrested.
News of the World was busted for hacking back in 2006, so it is simply incredulous that Mr. Murdoch could be unaware of the trend within his organization. Sealing Rupert's culpability is his own mother's disdain for his de rigueur smarmy "journalistic" tactics. As far back as 42 years ago when he purchased News of the World, Dame Elisabeth Murdoch fretted that he would find a way to get himself in trouble with such a tabloid. "It killed me" that he purchased the paper, she claimed. It must say something when your own mother rejects your ethics.
In all, so far over 10 people have been arrested, and the chief of Scotland Yard has stepped down from his post, admitting that he had no idea of the depth of the depravity involving his department. And now we learn that one of the original whistle blowers, an ex News of the World reporter who would certainly know what was going on, has been found dead. The crap just keeps getting deeper.
Rupert Murdoch is perhaps the most powerful media mogul in history. As might be expected by such a conquering businessmen, his tactics are often ruthless. Anything goes in his quest to dominate. But in Rupert's case it's not just money he is after, nor even pure power; he is pushing an ideology: the gospel of conservatism.
Which brings us to Fox News, the American broadcasting kin of News of the World. No, Fox hasn't yet been accused of any such blatant charges. But the clearly unethical behavior of News of the World at last shines a bright light on Murdoch's values, which are very much on display every day on Fox News. Survey after survey reports that Fox News viewers are consistently among the most misinformed of television viewers. That's "misinformed," not "uninformed." Millions of Fox viewers have their screens permanently locked on to Fox News where they are greeted by the slogans "Fair and Balanced" and "We Report, You Decide." In fact, however, these are blatant lies. There has never been an American news channel less fair and balanced than Fox News. And Fox doesn't "report", it distorts, distracts and divides. It lies. Bill O'Reilly's "No Spin Zone" is one of the spinningest television programs in history.
Fox News is the only major news channel in U.S. history that is owned by a radical political ideologue. It was founded first and foremost to promulgate political ideology. The Fox News chairman is a former conservative political operative, Roger Ailes. There is no equivalent liberal, or even moderate, channel. The early CNN under the direction of the socially liberal Ted Turner never exerted an overtly liberal bent; it has tracked very close to center throughout its existence, its prime motivation to survive to make money, never as an ideological vehicle. Of course, Turner hasn't been at the helm of CNN in decades, and CNN itself, like most major media, has more recently leaned rightwards, particularly through the Bush-Cheney drums of war era. Meanwhile, the more recent advent of an unabashedly liberal-leaning channel such as MSNBC (owned jointly by conservative conglomerates Comcast and General Electric), represents a meager attempt to cull a lucrative, high end demographic - educated liberals - for advertisers, and is but one of hundreds of sources moderates and liberals turn to for their news, while the Fox "fair and balanced" juggernaut monopolizes the died-in-the-wool conservative base. Only Fox offers such a concentrated and uncontested message to its loyal viewers.
The saying that "truth has a liberal bias" is taken to heart by Fox News. Fox completely separates itself from all other media by intentionally disseminating untruth. It picks and parses real news, and aggressively sensationalizes pseudo news, to support the conservative audience's investment in clan mentality: a propensity toward fear, greed and prejudice. Working with this recipe of distraction, diversion and division, Fox relentlessly injects its political agenda, which boils down to anything and everything that furthers corporate primacy. Most Fox viewers are blissfully ignorant or uncaring of this prime objective, which may very well serve against their own best interests, while remaining hooked to Fox's diet of sensationalism and justification for conservative clan mentality.
It's a toxic mix that has played a critical role in the poisoning of politics in America and corruption of truth, which, of course, is the only way that a coporate aristocracy can achieve the critical mass of support it needs to subjugate the masses. But it doesn't stop there. As with New of the World in Britain, Fox News is in bed with American conservative political leaders, wielding king-making and king-breaking power. It is, in effect, the Republican media outlet, serving as both master and mouthpiece for the conservative collective. The filthy rats nest that has been uncovered at News of the World extends throughout Murdoch's News Corp. It's a culture of deceit, intimidation, coercion and corruption.
