PART II: News Corp or News Corpse?


The Pink Flamingo has a little question.

Is it possible the powers that be at FOX had some pre-knowledge of the scandal that was about to pop with News Corp in the UK and quickly dumped their worst liability – Glenn Beck?

Just asking.

The Pink Flamingo, has, for quite some time now, said that Murdock’s machine appears to be, at times, out to tank the GOP.


“…It’s been reported that Murdoch has close, and sometimes inappropriate, relationships with conservative politicians in the U.K. It’s also commonly believed that he has close ties to what we consider conservative politicians here in the U.S. as well, but campaign finance records suggest he has ties to both sides of the aisle.  According to the Sunlight Foundation’s Influence Explorer,  News Corp’s political givings are actually split pretty evenly between Democrats (51 percent) and Republicans (49 percent).

The biggest all-time recipient of contributions from News Corp is President Obama. It should be noted that the totals for  News Corp’s contributions also include money from employees of the organization and their family members. Obama being listed as the company’s top recipient might surprise some people because of its highly publicized involvement  with his political rivals, like Sarah Palin who was the vice presidential candidate in 2008 and reportedly still under contract with Murdoch-owned Fox News as a paid commentator.

It’s also been reported that Fox News also has contracts with Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee, all having run for president either in the past or currently, to appear on the network as commentators. It’s said that these contracts prohibit these three and Sarah Palin from appearing on other networks.

News Corp has made contributions to the Republican Senatorial Leadership Council annually since 2007, with the exception of 2008. Last year, Murdoch’s soft money contribution to the Republican Governor’s Association made news because of its large amount: $1 million. That donation, while commonly known to be true and not denied by Murdoch, can’t be found in IRS or Federal Election Commission records.

News America Holdings, also known as Fox Political Action Commitee, is News Corp’s PAC. The PAC’s top recipients for the 2009-2010 election cycle were Democrats Nancy Pelosi from California, Howard Berman from California and Chuck Schumer from New York….”

The Daily Beast
National Journal

This information makes the meddling FOX News did with the Tea Parties look suspicious and terribly cynical.  If News Corp’s PAC gave more money to the Dems than the GOP, then the whole promotion of the Tea Party appears to be designed as a way to throw a wedge in the GOP.  So does their promotion of libertarian causes.

Conservatives and the far right in this country are in abject denial over the News Corp scandal in the UK.  The Dems are calling for Congressional investigations, which are a crock and a waste of money.  Where there is smoke, there tends to be fire.  Perhaps there should be an investigation into the hacking of the phones from 9/11.  This is one time I agree with Jim DeMint, though.  Don’t waste money on a Congressional investigation.

“….I listened to the opening half hour of Mark Steyn substituting for Rush Limbaugh today. I normally very much enjoy Steyn’s radio presence: funny, warm, not bombastic, and endearingly Canadian. Today however was not a good day. Steyn devoted his opening monologue to a defense of News Corporation’s phone-hacking and police-bribing.

Steyn adopted the WSJ editorial line that freedom of the press is put into peril if media organizations are called to account for legal violations like bribing cops. And he argued that the attention to the Murdoch case represents an attempted “misdirection” from the much greater and more immediate threat of abuse of power by government.

To paraphrase: Yes, regrettable things were done by a few stray employees at News Corp. But the company has been shuttered, people have been held to account. Meanwhile in the public sector, civil servants are seldom if ever fired. Where’s the accountability in government? Why don’t politicians hold themselves to account rather than harassing Rupert Murdoch?

As I listened to this, I wondered: Is it possible that anybody could find this line of defense credible? And then: is this about to become the effective conservative position on the hacking story? I mean the WSJ editorial page & now the Rush Limbaugh show: doctrine does not become much more ex cathedra than that….”

UK Guardian
UK Daily Mail

“...What this extraordinary affair has demonstrated is the importance of transparency. Sir Paul was not open enough about his relationship with Mr Wallis earlier this year when new information about the extent of the hacking was passed to the Met. He should have realised that it would have been used to discredit Scotland Yard for its initial, and clearly inadequate, investigation and been more forthcoming from the outset. It is a shame because he was considered a good police officer who had brought a refreshingly straightforward approach to the job after the inglorious tenure of his predecessor, Sir Ian Blair.

Far from easing the pressure on David Cameron, Sir Paul’s departure increases it. For nearly a fortnight now, Downing Street has had to have information dragged from it about the closeness of the Prime Minister’s relationship with News International and, in particular, Rebekah Brooks, who became the latest News International executive to be arrested yesterday….”

The headline from Business Insider says it all.

Business Insider

There are some who are saying this is the biggest story since Watergate.  It may be.  Right now, thought, it appears the scandal is concentrated in the UK.

This is an absolute disaster for conservatives in the UK.

“…Will David Cameron’s government survive the phone-hacking scandal engulfing Britain’s political and media class? A week ago such a question seemed absurd; now it is no longer unthinkable that Cameron will be felled by his association with Rupert Murdoch and his hacking band of disgraced executives.

As a rule it is rarely a promising development when reporters start asking if the prime minister should resign. Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats and deputy prime minister, insisted on Monday that “of course” Cameron should not step down. “Let’s keep things in perspective here,” he pleaded, though he must know that perspective is the first thing to be sacrificed in times as turbulent as these. The wonder is not that the question was answered in the negative but that it was asked at all. The inconceivable is now conceivable.

