"It was an amazing document, a mixture of error, fact, exaggeration, prejudice, and the most sentimental patriotism, which made highly damaging charges against the British general staff…many of them untrue. But the basis of the charges – that the Gallipoli expedition was in danger of disaster – was correct."
— the Australian writer Phillip Knightley, on Keith Murdoch’s role in revealing the botched British invasion in World War 1, which took a heavy toll on Australian and New Zealand forces. The Independent reports Rupert Murdoch spoke about his father’s effort to reveal the extent of the debacle during an hour-long interview with the BBC, a competitor that he routinely trashes in Twitter and elsewhere.
The LA Times’s Meg James reports from the annual shareholder meetings for the new 21st Century Fox that an investor effort to shunt him aside as chairman failed once more. This move to win an independent chairman was led by Tim Shaler of Christian Bros. Investment Services, who oversees $4.6B in investments on behalf of Catholic institutions. Two years ago, Rupert had a curt riposte to a critical query from an investor who acted on behalf of the Church of England: “Your investments haven’t been that great.”
Such was the phrase used to dismiss the concerns of a shareholder advisory group, ISS, over the presence of the Murdochs (and their associates) on the 21st Century Fox board by corporate spokesman Nathaniel Brown. Given that the Murdochs and their largest outside investor and close ally, Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, control about 47 percent of all voting shares, the call holds little peril for the family. Brown’s dismissal alluded to the ISS concerns over the reaction of 21C’s predecessor company, the old News Corp, to the hacking scandal in the UK. Historic or not, the scandal cost News Corp (and 21C) hundreds of millions of dollars since the summer of 2011, with the tab still running; several former UK top executives and prominent journalists for the company are about to go on trial later this month.
When is the last time Fox News fell for an equally damaging fake story that cut against the GOP or conservatives? Fox News’ Fox&Friends host Anna Kooiman reported that President Obama would pay out of pocket to keep open a “Museum of Muslim Culture” amid the government shutdown. The liberal group Media Matters tracked down the source: a fake story from the satiric “National Report.” Note the photo of the “International Museum of Muslim Cultures” in Jackson, Miss - pretty clearly the Milwaukee Art Museum. It is hard to recall when a similar mistake on Fox wrongly cast a figure on the political right in an equally embarrassing light. Obviously, journalists prove capable of fallibility on a daily basis. But Fox once again comes off, at best, as awfully credulous of anything that will make Obama & the Dems look bad.
I tuned in Friday evening to Bret Baier’s panel of pundits in the second half of the 6 pm hour to see longtime ABC NEWS pundit George Will make his Fox debut and it hit me: With Will, Charles Lane, and Charles Krauthammer on board, three of the four commentators are pundits for the Washington Post. (The exception: Democratic strategist Kirsten Powers.) Who says newspapers are irrelevant? As shown with Fox’s hiring of former WashPo and Daily Beast (and CNN) media critic Howard Kurtz, Fox News chairman Roger Ailes actually loves to raid the supposedly hated MSM.
"[W]hile many of you claim to respect people in the public eye who stand up for their views, no matter how unpopular, what you really mean is you respect people in the public eye who stand up for your views. What I’ve learned reading your comments over several years now is that many of you only want your views validated. Nothing else is good enough."
Fox News’ Bernie Goldberg on the conservative “ayatollahs” among his viewers. He is also author of “Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distorts the News” and “A Slobbering Love Affair: The True (and Pathetic) Story of the Torrid Romance between Barack Obama and the Mainstream Media.”
A play by Lincoln Tobier that takes inspiration from a memorable Ailes quote: “If you have two guys on a stage and one guy says, ‘I have a solution to the Middle East problem,’ and the other guy falls in the orchestra pit, who do you think is going to be on the evening news?” Tobier earlier wrote the 1992 play “Roger Ailes: A Retrospective in Context” about the Fox News chief’s previous career in politics.