Fox News promulgates the illusion that it is an embattled singularity in a swarm of liberal bias - the "fair and balanced" alternative to the vaunted "liberal media." The liberal media bias is an utter myth, one of many Conservative Myths that form the exoskeleton of the conservative belief system. As mentioned, most other major media are conscientiously seeking the facts. They may not always be perfect in their reporting and delivery, but they are not out to purposefully deceive. Fox News is. So this is yet another example of conservative "projection:" accuse your opponent of doing what, in actuality, you are doing. The grandest example of projection is the rich Republican's cry against "class warfare." It's always class warfare when someone suggests bringing some of that wealth down to the masses in the form of taxes, but it's never class warfare when the money is being sucked upwards and into the coffers of the elite of the elite.
One brief look at the arch conservative Rupert Murdoch's media holdings (see below) simply blows the legs out from under the silly notion of any liberal media bias. Read it and weep liberals. There is nothing remotely like it. From books to television to newspapers to the internet, Murdoch's smarmy tactics and destructive politics have a hold on almost every corner of the globe. Add to this domination the nearly 100-to-1 advantage that American conservative radio talkers hold over their liberal colleagues, and the full ridiculousness of any liberal media bias becomes crystal clear.
Likely Murdoch's dark empire will emerge relatively unscathed from the News of the World debacle. But maybe the light of investigation, even if shining for just a brief period, will illuminate the scope of the monster's tentacles and tendencies, and give pause to those who so blithely believe Fox's every word. Like News of the World, like Fox News, Rupert Murdoch is a blight upon a civilized culture.
ARCH CONSERVATIVE RUPERT MURDOCH'S WORLDWIDE MEDIA HOLDINGS:
- HarperCollins book publishing company
- Zondervan Christian book publisher
- Inspirio – religious gift production.
- Australia published by News Limited.
- The Australian (Nationwide)
- Community Media Group (16 QLD & NSW suburban/regional titles)
- Cumberland-Courier Newspapers (23 suburban/commuter titles)
- The Courier-Mail (Queensland)
- The Sunday Mail (Queensland)
- The Cairns Post (Cairns, Queensland)
- The Gold Coast Bulletin (Gold Coast, Queensland)
- The Townsville Bulletin (Townsville, Queensland)
- The Daily Telegraph (New South Wales)
- The Sunday Telegraph (New South Wales)
- Herald Sun (Victoria)
- Sunday Herald Sun (Victoria)
- The Weekly Times (Victoria)
- Leader Newspapers (33 suburban Melbourne, VIC titles)
- MX (Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane CBD)
- The Geelong Advertiser (Geelong, Victoria)
- The Advertiser (South Australia)
- The Sunday Mail (South Australia)
- Messenger Newspapers (11 suburban Adelaide, SA titles)
- The Sunday Times (Western Australia)
- The Mercury (Tasmania)
- Quest Newspapers (19 suburban Brisbane, QLD titles)
- The Sunday Tasmanian (Tasmania)
- Northern Territory News (Northern Territory)
- The Sunday Territorian (Northern Territory)
- The Tablelands Advertiser (Atherton Tablelands and the Far North, Queensland)
- Papua New Guinea
- Papua New Guinea Post-Courier (National) (62.5%)
- UK and Ireland newspapers, published by subsidiaries of News International Ltd.
- US newspapers and magazines
- The New York Post
- Dow Jones & Company
- Consumer Media Group
- Enterprise Media Group
- Dow Jones Newswires – global, real-time news and information provider.
- Factiva – provides business news and information together with content delivery tools and services.
- Dow Jones Indexes – stock market indexes and indicators, including the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
- Dow Jones Financial Information Services – produces databases, electronic media, newsletters, conferences, directories, and other information services on specialised markets and industry sectors.
- Betten Financial News – leading Dutch language financial and economic news service.
- Local Media Group
- Ottaway Community Newspapers – 8 daily and 15 weekly regional newspapers.
- STOXX (33%)- joint venture with Deutsche Boerse and SWG Group for the development and distribution of Dow Jones STOXX indices.
- Vedomosti (33%) – Russia's leading financial newspaper (joint venture with Financial Times and Independent Media).
