Monday, October 19, 2009

Fox silent on owner's commie-cuddling

White House spokeswoman Anita Dunn tonight was raked over the coals by a Fox opinion panel anxious to spotlight her lame attempt at antithesis when seeming to uphold both Mother Theresa and Mao Tse Tung as sources of wisdom. As the panel pointed out, this was especially absurd rhetoric to use before a high school audience.

But the panelists, who included conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer, who is a Fox regular; a writer for the highly conservative American Spectator; and a National Public Radio commentator who also shows up on Fox, never broached the controversies concerning Fox owner Rupert Murdoch's various accommodations of communism. Prior to his takeover of the Wall Street Journal, a group of Journal reporters blasted Murdoch's bid based on their experiences covering China and their belief that Murdoch would permit Communist influence to soften the Journal's coverage of what is still red China. (Glenn Beck made a nasty joke about setting up a Red phone to the White House while also dutifully avoiding his boss's affinity for communistic favors.)

I went to Fox's web site a few minutes ago to review the panel discussion, but a diligent search failed to turn it up, although a number of other Fox items concerning the controversy with the White House were available.

True, Fox can defend the panel's bias as coming under "opinion." But, nevertheless, no opinion was permitted concerning Murdoch's shady dealings with communism. I didn't closely check every Fox news report, but the ones I scanned all avoided mention of Murdoch's own problems of communist connections.

In any event, Fox is certainly ridiculous when it runs a ballot -- under "comment" of course -- like this:

"You decide:

* They want to shoot the messenger
* They don't have a good case to make
* They confuse News and Opinion
* I don't know"

Those are the options. What about, "The White House might be right";  "They do have a good case to make"; or "The news is slanted so that Obama is always wrong, no matter what"?

Or even better, "Do you agree that Fox News is essentially an arm of the Republican Party?"

The Hannity show made much of Dunn's statement that the campaign had found a way to get Obama's unedited words past reporters during the campaign season. Somehow that transmogrified into a Fox accusation that rival news organizations were under the control of the White House.

Yet, Fox has been airing stuff from journalists for those rival organizations saying that the White House is in error. As a former reporter, I know where they're coming from. But, whatever the failings of other news organizations, no one has ever accused the Murdoch press of objectivity or being worthy of being considered professional NEWS media. As another former newspaperman, Obama aide David Axelrod, said, Murdoch may be clever at making money, but that doesn't qualify his wares for the category of legitimate news.

Sure, sometimes Fox reporters develop good stories. But, look at the ones they are directed to avoid. Aren't they compelled to kowtow to the Murdoch theory of 9/11? You don't call that news bias?

Let this sink in: the Murdoch theory of 9/11 comes from an organization headed by a fellow with a history of  commie-cuddling.

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