The scandal may have originated at News of the World, but it has since engulfed politicians on both sides of the House of Commons, the rest of Britain’s notoriously ruthless—or, if you prefer, unprincipled—press, and, as if this were not enough, the most senior officers at the Metropolitan Police, Britain’s most prestigious and important police force….”

Get it?

Biased BBC

So far 10 employees of News Corp, including individuals who are close to David Cameron, have been arrested.

Sense on Cents

If the scandal can be tracked to this side of the Pond, the GOP is in huge trouble.

“…Basically, employees of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. empire bribed people in their equivalent of the FBI, which caused Scotland Yard to sit on mountains of evidence, lie to parliament, and fail to prosecute widespread violations of people’s privacy.

Attorney General Eric Holder has announced that the “appropriate agencies” are investigating claims that News Corp. employees hacked into the phones of people who died on 9/11 in order to listen to their voicemail. There’s also a new allegation from actor Jude Law that his phone was hacked by News Corp. employees shortly after he arrived at JFK Airport in New York.

My primary interest in this story is in its potential to disrupt or destroy Murdoch’s evil empire. His ability to aggressively misinform and weaponize the stupidity of our citizenry could be seriously threatened. With the arrest of Rebekah Brooks, people like Roger Ailes must be nervous. Unless, of course, Ailes hasn’t been involved in any similar illegal activity. So far, the evidence seems to be contained to the print side of Murdoch’s operation, but it seems pretty widespread….”


The very real problem for the GOP is the fact that News Corp could prove to be an absolute disaster for David Cameron and the conservatives in the UK.  If so, then do not doubt that the bull sharks will be swimming up river, in an attempt to devour and destroy.

The harm that the News Corp scandal could do to the GOP could be on the level of a 10.1, F-5, Cat 5, etc.  We’re talking catastrophic disaster.  While it could signal the end of the tea parties, let’s not count on that until it happens.

The right as put 90% of their eggs in the FOX News basket.  Once upon a time, it was a decent news organization, now though, it is an organ for the libertarians, tea parties, and lunatic fringe.  The worst part of it is that good people will believe that Murdock is being persecuted by the left.  Once this is over, conservatives are going to lose what was once a very good source to get a conservative point across.

Then again, we could be looking at an abject disaster when it comes to the tea parties.  For several years, a number of us have been saying they were a FOX creation.  If this is true, and I sincerely believe that it is, then the tea parties and the libertarians who push them are in for a fall.

That is a good thing.

With luck, the rank hypocrisy within the conservative world will be exposed.  It is about time the far right is forced to look at itself in the mirror.  I don’t think they will like what they see.

The bad thing is the serious harm that will be done to some good Republicans who are hanging in there.

How long will it be before Roger Ailes falls on his sword?

It is what Murdock is doing in this country, along with the Koch Brothers, to promote the tea parties, that should cause alarms bells to ring.  Unfortunately, it does not.  Murdock is allowing ethics to be pushed at the WSJ and FOX News, when it comes to the tea parties and AFP.

“…Lemann suggested that the key to assessing the Moore situation is whether or not his involvement with Prosperity 101 and the AFP Foundation violates the Wall Street Journal’s own ethical standards. Per the Journal’s Policies for News Departments, Moore’s involvement with Prosperity 101 would appear to violate a proscription against “outside activities” that exploit the Wall Street Journal’s name. The code also clearly states that employees of the Journal’s news departments are prohibited from accepting speaking fees or honoraria of any kind. Editorial page personnel are typically considered to be part of a paper’s news staff, according to Poynter’s McBride.

Beyond the Journal’s standards, Moore flouts a basic tenet of journalism ethics when, while appearing as a pundit in discussions about the Tea Party and AFP, he fails to disclose his own close political and financial ties to the AFP Foundation.

Take as an example a Journal column he wrote last year in which he quoted an Americans For Prosperity official, Texas chapter director Peggy Venable, to support his point, while never mentioning his own relationship to the AFP Foundation. Or the September 2 edition of “The Diane Rehm Show,” a syndicated NPR program, in which Moore appeared in his journalist guise for a discussion of the Tea Party movement.

When the discussion turned to the role of Americans for Prosperity and the Koch brothers in fueling the Tea Party, Rehm turned to Moore to ask what he thought “these outsider groups,” were looking for. “What policies do they want?” Rehm asked. “What do they want to discard? What do they want to change?”

In answering, Moore failed to disclose his repeated paid appearances at AFP Foundation events, and instead answered in such a way that appeared to cast himself as a disinterested journalist.

“I see some parallels to the Perot movement back in 1992, which, you know, Ross Perot ran sort of on fiscal responsibility and a balanced budget,” Moore replied. “But I think a lot of those Perot voters have kind of become part of this Tea Party movement. When I talked to these folks, they feel like things are out of control in Washington.”…”

Just keep watching the news.  The far right is defending Murdock, even thought his spending appears to prop up Dems, rather than Republicans.


One thought on “PART II: News Corp or News Corpse?

  1. Did ya hear?

    Which president in the last 50 years spent the most:
    Obama of course.

    But which president spent the LEAST?

    Speaking of “shame”, conservatives and Republicans have bought the BS that GWB spent “like a drunken sailor”.

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