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Murdoch $1m donation may not prove bias

Mark Mardell | 16:18 UK time, Wednesday, 18 August 2010

murdoch224x299.jpgMedia tycoon Rupert Murdoch, owner of the Sun and the Times in the UK, Fox and the Wall Street Journal in the States, has given $1m to help Republicans in this year's mid-term elections.

It is raising eyebrows. But should it?

Mr Murdoch uses his wealth and media muscle to promote conservative free market ideas. He's just as well known for backing obvious winners, like Tony Blair in 1997 and Barack Obama in 2008, in hope of access and influence. It largely worked with Blair.

But it hasn't with Mr Obama. His powerful and widely watched Fox News Channel has had a rocky relationship with the White House.

For a time the White House limited Fox journalists' access on the grounds that the channel was more interested in unrelenting propaganda against the Obama administration than in reporting the news. Somewhat tongue-in-cheek, the organisation's self promotion constantly repeats the phrase "fair and balanced".

Now Mr Murdoch's News Corp has given $1m to the Republican Governors Association. Thirty-seven state governorships are up for election in November and more than half of them are hotly contested. The cash injection is much needed.

It is fairly routine for media organisations to give money to the US political parties, but the owners of CBS, ABC and NBC have been relatively even-handed, giving similar amounts to both main parties - and in the realm of thousands of dollars, not millions.

Perhaps Mr Murdoch has been more fair and balanced than appears at first sight. Certainly Democrats believe that he has handed them a gift: proof positive that Fox is biased. But I doubt that this interpretation will make much difference to the viewers of the most avidly watched cable news channel, who either know exactly what they are watching or believe that as it reflects their views it must be neutral.

In an excellent article, John B Judas argues that populism is a deep current in American politics and that it need not only be a tool of the right. But at the moment it is and Fox does popular outrage better than the competition.

By the way, while I've been writing this I have been watching Fox for the last hour and there is no mention so far of this story. But they are carrying an Obama speech and a question-and-answer session live and without interruption.

Comments

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  • 1. At 5:45pm on 18 Aug 2010, steelpulse wrote:

    Mark Mardell - may I quote something back at you?

    "....your comments are key. I read them all, so please have your say".

    Well I did - on another thread - and well it failed to appear. I wanted to comment on Mr Murdoch's donation but........what am I allowed to say about anything Stateside.

    Or should I make like a dog sleigh driver? "Mush, mush, mush!"

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  • 2. At 6:08pm on 18 Aug 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    Here's a link to a Washington Post article on the contribution by Howard Kurtz: "News Corp. defends $1 million donation ..."

    The executive director of the Democratic Governors Association said: "It's a jaw-dropping violation of the boundary between the media and corporate realm." (from above linked article)

    Oh, please. We used to take for granted that newspapers represented one political party or another, in the era when cities had several newspapers. Now we worry whether they are "fair and balanced." I assume that the Murdoch properties have a conservative and Republican bias, and am not troubled by it.

    Anyway, a million dollars isn't what it used to be.

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  • 3. At 6:19pm on 18 Aug 2010, Jon wrote:

    Fox constantly says it is "fair and balanced" in much the same way that the Democratic Republic of Congo and Democratic People's Republic of Korea say that they are democratic. Just because it's their slogan, it doesn't mean it's true.

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  • 4. At 6:22pm on 18 Aug 2010, Drowse wrote:

    Honestly I think Dems are pretty aware of the fact that Fox News is conservatively biased. Quite frankly I think the whole network is offensive.. but Republicans tend to use the argument that their viewership is the highest of any of the major cable news networks..

    But really does that say anything?

    I get my news from multiple sources, BBC News, Yahoo News, The Daily Show, BoingBoing.net and MSNBC. Not just one source.

    The problem is that people are not fact checking the news themselves and since Fox News makes an emotionally charged news product, people respond to it without realizing they are being played a fool.

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  • 5. At 7:04pm on 18 Aug 2010, Crystal wrote:

    I would disagree that Murdoch is 'just as well known for backing obvious winners.'

    The author implies that the Republicans in this case are all 'obvious winners' in the governors' races and so we are to presume that the $1M to them is not bias, just hope for access and influence. But how would he influence them? Toward the so-called conservative point of view blasted 24/7 on Fox.

    It's nonsense to imply the contributions do not simply reflect his bias. Any contributions to the 'other' side are simply attempts to hedge his bets - in hopes of offsetting his obvious agenda when it is obvious his preferred candidate won't win no matter how much he contributes.

    Murdoch is far, far better known as the hand that rules the most blatantly biased fake news programming in the US.

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  • 6. At 7:05pm on 18 Aug 2010, radiorat wrote:

    Big deal--News and media Superamn Mr.Murdoch gives one million to Republican party--Ya so. It just goes to show that a Englishmen has fallen to Americas shock news covrage.Anybody want a guess who or where Ted Tunner gives his money? Just another reporter looking for shock value. Mark Mardell has been/is being turned into another shock jock reporter--Commonly found in the USA

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  • 7. At 7:14pm on 18 Aug 2010, joan_of_arc wrote:

    Rupert Murdoch is a perfect example of buying people with money to fit his business needs in America. His money will help lobbyist fight Congress on media restrictions that has been the talk all year.
    Even though Murdoch changed his citizenship in order to comply with U.S. media ownership rules, many of his companies have remained Australian, allowing them "to utilize arcane accounting rules that have pumped up reported profits and greatly aided Murdoch's periodic acquisition.
    How ironic, people fear Muslims, but don't understand the real concerns of Rupert Murdoch.