- The Timesledger Newspapers of Queens, New York:
- Bayside Times, Whitestone Times, Flushing Times, Fresh Meadows Times, Little Neck Ledger, Jackson Heights Times, Richmond Hill Times, Jamaica Times, Laurelton Times, Queens Village Times, Astoria Times, Forest Hills Ledger, Ridgewood Ledger, Howard Beach Times
- The Courier-Life Newspapers in Brooklyn
- The Brooklyn Paper
- Caribbean Life
- Times-Herald Record (Middletown, New York)
- News America Marketing (Smartsource) (weekly Sunday newspaper coupon insert/website)
- Alpha Magazine
- Australian Country Style
- Australian Golf Digest
- Australian Good Taste
- Big League
- Donna Hay
- Fast Fours
- GQ (Australia)
- Gardening Australia
- InsideOut (Aust)
- Lifestyle Pools
- Live to Ride
- Overlander 4WD
- Modern Boating
- Modern Fishing
- Pure Health
- Super Food Ideas
- Truck Australia
- Truckin' Life
- twowheels scooter
- Vogue (Australia)
- Vogue Entertaining & Travel
- Vogue Living
- InsideOut (UK Based Magazine)
Music and radio
- Nashe (50%)
- Best FM (50%)
- 50% of the National Rugby League (Australia and New Zealand)
- Majority ownership of the Brisbane Broncos (68.9%) and full ownership of the Melbourne Storm rugby league team.
- Colorado Rockies (15%)
- Fox Filmed Entertainment: 20th Century Fox's parent company
- 20th Century Fox: a film production/distribution company
- 20th Century Fox Television – primetime television programming.
- 20th Television – television distribution (syndication).
- Fox 21 – low scripted/budgeted television production company.
- Fox Television Studios (productions)- market specific programming e.g. COPS and network television company.
- Fox Television Studios International
- Fox World Productions
- Fox World Australia
- Fox TV Studios France
- Fox TV Studios India
- Natural History New Zealand – natural world documentaries, non-fiction programming.
- Fox Faith – Promotion and distribution of Christian and related "family friendly" movies on DVD and some theatrical release.
- Fox Studios Australia, Sydney, New South Wales
- Blue Sky Studios – production of CGI films e.g. Ice Age.
- Fox Entertainment Group
- New Regency Productions (20%) – general audience feature films.
- Regency Enterprises (20%) – parent company of New Regency Productions (50%).
- BSkyB Studios London, England
- FOX Star Studios New Delhi, India
News Corp agreed to sell eight of its television stations to Oak Hill Capital Partners for approximately $1.1 billion as of 22 December 2007. The stations are US Fox affiliates. These stations, along with those already acquired by Oak Hill that were formerly owned by The New York Times Company, formed the nucleus of Oak Hill's Local TV LLCdivision.
- Fox Broadcasting Company (Fox), a US broadcast television network
- My Network TV, a US broadcast television network
- Fox Television Stations Group, a group of owned and operated Fox television stations
- Saeta TV Channel 10, channel of Uruguay
- ITV plc (7.5%), a British broadcast television network and the UK's largest advertising revenue based broadcaster
- News Corp Europe
- bTV, a broadcast television network in Bulgaria. They sold this to CME in February 2010.
- B1 TV (12,5%), a broadcast television network in Romania, in partnership with Ismar International NVkkkk
- Fox Televizija, a broadcast television network in Serbia (49%). They sold this to Antenna Group in January 2010
- Fox Turkey, a Turkish terrestrial channel (56,5%) (formerly TGRT)
- Imedi Media Holding (100%), a Georgian radio and TV broadcaster.
- Imedi Television
- Radio Imedi
- Israel 10 (9%), a terrestrial channel in Israel.
- LNT (100%), a terrestrial channel in Latvia
- TV5 Riga (100%), a terrestrial channel in Latvia
- Cielo (100%), a free channel in Italy
- ANTV (20%), a private television station in Indonesia, under the administration and label of STAR TV
- Prime Television New Zealand – commercial TV station, interest held through stake in SKY Network Television
- British Sky Broadcasting, United Kingdom & Ireland (39.1% holding). In practice, a controlling interest.
