I think about the way Fox News feeds lies to a credulous audience and I wonder what these people are up to. What would make a “news” channel offer itself to political hacks as a propaganda organ? Why do they deliberately re-ignite age-old fires and set Americans against each other?
To get more viewers and more advertising? To make its owners happy?
All of the above?
Whatever their motives, I fear they could destroy America.
Surely, Fox could make a decent profit without pandering to the most ignoble instincts of the American viewer? You have to be really desperate to stoop to hiring someone like Glenn Beck, that deeply troubled former disc jockey and theology class drop-out.
But why would Fox be so desperate?
The station was founded a decade and a half ago to compete with CNN, which was then owned by Ted Turner and commanded respect as a reputable round-the-clock news source. Since that time, Fox has built up a bigger audience than CNN, which has gradually deteriorated into a typical example of pallid corporate media.
To attract viewers, Fox uses female anchors, who cross and uncross their legs, and other tried-and-true tricks of tabloid journalism. It’s the National Enquirer on steroids. That’s certainly not admirable, but it’s much less dangerous than raking the embers of race hatred and encouraging fear and loathing of each other.
What’s the end game here?
Fox is owned by News Corp., a public company controlled by Rupert Mourdoch, who (with other family members) owns nearly a third of the shares. The second-largest shareholder is Prince Alwaleed bin Talal al-Saud of Saudi Arabia, who owns 7 percent of the company.
I don’t see the Saudi Arabian prince having an axe to grind in American politics, although stranger things have happened. I believe it’s the Australian media magnate’s character and agenda that are reflected by Fox.
Murdoch (pictured above with wife Wendi Deng), became an American citizen so he could own U.S. television stations. He operates newspapers, radio and TV outlets, music companies, satellite TV companies – and more – around the world. I am sure he is not hurting for money.
But to make more money, he seems willing to prostitute his “news” outlets. He was quoted in the Toronto Globe & Mail as promising guests at the McGraw-Hill Media Summit recently that his Fox business channel would be “more business-friendly than CNBC.”
There’s more than money to the Fox vendetta, however.
It’s no secret that Murdoch doesn’t think much of the current U.S. president.
At the recent New York Forum, he declared:
It’s irresponsible of President Obama (I shouldn’t say corrupt) to seemingly stand aloof on various important issues while focusing only on a select few.
Remember that cartoon in Murdoch’s New York Post depicting Obama as a chimpanzee gunned down by police? And remember how Murdoch endorsed Beck’s remark that Obama is “a racist with a deep-seated hatred of white people”?
In various pronouncements, Murdoch has called the president “dangerous,” described his policies as “nonsense” and accused him of “punishing business.”
What does Murdoch want?
He says he wants less government and lower taxes. He is contemptuous of health-care reform legislation. And he is an avowed skeptic on climate change.
I believe Murdoch’s objective is to bring down Obama. And in the process he could very well bring down America.
The wounds that the Fox agitators are reopening run deep. The schisms they are promoting are wide. The ancient prejudices and hatreds they are reviving are toxic.
It is Rupert Murdoch who is being “irresponsible.” He is fiddling while America burns.