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  • 8. At 7:28pm on 18 Aug 2010, AZsparrow wrote:

    Oh please, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) is being hypocritical in making this a big deal, and only wants to further attempt to tarnish the Fox News name, which is owned by News Corp. GE donated $688,900 to Democrats through its PAC this election cycle, on top of the $237,000 it gave to the Democratic Governors Association..oops, where is the outcry over that; they own NBC, and that is just for starters, giving much more to related Democratic groups/PACs. Not to mention Time Warner owner of CNN, Viacom owner of CBS, Disney owner of ABC, all gave huge amounts to Democrats this year. They also gave to Republican associations as well to varying degrees, as mentioned, but we're splitting hairs here for propaganda. Bottom line is Political Parties have one priority, the getting and keeping of power... period; the interests of the people are a distant second. There isn't much difference between them, and especially in the way they wish to disparage each other whenever they can.

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  • 9. At 8:31pm on 18 Aug 2010, godfarmer wrote:

    the old geezer is in the entertainment business. fox is not really a news channel. if the daily show had a "counter part" fox news would be it. it's there to entertain mostly challenged rednecks (white collar or blue collar alike) who just swallow or profit from the populist bs that - as they like to say - it's been crammed down their throats. they like that one. there is no other cable network channel in the US that has normal humans saying stuff like "america is the single greatest country on earth that god has given to us". is that a sentence that a normal human being will be actually compelled to utter on national television? that is usually reserved for mentally distorded, money hungry televangelist. what about the rest of them - douchie and his parrot barbie and the new born christian alcoholic/drug addict one with the nazi fetish, the one that god talks to him? how is that news? it's pretty much like the benny hill show but politically twisted, pre-chewed and served to the politically and factually ignorant viewer. so, in conclusion - the donation does not prove the bias. it just makes it more obvious. and adds to the entertainment element.

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  • 10. At 8:33pm on 18 Aug 2010, Curt Carpenter wrote:

    Regardless of where it comes from, it seems to me that there is just too much money greasing the gears of the American political system -- and that's the -fundamental- problem. I've read, for example, that a congressperson today has to spend about one year of his two-year term scraping together money for the next campaign.

    And how will that money be spent? Anymore, it will most likely go to media organizations like Mr. Murdoch's to buy the latest state-of-the-art attack adds. These ads will be run by BOTH candidates in every contest, so good old Rupert stands to double his money every time! He doesn't care who -wins- as long as there's a good fight with plenty of paid-by-the-minute mudslinging.

    Responsible citizen's response: turn off the TV and cancel the newspaper six months prior to every election. There are plenty of other sources for real insight into candidates and their positions. Do this long enough, and the Murdochs of the world will be forced to find some other way to corrupt the political system.

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  • 11. At 8:38pm on 18 Aug 2010, PeteComas wrote:

    #6 -- We can all assume that Ted Turner chooses to support more Democrats than Republicans. Of course, that is only an assumption. The difference is that Turner gives money personally, not as a corporation with media holdings. It's one thing for Mr. Murdoch to make a personal donation, it's another thing for his corporation, News Corp., to do so.

    #8 -- As Mark pointed out, media companies frequently give to both major political parties. Thanks for being specific with the numbers given to the Democrats. Do you have figures for the amounts given by those companies to the Republicans? And do you have the amounts given by News Corp. to the Democratic Governor's Association? Perhaps you can supply a link or something so we can look the numbers up ourselves. I suspect you'll find that the numbers for most media organizations are similar for both parites. I suspect that won't be the case witih News Corp.

    Finally, as #2 pointed out, the history of newspapers in this country has been one of pushing political agendas. That's what newspapers were for. In major cities like New York, we have a daily newspaper with a liberal slant (New York Times), a daily with a conservative slant (the News Corp.-owned New York Post), a dailiy with a populist slant (the Daily News), and a daily that caters to the financial industry (the Wall Street Journal). All of these push a political agenda. There's nothing inherently wrong with that. What IS wrong is pushing a political agenda while denying that you're pushing a political agenda (the "fair and balanced" slogan). You can't have it both ways.

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  • 12. At 8:49pm on 18 Aug 2010, Edwin Cheddarfingers wrote:

    The real point is, does it even matter?

    If Americans are stupid enough to vote for a party as religiously zealous as the Republicans then they deserve everything they get. Most Americans fail to realise the likes of Sarah Palin is equally as nutty as Ahmadinejad in Iran, the only difference is once a Christian nut, and the others a Muslim nut.

    Let Murdoch fund whoever he wants, the Americans can reap what they sow, and if the Republicans gain more influence then the US will pay just as it did under Bush for 8 years- America's standing on the international stage has been devastated by their actions.