- SKY Network TV, New Zealand (44%)
- SKY Italy, Italian satellite TV service
- SKY México, Latin American satellite TV service
- SKY Brasil, Brazilian satellite TV servive
- SKY Germany (49.90%), Germany's largest pay TV provider
- SKY Tata (20%), an Indian DTH HDTV service (in partnership with Tata Group)
- Foxtel (25%), Australia, a joint venture with Telstra (50%) and Consolidated Media Holdings (25%)
- FOX Italy, Italian Broadcast and Production Company (with 2 HDTV)
- STAR TV, an Asian satellite TV service having 300 million viewers in 53 countries (it acquired STAR Vijay andAsianet, (two prominent south Indian networks)
- Phoenix Television (17.6%), satellite TV network with landing rights in Hong Kong, and select provinces on Mainland China.
Cable TV channels owned (in whole or part) and operated by News Corporation include:
- Fox Business Network, a business news channel.
- Fox Classics, a channel airing classic TV shows & movies
- Fox Movie Channel, an all-movie channel that airs commercial-free movies from 20th Century Fox's film library
- Fox News Channel, a 24-hour news & opinion channel
- Fox Sports Net, a chain of US regional cable news television networks broadcasting local sporting events linked together by national sports news programming. Local channels include "Fox Sports Southwest", "Fox Sports Detroit", etc. (some affiliates are owned by Cablevision).
- Fox College Sports, a college sports network consisting of three regionally aligned channels, mostly with archived Fox Sports Net programs but also some live and original content.
- Fox Sports International
- Fox Soccer Channel, a United States digital cable and satellite network specializing mainly in soccer.
- Fox Soccer Plus, a sister network to FSC, but including coverage of other sports, most notably rugby union. Launched in 2010 after News Corporation picked up many of the broadcast rights abandoned by Setanta Sportswhen it stopped broadcasting in the U.S.
- Fox Sports Middle East – English language sports network airing in Middle East countries including Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, UAE & Yemen.
- Fox Pan American Sports (37.9%) – joint venture with Hicks, Muse, and Tate & Furst.
- FX Networks, a cable network broadcasting reruns of programming previously shown on other channels, but recently creating its own programming, including the Emmy Award-winning programs The Shield and Damages.
- Speed Channel
- FUEL TV
- Big Ten Network, cable and satellite channel dedicated to The Big Ten Conference, launched Aug 2007 (49%)
- National Geographic Channel (joint venture with National Geographic Magazine) 67%
- National Geographic Channel International 75%
- National Geographic Wild (joint venture with National Geographic Magazine)
- Fox International Channels, domestic cable channels offering different formats of Fox programming in over thirty countries worldwide.
- Fox Life
- Fox Life HD
- Fox Crime
- Fox Horror
- Fox Movies
- Fox Sports
- Speed Channel
- National Geographic Channel
- National Geographic Channel HD
- National Geographic Wild
- National Geographic Adventure
- National Geographic Music
- National Geographic Junior
- Real Estate TV
- Fox Toma 1 – Spanish language television production.
- Fox Telecolombia – Spanish language television production. (51%)
- Utarget.Fox – European and Latin American online ad company, plus now handles TV ad sales.
- Middle & South America
- Fox Latin American Channels – channels available in over 17 countries in Latin America
- National Geographic Channel
- National Geographic Channel HD
- National Geographic Wild
- Nat Geo Music
- Universal Channel
- Universal HD
- Fox Channel
- Fox HD
- Fox Life
- Fox Sports
- Speed Channel
- Baby TV
- Fox One-Stop Media – advertising sales for company owned and third party channels in Latin America
- LAPTV (60%) (Latin American Pay Television) operates 8 cable movie channels throughout South America excluding Brazil.
- Telecine(12.5%) operates 5 cable movie channels in Brazil.
