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I have long considered Rupert Murdoch – a transplanted Australian, of all things – to be one of the greatest American heroes of our time. Like millions of other Americans, he saw the liberal bias in the media, but what made him different is that he had the financial wherewithal to do something about it.
In 1996, Murdoch, through his flagship company News Corporation, started Fox News as an alternative to CNN’s addictive liberal coating of the news. And, in what has proven to be a stroke of genius, he hired Roger Ailes as the man to run his new enterprise. Ailes is staunchly conservative, daring and one of those guys who seems to have been born with the Midas touch. While you’re at it, you can add him to my list of the greatest American living heroes.
Once Fox News was launched, it didn’t take the world long to realize a heretofore well-hidden fact: Most Americans have conservative values. Fox was a dagger in the hearts of left-wing anchormen who had long ago become used to creating their own news stories by leaving out pertinent facts and adding in knowingly false information – and, often, simply ignoring news items altogether that didn’t fit in with their liberal agenda.
The CNN-Fox News war was over within a couple of years, and today it’s become a virtual bloodbath. Without government intervention – like that proposed by FCC “Chief Diversity Officer” Mark Lloyd – it’s hard to imagine how CNN, CNBC and MSNBC can continue in business indefinitely. Even the three major networks are getting financially clobbered, yet they stubbornly cling to their left-wing agendas, choosing – like Congress and Obama – to ignore the desires of a majority of American viewers and voters.
So far, so good. But a few years ago, I dared to ask the question, “What happens when Rupert Murdoch (who will be 79 in March) dies?” Ditto when Roger Ailes passes on or retires. “Could it be,” I wondered, “that progressivism, one of the most highly contagious diseases known to mankind, will find a way to creep into Fox News and metastasize?” As it is, Fox already has its share of in-house liberals (Shepherd Smith, Geraldo, Bob Beckel, et al.) to assure the balance in its “fair and balanced” promise.
A disturbing recent article in the New York Times may have given me my answer. According to the article, Murdoch wanted the New York Post (another News Corporation holding) to endorse Barack Obama for president. Purportedly, he backed off only when Roger Ailes voiced strong objections. Close call … way too close for comfort.
So, what’s on the horizon beyond the days of Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes? Possibly a potential catastrophe. Murdoch’s eldest son, Lachlan Murdoch, left the company in 2004, purportedly because he was at odds with Ailes. And, according to an article in the New York Times, “Two other Murdoch children, Elisabeth, a television producer in London, and James, the only Murdoch employed at the company, are sympathetic to Democratic causes and frequently voiced concerns to their father during last year’s presidential campaign about Fox News’ coverage of Mr. Obama.”
The article also quoted Matthew Freud, who is married to Murdoch’s daughter, Elisabeth, as saying, “I am by no means alone within the family or the company in being ashamed and sickened by Roger Ailes’ horrendous and sustained disregard of the journalistic standards that News Corporation, its founder and every other global media business aspires to.”
It gets worse. According to another recent article, this one in WorldNetDaily, billionaire Saudi prince Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal owns 5 percent of the voting shares of Fox News’ parent company, News Corporation, and is said to be willing to raise his stake, if necessary, to protect Murdoch against hostile takeover bids. Further, the article reports, Rupert Murdoch is an investor in some of Talal’s ventures.
All of which could add up to a world without Fox News as we know it. Can you imagine an America where every network and cable station delivers the news from a left-wing perspective, an America where people have no way of knowing simple facts like one of Obama’s appointees being a self-avowed communist, one of Obama’s appointees looking to Mao Zedong for inspiration, or one of Obama’s appointees proposing that animals be given attorneys to represent their interests?
Unfortunately, it’s not that hard to imagine. It’s the direction in which America was already headed long before Rupert Murdoch made it a whole new game by starting Fox News and handing the ball off to Roger Ailes to win the ratings game.
Conclusion: Rupert Murdoch, Roger Ailes and Fox News have given libertarians and conservatives the greatest ideological boost in the history of television, but freedom lovers would be foolish to sit back and rely on them alone to do the job. Better to hope for the best for Fox News, but be prepared for the worst – and take it upon ourselves to continue to educate the American public, one person at a time, on the evils of progressivism and the sanctity of libertarian-centered conservatism and free markets.
Go tea parties!