    Of course, the Democrats are far from perfect, Obama is a fool too his use of the BP oil spill to severely weaken a major British firm deflecting attention from his failings was a shocking display of incompetence.

    It's a shame really Americans don't have the courage to start looking seriously at voting up a 3rd or even 4th party- they're there, they just need the votes.

    But again, it's their problem at the end of the day. They'll vote who they vote for, and they'll suffer the consequences.

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  • 13. At 9:08pm on 18 Aug 2010, TheDudester wrote:

    Your characterization of Fox's constant repetition of the phrase "fair and balanced" when promoting themselves as "somewhat tongue-in-cheek" is wholly inaccurate. It is done in all seriousness and in the tradition of Joseph Goebbels' "a lie repeated thousands of times becomes a truth". Fox's viewers believe this myth of "fair and balanced" along with many others.

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  • 14. At 9:14pm on 18 Aug 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Very few media outlets in the US can be called unbiased when it comes to politics and this is definitely not a new phenomenon. Mr. Murdoch has never hidden his political convictions and his media empire supports and represents his views.

    What is unprecedented is the amount of Murdoch's donation, which was facilitated by the recent Supreme Court decision to allow unlimited donations by large corporations and those who can afford them. BTW, he is not the only one making very large donations to the GOP, Target did the same recently.

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  • 15. At 9:14pm on 18 Aug 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    12. At 8:49pm on 18 Aug 2010, iwinter wrote:

    "Most Americans fail to realise the likes of Sarah Palin is equally as nutty as Ahmadinejad in Iran, ..."
    ____________

    No, I don't agree with this.

    Long time readers here will know that I am not by any means a fan of the President of Iran.

    However, he has a degree in Civil Engineering obtained from an Iranian University. To have obtained entrance into an Iranian Engineering school at all, let alone to have graduated, means that he has genuine intelligence and ability.

    This is a man who should not be underestimated.

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  • 16. At 9:15pm on 18 Aug 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    iwinter (12) does not understand how the American political system works. There are many political parties in the US, but all but two of them are fringe parties which offer no practical alternative for governance. The dominance of only two parties is a mere consequence of the manner in which we elect our national government, and especially the president. It is not a matter of plan or of lack of courage.

    The only way I can see that the US will get a new party with any chance at governance is if the progressive wing of the Republican Party, which has been marginalized in recent years, bolts to form a new party based on fiscal conservatism and social liberalism. That will only happen if the the Republicans cease to be significant opposition to the Democrats, as a result of their narrow-minded approach to politics. We are a long way from that now.

    More likely is that at some time in the distant future, the Republican Party shifts to become more inclusive and less reactionary. I'm not holding my breath for either.

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  • 17. At 9:18pm on 18 Aug 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 12, iwinter

    "Most Americans fail to realise the likes of Sarah Palin is equally as nutty as Ahmadinejad in Iran..."

    Most Americans are well aware of Ms. Palin's limitations, but we also know that, if elected, she will only be a figurehead manipulated by a strong VP (ala Cheney) and special interest "advisors" who would dictate policy during her tenure.

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  • 18. At 9:21pm on 18 Aug 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    PeteComas (11): "Do you have figures for the amounts given by those companies to the Republicans?"

    Read the linked article in post #2.

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  • 19. At 10:12pm on 18 Aug 2010, Paddytoplad wrote:

    As has been pointed out many organizations in the media in the states donate money to the dems as well as the republicans. Some figures are smaller but in accumulations they amount to some very significant amounts.

    Why does the beeb care? Did you object to Alan sugars donations to labour or Murdochs huge support of Blair. Sugar has donated millions to labour and news int donations helped Blair become the most successful labour pm ever. Where were the questions of the suns balance when king Tony ruled the roost?Come to think of it did you question the expresses support of Blair when despond gave his million. you objected to the soft porn not the the political bias

    does you criticism say more about your own bias?

    put it this way, fair and balanced wouldn't describe the beeb either

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  • 20. At 10:22pm on 18 Aug 2010, Jill wrote:

    I suppose that's why these guys desire to run media conglomerates. It has always been a way for the owners to get their opinions out there. Hearst certainly did it. Ted Turner. Sumner Redstone. That's just the way it will always be.

    I think it's funny that Rupert held a Mogul Book Club Meeting (with Sumner Redstone, Jeff Zucker et al) on his boat and the book they read was "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo".

    http://mankabros.com/chairmans-blog/2010/08/book-club-meeting-on-rupert-mu.html

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  • 21. At 10:23pm on 18 Aug 2010, Don Camillo wrote:

    Fox does some really nasty things to Obama. A devastating example is carrying his speeches live and without comment. Nothing could make our president look worse than that! A few nasty comments would at least make it seem that Fox was biased and trying to undermine the president.

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  • 22. At 11:01pm on 18 Aug 2010, rodidog wrote:

    "For a time the White House limited Fox journalists' access on the grounds that the channel was more interested in unrelenting propaganda against the Obama administration than in reporting the news."

    The Whitehouse attempted to remove FOX from the press pool in an attempt to silence and blackball them. It failed only because the other networks refused to accept it. The unrelenting propaganda against FOX from this administration should be more troubling to folks than Murdoch having a little pay back.

