During the early years of Fox News, conservatives cheered a “new network” that told the other side – their side of the so-called story. Serving as a counterweight to CNN’s left-wing propaganda, Fox News took off during the years of the Clinton administration, when Bill and Hill’s myriad scandals created a viewership that was riveted to the television screen. Indeed, lots of the depositions I took of Clinton White House and government officials found their way onto prime-time news shows, and in many ways I helped created a strong audience for the network.
But along the way, I saw the unethical, seedy side of Fox News, much of which I detail in the “Media Whores” chapter of my book, “Whores: Why and How I Came to Fight the Establishment.” Run by the marketing guru Roger Ailes, the Republican ad man who was instrumental in having elected Ronald Reagan president in 1980, Fox News prospered, but did so in a very dishonest way.
As just one example, I was frequently lied to by hosts wanting to have my clients on the air, and once my live feed was even cut while I was on the air with a client – so a host could question him as if he were in a deposition, potentially jeopardizing his case. When I complained about this and other sleazy stunts, Ailes banned me from the network; a ban that continues to this day. The last few days underscores this; having won a big victory in my lawsuit against President Obama over his closed-door meetings with health-care lobbyists in the months leading up to the enactment of his Obamacare legislation (see www.freedomwatchusa.org) – where the court granted me access to any future meetings – typically, Fox News failed to report it. Regrettably, the lunatic leftist comedian/senator Al Franken had it right in his book; Fox News is “unfair and imbalanced” – in my view not ideologically, but ethically.
But Fox News is just one part of the News Corp. empire controlled by Rupert Murdoch and the rest of his ethically challenged family. They also own the Wall Street Journal (Dow Jones), The Times of London and Harper Collins, to name just a few of their mega-holdings. In my book “Whores,” I describe how Ailes and Murdoch initially tried to kill my book, which was to be published by Regan Books, then an imprint of Harper Collins, because they did not like my criticism of Fox News and a federal judge they had a big case in front of (ironically involving Al Franken’s characterization of Fox News’ reporting). To add insult to the sleazy injury. when Harper then canceled my book, Harper proceeded to defraud the buying public by using my name to sell it anyway on the Internet. To this day, the monies of purchasers have not been returned, and Harper never delivered the book to them. Instead, I offered to make good on their purchases when I went to another publisher to have my book published and sold.
Then, just in the last year or so, Fox Business Channel stole the name Freedom Watch to produce a show by the identical name. To make matters worse, the host is Judge Andrew Napolitano. His frequently amateurish analysis and commentary has tarnished the Freedom Watch name, which I first used for my public interest group after NBC’s “West Wing” created a character after me, “Harry Klaypool of Freedom Watch.” This theft was obviously the work of Murdoch and Ailes, who were paying me back for my criticism of them both in “Whores.”
Murdoch and Ailes will be held accountable at a “time and place of my choosing,” as W. once promised with Osama bin Laden. (Hopefully, justice will come quicker for these two rogues.)
However, the real disgrace to and danger toward the News Corp. empire – which is owned in part by the Saudi Royal family – has not and will not come from what it did to me or my clients, much more the viewing public, but a huge scandal that had its beginnings in Great Britain.
Here, reporters of News Corp.’s British tabloid News of the World were caught illegally wiretapping, breaking into cellphone text messaging and doing other nefarious deeds to illegally obtain information for news stories. At first, the son of Rupert Murdoch, James Murdoch, who runs the family’s European operations, lied to the public and the British government that the violations of privacy were very limited and not ongoing. But in the middle part of this year, evidence came to light that indeed the criminality was widespread and continuing. And, just last Wednesday it was reported that James Murdoch and others knew of this criminality, allowed it to continue unabated and then provided false testimony to the British Parliament.
It is, of course, unlikely that the big man himself, Rupert Murdoch, knew nothing of this criminality. Are we to believe that his own son James did not fill him in? And, importantly, Rupert also recently testified under oath to Parliament that he was clueless and not a hands-on boss. Can anyone really believe this?!
Because famous public figures, September 11 survivors and even members of the British Royal family were victims of these crimes, it is indeed possible that James and Rupert Murdoch, among many others, will wind up being prosecuted, particularly since they have embarrassed the British political establishment, which the Murdochs courted with many favors over the years. Since News Corp. is mostly owned by the Murdoch family, this scandal will put Fox News in serious jeopardy. And this is a sad day for conservatives.
For with all of its ethical sleaze, Fox News and the Murdoch News Corp. empire have performed a valuable public service in not only cutting Presidents Bill Clinton and Obama down to size, but also other sinister leftist hacks and interest groups.
With the ownership of News Corp potentially headed to prison, a consortium of honest conservatives should step into the breach and try to buy Fox News. Not only would the media world have a source of balanced reporting, but hopefully ethics would now be made a part of the network. This is important, as we conservatives value ethics, and currently the owners of Fox News are disgracing our political ideology and harming our interests, as the nation sinks further into serious decline.