- Fox Latin American Channels – channels available in over 17 countries in Latin America
- Hathway Cable & Datacom (22.2%), India's 2nd largest cable network through 7 cities including Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai & Pune
- Total TV (20%), Pay TV platform with JV partner KOO's Group majority owner (80%). News Corp also has a 20% interest in the KOO's Group directly
- Fox Interactive Media
- Foxsports.com – website with sports news, scores, statistics, video and fantasy sports
- Hulu (27%) – online video streaming site in partnership with NBC Universal and The Walt Disney Company.
- Flektor – provides Web-based tools for photo and video editing and mashups.
- IGN Entertainment – Internet entertainment portal (Includes the sites IGN, GameSpy, TeamXbox, 1up.com, and Askmen.com)
- Slingshot Labs – web development incubator (Includes the sites DailyFill).
- Strategic Data Corp – interactive advertising company which develops technology to deliver targeted internet advertising.
- WhatIfSports.com – sports simulation and prediction website. Also provides fantasy-style sports games to play.
- Indya.com – 'India's no. 1 Entertainment Portal'
- ROO Group Inc (5% increasing to 10% with performance targets)
- News Digital Media
- News.com.au – Australian-oriented news website
- CareerOne.com.au (50%) – recruitment advertisement website in partnership with Monster Worldwide.
- Moshtix.com.au – a ticket retailer
- Learning Seat
- Wego News owns minority stake in Wego.com
- Netus (75%) – investment co. in online properties.
- REA Group (60.7%)
- Casa.it (69.4%), Sky Italia also holds a 30.6% share
- atHome group, operator of leading realestate websites in Luxembourg, France, Belgium and Germany.
- Altowin (51%),provider of office management tools for realestate agents in Belgium.
- Propertyfinder.com (50%), News International holds the remaining 50%
- Sherlock Publications, owner of hotproperty.co.uk portal and magazine titles 'Hot Property', 'Renting' and 'Overseas'
- ukpropertyshop.co.uk, most comprehensive UK estate agent directory.
- PropertyLook, property websites in Australia and New Zealand.
- HomeSite.com.au, home renovation and improvement website.
- Square Foot Limited, Hong Kong's largest English Language property magazine and website
- Primedia – Holding co. of Inside DB, a Hong Kong lifestyle magazine.
- TadpoleNet Media (10%) Hosts of ArmySailor.com
- New Zealand
- NDS – Conditional access technology and personal digital video recorders (PVRs) (49%)
- Timothy Coville
- ITE, publisher of PlayStation and Mobile games, and interactive television
- Broadsystem Ltd (UK) – Telephony provider for media companies, bought in 1991
- Broadsystem Australia (Australia)
- Broadsystem Ventures (UK) – provider of cheap-rate telephone calls, particularly for customers of Sky Television. Bought outright in 1999.
- Jamba! – Mobile Entertainment/Mobile Handsets Personalisation/Games.
- News Outdoor Group – Largest outdoor advertising company in Eastern Europe with over 70,000 ads including billboards and bus shelters, operating in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, India, Israel, Poland, Romania, Russia (96 cities), Turkey & Ukraine.
- Maximedia Israel (67%)
- Mosgorreklama (50%) – Russia sign and marketing material manufacturer
- Kamera Acikhava Reklamclik (?) – leading outdoor advertising company in Turkey
- Australian Associated Press (45%) – real time news service.
- Stats Inc (50%) – worlds leading provider of sporting information and statistical analysis (a JV with Associated Press)
- Fox Sports Grill (50%) – Upscale sports bar and restaurant with 7 locations – Scottsdale, Arizona; Irvine, California; Seattle, Washington (U.S. state)|Washington; Plano, Texas; Houston, Texas; San Diego, California; andAtlanta, Georgia (U.S. state)|Georgia.
- Fox Sports Skybox (70%) – Sports fan's Bar & Grill at Staples Center and 6 airport restaurants.
- News America Marketing (US) – (100%) – nation’s leading marketing services company, products include a portfolio of in-store, home-delivered and online media under the SmartSource brand.
- Rotana (9%) – Largest Arab entertainment company owned by Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal
- The Daily – iPad only newspaper delivered daily.
- Making Fun – social game developer for making games for social networking sites, smartphones, tablets and other devices.