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  • 23. At 11:09pm on 18 Aug 2010, kenny64 wrote:

    Murdoch may consistently back Republicans in the US with his Fox News and Wall Street Journal. However he does switch his support of parties from time to time in the UK and Australia which have major outposts of his media empire. In the 80s he supported Thatcher in the UK but also the Australian Labor Party in Australia. In the 90s and early 2000s, he supported Tony Blair and the Uk Labour Party but also supported John Howard and the Liberal/National coalition in Australia. He started supporting these leaders before they won their respective elections. The fact he hasn't supported the Democrats very much - does that say something about the Democrats or about Murdoch's rather different interpretation of American politics compared to that of the UK and Australia.

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  • 24. At 11:18pm on 18 Aug 2010, Bill Baur wrote:

    Fox is no different than the other news organizations. MSNBC are blatant liberals. CNN is so anti-Christian/liberal that they make no effort to hide it - they are just a bunch of materialist/atheist nuts. All of our news organizations are crap.

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  • 25. At 11:19pm on 18 Aug 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    Fox is the only news channel that will say what the Obama Admin. doesn't want Americans to hear. This is why it is so popular. In many ways, Fox is a renegade cowboy that blazes its own trail rather than being told what to do, what to feel, etc.

    NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN are all slanted to the left.

    Fox is the only channel slanted to the right.

    I like Fox, but I do not like Murdoch, as I simply do not trust him. I get the impression that all Murdoch cares about is power, money, cheap labor, greed, ect.

    Fox has heart. I don't know that Murdoch has one...

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  • 26. At 11:35pm on 18 Aug 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    Murdoch is putting money where his mouth is.

    He obviously thinks that Republicans' stocks are going up.

    With all the ultraliberal divisive issues Obama has supported, I would have to agree with him that the GOP is coming back into power sooner than later. For the first time in my life, I am going to vote GOP.

    If Obama had stayed moderate and kept out of the ultraliberal divisive issues, I would still likely be supporting him. After all, I voted for him because I thought he was a moderate. I was wrong. He is liberal with a ultraliberal agenda, which has now become clear after election. Obama's true colors are showing. I had so many high hopes for Obama, but I cannot support his controversial ultraliberal divisive issues...

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  • 27. At 11:41pm on 18 Aug 2010, Scott0962 wrote:

    If it were liberal Ted Turner, founder of CNN, donating a similar amount to the Democrats it wouldn't rate more than passing mention in the news.

    FOX News is hated by the liberals because they can't stand the idea of intellectual competition and want a monopoly on what news people are allowed to view, hear or read.

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  • 28. At 11:52pm on 18 Aug 2010, Scott0962 wrote:

    re. #12. At 8:49pm on 18 Aug 2010, iwinter wrote:
    "Let Murdoch fund whoever he wants, the Americans can reap what they sow, and if the Republicans gain more influence then the US will pay just as it did under Bush for 8 years- America's standing on the international stage has been devastated by their actions."


    Most Americans don't give a tinker's d_mn about the country's standing on "the international stage". They're more concerned about the unsustainable government deficits, the quality of their children's education and whether they'll still have a job to go to next week. We've become accustomed to the idea that most of the world will criticize us no matter what we do.

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  • 29. At 11:59pm on 18 Aug 2010, Reiverpacific wrote:

    I have personally emailed both Fox (or "Fix" as Keith Olbermann correctly calls them) and the FCC to complain about this channel calling itself constantly "Fair and Balanced" but as yet have had no reply. I don't dispute their right to exist or be on-air but with this ploy, they suck in the easily-swayed ferful and angry section of the populace and then unleash their battering rams of right-wing fantasy and vitriol on them -then they are hooked! I'm talking of the USA here, and about the type of folks who yell "Keep the government's hands off my Medicare and Social Security!" -I'm not making this up by the way- as Fox tends to do regularly to fit and embellish their already carefully targeted, selectively worded and fact-light messages of infotainment. I mean, this is the kind of back-door bunko that shows cowardice at its most pernicious! If they would just come right out and be up front in-your-face as being directly identifiable with the far-right agenda, fine. But to scream this falsehood (echoed by the appalling Mrs. Palin and the Beck, O'Reilly and Hannity cast of people-eaters) is blatant (and seemingly accountability-free) chicanery.
    So: are they so ashamed of their uber-conservatism that they chose to cloak themselves in it's fullness, in the glaring light of public scrutiny? Will their ratings and advertising sponsors drop so significantly if they open up to their true identity?
    I wonder!

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  • 30. At 00:12am on 19 Aug 2010, marji wrote:

    This man is a greedy immoral parasite. They bombard their ignorant viewers w/ lies re policies contemplated, causing them to protest against their best interest. Labor unions are demonized as the cause of outsourcing, higher wages will result in massive layoffs, taxing our wealthy will cause them to flee. Health care equals death as they do in the UK, as you dont treat cancer victims.Repeat that 10000 times on every show every day. I hated the UK and I knew better. But they roll out other brits to nail it in the un-brained.Then they'll quote their OWN nwspaper. Genius gibberish for the gaggles. Mosques equals US becoming like UK, accepting Sharia? law. All these nuts use these lies as legit arguments. THEY HATE the UK and EU. WAtch Wash journal or L King for call-in's.They parrot that crap. Wonder what damage is done to those econs. Funny thing is they dont know he's foreign.

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  • 31. At 00:13am on 19 Aug 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    Fox has every right to say what they want.

    Its called freedom of speech.

    This does not mean one has to agree with them.

    It is not equal to say only some new organizations can have freedom of speech, but not others.

    All news organizations have the right to freedom of speech, from the slanted left to the slanted right. Otherwise it would all be one-sided.

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  • 32. At 00:20am on 19 Aug 2010, Simon21 wrote:

    28. At 11:52pm on 18 Aug 2010, Scott0962 wrote:
    re. #12. At 8:49pm on 18 Aug 2010, iwinter wrote:
    "Let Murdoch fund whoever he wants, the Americans can reap what they sow, and if the Republicans gain more influence then the US will pay just as it did under Bush for 8 years- America's standing on the international stage has been devastated by their actions."


    Most Americans don't give a tinker's d_mn about the country's standing on "the international stage". They're more concerned about the unsustainable government deficits, the quality of their children's education and whether they'll still have a job to go to next week. We've become accustomed to the idea that most of the world will criticize us no matter what we do.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Aren't you the one concerned about the great war on Islam?

    What's happened?

    As it happens I agree with you. The number of Americans who are worried about Iran, Afghanistan or Israel is miniscule and always has been.

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  • 33. At 00:23am on 19 Aug 2010, Simon21 wrote:

    15. At 9:14pm on 18 Aug 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:
    12. At 8:49pm on 18 Aug 2010, iwinter wrote:

    "Most Americans fail to realise the likes of Sarah Palin is equally as nutty as Ahmadinejad in Iran, ..."
    ____________

    No, I don't agree with this.

    Long time readers here will know that I am not by any means a fan of the President of Iran.

    However, he has a degree in Civil Engineering obtained from an Iranian University. To have obtained entrance into an Iranian Engineering school at all, let alone to have graduated, means that he has genuine intelligence and ability.

    This is a man who should not be underestimated.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The fact that he retains considerable popularity also needs investigating.

    No western diplomat seems capable of answering this simple question, though one implied he was very popular among poor Iranians, but again no explanation why.

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  • 34. At 00:34am on 19 Aug 2010, marji wrote:

    The mystery of the great ratings is called demonize. He and his son tear on the BBC and the (boo hoo) unfairness of it all. And dispels it as state propaganda, though polls prove otherwise. Same in USA except they LIE and claim other news ch arent covering stories that they ARE! Pick any topic that was major and ONLY FOX carried it cos other news dont want us to know or they dont care. Also Dems watch msnbc, cnn, cnn intl, hln, bbc cspan etc. Our brainwashed neocons are too terrorized not to watch fox. No other network will alert them of the invasion of socialists or muslims, dying brits wanting to steal our GREAT health care. Or the bombs Iran is lobbing our way. What a life we live amongst these ghouls. Forget our right to be free of fear if means profits to the un-souled.

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  • 35. At 01:04am on 19 Aug 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    Simon21 wrote:
    The fact that he retains considerable popularity also needs investigating.

    No western diplomat seems capable of answering this simple question, though one implied he was very popular among poor Iranians, but again no explanation why.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Simon, what about the Green Revolution?

    Many of the Iranian people, especially college students and women, tried to make a stand and protested against Ahmajimjad during the Green Revolution.

    Because they protested against him, many were harmed, sent to jail, raped or even murdered.

    He is "popular", indeed, for good reason.

    What person in their right mind wants to disagree with him and risk themself or their family members getting sent to jail, raped or murdered?

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  • 36. At 01:34am on 19 Aug 2010, McJakome wrote:

    27. At 11:41pm on 18 Aug 2010, Scott0962 wrote:
    “If it were liberal Ted Turner, founder of CNN, donating a similar amount to the Democrats it wouldn't rate more than passing mention in the news.

    FOX News is hated by the liberals because they can't stand the idea of intellectual competition and want a monopoly on what news people are allowed to view, hear or read.”

    I am utterly flabbergasted! FOX being “intellectual” in any interpretation is incredible!

    FOX is the anti-intellectual station; Bill O’Reilly calls liberals “pointy headed intellectuals.” FOX doesn’t even have the chutzpah to call themselves intellectuals [while calling themselves fair and balanced-itself requiring enormous amounts of chutzpah, since it is so obviously untrue].

    But FOX does seem to have a monopoly on simple-minded airheads; I believe they have recruited Sarah Palin for their “fair and balanced intellectual” faux news team.

    DISCLAIMER: I don’t like CNN because it was equally unfair and imbalanced in the early years. They have become much more smooth and slick than the still relatively crude FOX, but I still don’t trust them, either.

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  • 37. At 01:45am on 19 Aug 2010, bloominlovely wrote:

    Yes, Fox is right-leaning but all the "mainstream" national news shows are now hard left wing so it does provide a balance and a choice. The ratings for Fox have gone through the roof as it's the only place to get fairly unbiased news. Can you imagine the BBC and ITV only presenting one political party's view? That's what we now have in the U.S., that's what is being taught in universities and promoted in high schools.

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  • 38. At 02:46am on 19 Aug 2010, jillfromni wrote:

    We were very disappointed when the BBC New America with Matt Frei relinquished the 10:00 slot in the Washington area leaving CNN and Fox as (to us) unacceptable alternatives. BBC news not only informs, it also educates. Please reconsider!

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  • 39. At 02:46am on 19 Aug 2010, Michael wrote:

    A newspaper puts 'fair and balanced' as their motto in the same way a used car salesman uses the name 'Honest': if you have to point it out, you're not.

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  • 40. At 03:12am on 19 Aug 2010, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    27. At 11:41pm on 18 Aug 2010, Scott0962 wrote:

    "FOX News is hated by the liberals because they can't stand the idea of intellectual competition and want a monopoly on what news people are allowed to view, hear or read. "

    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

    I'll bet you also think Uncle Rush is an intellectual heavyweight.

    If you are a representative of 'right' thinking, the end is very near.

    KScurmudgeon
    old, feeling very old.

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  • 41. At 03:33am on 19 Aug 2010, mabelwhite wrote:

    Why do you speak of Murdoch rather than Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, the largest single shareholder of Fox News parent News Corporation?

    "Among his many assets are:...90% ownership of Lebanese Broadcasting Center ( LBCSAT ); 7% of News Corp (Fox News); about 6% of Citigroup; ...and 25% of Al Diyar, two daily newspapers published in Lebanon..." although the source of his wealth, and his role as a front man, have been questioned.

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  • 42. At 03:39am on 19 Aug 2010, happyday321 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 43. At 05:03am on 19 Aug 2010, thefrogstar wrote:

    The political tack of Murdoch-controlled corporations has a history going back many decades and is consistent to the point of being highly predictable, so this piece of news will probably surprise only a few people.

    Generally, "politics" always takes a back seat to profitability in the Murdoch empire. If local politics require that his views be tempered, or perhaps not shouted too loudly, then that is what will happen. At least, up until the point where worried politicians feel the need to arrange some private meetings with him.

    But before he "went West" from the UK to America, his flag-ship newspaper made some additions to the English language, as it is used in the UK. Most people in the UK knew that a "page 3 Girl" was a full-page photograph of a topless model (on page 3), and those people could also name the news paper. I suspect many fewer people in the USA are aware of this.

    Then, some years ago, he re-discovered Christianity, which was never going to help sell a lot of newspapers or TV programmes in the UK, but would probably do no harm at all to an astute businessman looking to expand his media empire in the USA.
    Was Murdoch's "road to Damascus" conversion genuine? I doubt it.

    As mentioned in post #14, the significant change has been the supreme court ruling in the USA allowing companies (not just private individuals) to make large donations to political parties.

    The actual $amount of this donation is not large, but it is an open statement to all politicans, effectively saying "What are your bids that will win the support of FOX media?".

    History suggests that other shareholders in his companies will not object to party-political donations, because Murdoch's judgement when mixing business with national-politics has been very successful, so far.

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  • 44. At 05:09am on 19 Aug 2010, bavb wrote:

    Recent studies are showing the median age of Fox news viewers is 51 with the average being 67. I don't know many fair and balanced 67 year olds over here, much less intellectual. In the US our 67 year olds are quite the opposite of intellectual. They are hilarious!!!!! I think Fox News entertains them, they don't care about the truth, they're OLD!!!!!!!! Here's a secret: Old people in the US are Idiots.

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  • 45. At 06:35am on 19 Aug 2010, CraigMorecambe wrote:

    Mark, you might want to correct your spelling of the name of the man who wrote the "excellent article". It's John B. Judis, not John B. Judas.

    Or you might want to keep it as it is for comic effect!

    (Mr. Judis, incidentally, was one of the people on Ezra Klein's controversial JournoList.)

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  • 46. At 06:39am on 19 Aug 2010, thefrogstar wrote:

    bavb (#44),

    I hate to get all numerical on you, but can you supply the source of those statistics, or at least how they were calculated, because I find them very hard to believe.

    The "average" is 67 ? Consider the general population, and life expectancy (currently about 78 in the US).

    Are there as many 87 year olds as 47 year olds (average is 67)?
    Are there as many 97 year olds as 37 year olds (average is 67)?
    Are there as many 107 year olds as 27 year olds (average is 67)?

    Are there as many 83 year olds as 51 year olds (average is 67)?

    Yet you quote the most frequent age (median) to be 51.
    Wow! I'll bet some of those people making the average up to 67 are looking forward to their 200th birthday.

    Now, if you said that the older people spend more time watching TV, and the "average" includes an adjustment based on "hours watched", then I might believe it.

    ....But I would still describe it as a case of "FOX mathematics".


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  • 47. At 06:52am on 19 Aug 2010, thefrogstar wrote:

    Yes, my last post does not give the correct definition of "median". But it matters not. A median of 51 requires that there are as many people below 51 as there are above it. Imagine how skewed the age-profile would hsve to be to make the average 67.

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  • 48. At 07:55am on 19 Aug 2010, Slartibartfarst wrote:

    "Certainly Democrats believe that he has handed them a gift: proof positive that Fox is biased"

    Coming from the BBC this is absolutely incredible. And worryingly, I really think Mark Mardell believes the BBC is unbiased.

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  • 49. At 08:01am on 19 Aug 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    'Butthey are carrying an Obama speech and a question-and-answer session live and without interruption."


    for a balance posters of that blog can watch the same on BBC.

    Nad judge for themselves who's video of better quality

    At least when watched in HD :)

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  • 50. At 08:49am on 19 Aug 2010, Doug wrote:

    It is interesting from a UK perspective to hear the Democrats described as left wing. If they were to run in the UK they would be considered far to the right wing and in Continental Europe extreme right wing. I suppose it is just a matter of perspective.

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  • 51. At 09:00am on 19 Aug 2010, foxyeric wrote:

    I believe that the media should stay firmly out of politics only because people DO believe what they read.
    It is my opinion that the media in general have too much power over everything. Becoming even more powerful than the Church and Political systems.
    Sometimes I begin to understand why some countries to restrict the media.

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  • 52. At 09:45am on 19 Aug 2010, Gnomey wrote:

    48. At 07:55am on 19 Aug 2010, Slartibartfarst wrote:

    "Certainly Democrats believe that he has handed them a gift: proof positive that Fox is biased"

    Coming from the BBC this is absolutely incredible. And worryingly, I really think Mark Mardell believes the BBC is unbiased.


    One of the few truths I've dredged from the politically troll laden pages of Have Your Say, is that the BBC is almost equally castigated by both the left and the right for excessive bias. This tells me that they're getting their neutrality about right

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  • 53. At 09:50am on 19 Aug 2010, RobOMalley wrote:

    The relationship between politics and media in The US and The UK is different. The kind of reporting on US news channels would not be permitted here on tv although it would be in print media. The power of television is such that opinions which are represented as being fact (in the same way as Bill O'Reilly on Fox or the more left-leaning channels do)is considered in the UK to be a dangerous thing to do. In practice, Sky News does tend to be slightly more right-wing than the BBC but these differences are not as stark as they are between US news channels. But I think it's snobbery on part of my fellow Brits (and even the rest of Europe) to suggest that the Americans don't understand this. Of course, the big difference is that Americans actually watch these nightly political opinion shows. I wish we had more people with such an active interest here.

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  • 54. At 10:56am on 19 Aug 2010, d_m wrote:

    37. At 01:45am on 19 Aug 2010, bloominlovely wrote:


    "Yes, Fox is right-leaning but all the "mainstream" national news shows are now hard left wing so it does provide a balance..."


    ----

    Ekxtremes on the right and left don't provide balance. They just provide extremes on the right and left.

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  • 55. At 12:48pm on 19 Aug 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    54. At 10:56am on 19 Aug 2010, d_m wrote:
    "37. At 01:45am on 19 Aug 2010, bloominlovely wrote:


    "Yes, Fox is right-leaning but all the "mainstream" national news shows are now hard left wing so it does provide a balance..."


    ----

    Ekxtremes on the right and left don't provide balance. They just provide extremes on the right and left."

    That assumes of course that the assertion that "all the "mainstream" national news shows are now hard left wing " is actually true.

    I rarely see such shows - I assume some are available on the web - but I am pretty certain that they are not 'hard left' by any reasonable standard.

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  • 56. At 1:49pm on 19 Aug 2010, Roland D wrote:

    Perhaps it's better for Fox to be openly biased, so the audience can interpret accordingly, than hoodwink your audience by pretending not to be biased like, say, the BBC.

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  • 57. At 1:57pm on 19 Aug 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #53

    Many of us here in a former British colony watch RT (official Russian TV), France 24 (official French TV), DW (official German TV), not to mention BBC.


    And, on top of that, some of us don't need official propaganda to find out what really happens in certain regions of interest (to us) because we can afford to pay locals (yes, that includes Taliban chiftains and Quds commanders) to tell us what's going to happen in real time. :)

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  • 58. At 6:01pm on 19 Aug 2010, BluesBerry wrote:

    Murdoch $1m donation may not prove bias, but it's a pretty fair indicator. Not that that it bothers me; aren't people supposed to be biased towards one party or another. Generally, we call this party-support, and if you're seriously biased and motivated, you may actually support your party financially and/or vote.
    Mr Murdoch uses his wealth and media muscle to promote conservative free market ideas (maybe), but I think it's far more important to him to pick the winner. He wants influence with the winner; he wants to exert pressure on the winner.
    This shows in Fox News Channel's rocky relationship with the White House; clearly, Obama is not the horse to back. He is no longer a winner.
    Of course promotion constantly repeats the phrase "fair and balanced". What do you expect them to say: "We are trained puppets for the Murdoch empire and we tremble lest we lose our jobs because we have no real training in unbiased news reporting."
    It is fairly routine for media organisations to give money to the US political parties, but the owners of CBS, ABC and NBC have been relatively even-handed; this is how we know how controlling Mr. Murdoch's political expectations are.
    The viewers of the most avidly watched cable news channel are conservative to say the least; actually I would prefer ultra conservative and slightly brain-washed.
    By the way, while I've been writing this I have been watching Fox (just like you did); there is still no mention of the Murdock contribution. That's why it's important that we have people like you who are not biased.

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  • 59. At 6:51pm on 19 Aug 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    thefrogstar (46 and 47), here is a link to a report that the average age of Fox News viewers is 65: The Hollywood Reporter

    There is nothing inconsistent in the figures reported by bavb at 44. A median of 51 means that half the Fox News viewers are younger than 51 and half are older. I expect there are very few teens and younger watching Fox News (or any news, for that matter). If those viewers younger than 51 are mostly in their 40s, and those older are in their 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s, the average age could easily be in the middle 60s. I know one Fox News viewer who is 90, and there are certainly a few more of these.

    Your error seems to be that you are thinking of the general population, whereas the figures apply only to the population of Fox News viewers.

    By the way, the most frequent result is the mode.

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  • 60. At 10:45pm on 19 Aug 2010, d_m wrote:

    55. At 12:48pm on 19 Aug 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:
    54. At 10:56am on 19 Aug 2010, d_m wrote:
    "37. At 01:45am on 19 Aug 2010, bloominlovely wrote:


    "Yes, Fox is right-leaning but all the "mainstream" national news shows are now hard left wing so it does provide a balance..."


    ----

    Ekxtremes on the right and left don't provide balance. They just provide extremes on the right and left."

    That assumes of course that the assertion that "all the "mainstream" national news shows are now hard left wing " is actually true.

    I rarely see such shows - I assume some are available on the web - but I am pretty certain that they are not 'hard left' by any reasonable standard.

    ----

    I agree. I don't believe the mainstream media are hard left, but bloominlovely does, and I just wanted to suggest that exttremes on the left and right didn't equal some middle ground, while avoiding a futile debate about media bias.

    BTW: I invariably enjoy your posts.

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  • 61. At 04:27am on 20 Aug 2010, Andy Post wrote:

    Mark:

    'Somewhat tongue-in-cheek, the organisation's self promotion constantly repeats the phrase "fair and balanced".'

    Tongue-in-cheek? Are you sure about that? The isn't my take, but you may have better access.

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  • 62. At 04:29am on 20 Aug 2010, Andy Post wrote:

    Mark:

    "It is fairly routine for media organisations to give money to the US political parties, but the owners of CBS, ABC and NBC have been relatively even-handed, giving similar amounts to both main parties - and in the realm of thousands of dollars, not millions."

    Yes, and that's clear bias. Call a spade a spade.

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  • 63. At 1:51pm on 20 Aug 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 60. At 10:45pm on 19 Aug 2010, d_m wrote:

    "I agree. I don't believe the mainstream media are hard left, but bloominlovely does, and I just wanted to suggest that exttremes on the left and right didn't equal some middle ground, while avoiding a futile debate about media bias.

    BTW: I invariably enjoy your posts."

    [a] Yes, I was disagreeing with bloominlovely

    [b] Thanks

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  • 64. At 5:19pm on 20 Aug 2010, McJakome wrote:

    56. At 1:49pm on 19 Aug 2010, Roland D wrote:
    Perhaps it's better for Fox to be openly biased, so the audience can interpret accordingly, than hoodwink your audience by pretending not to be biased like, say, the BBC.

    Except that they are not “openly biased,” they claim, literally ad nauseam, to be fair and balanced, which is deceptive, and deliberately so. This propaganda technique is older than Josef Goebbels' "Big Lies if repeated frequently will be believed" formula.

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  • 65. At 01:22am on 21 Aug 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    Fox is slanted to the right and ABC, NBC, CBS and CNN are slanted to the left.

    There is no such thing as an American news channel that is not biased...

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  • 66. At 02:03am on 21 Aug 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    65. At 01:22am on 21 Aug 2010, LucyJ wrote:
    "Fox is slanted to the right and ABC, NBC, CBS and CNN are slanted to the left."
    "There is no such thing as an American news channel that is not biased..."

    ____________

    Try the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.

    The big advantage there is that (rather unlike some of the broadcasters you have identified) they also make a genuine attempt to present hard news instead of infotainment fluff.

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  • 67. At 4:32pm on 22 Aug 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    66, I do watch Jim Lehrer on PBS occasionally. It is usually non-biased, I guess as non-biased as you can be in today's day and age. I agree that PBS is a good channel. Alan Alda Science experiments, Nature lovers, the cooking shows, traveling, universe and space, plants, kids shows like Thomas the Tank Engine with Ringo Starr as the Conductor, etc...

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  • 68. At 08:35am on 23 Aug 2010, cassandrina wrote:

    Americans probably need reminding that the BBC is a left-leaning news agency funded by British taxpayers, where its stated mandate is to be non-biased and objective.
    It has been left-leaning for at least 16 years and the only time it has been subject to real government interferance was ironically by the past left Labour government under Tony Blair. This was caused by the BBC stating specific concerns over the death of a scientist involved in the Iraq War. The Chairman and CEO of the BBC was removed and new left-wingers installed and are still in place.
    As such the BBC actively promotes the Democratic Party and Obama in the USA, and is opposed to Murdoch and Fox News.
    Many of you will know this, but not all.

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