Glenn Beck and the Death of Free Speech
One can imagine that this is a sensitive topic at Fox News.
It is even more sensitive in view of what News Corporation, the parent of Fox News, is doing to its staff at the British newspaper, The Sun. As part of an internal investigation of phone-hacking and bribery, News Corporation voluntarily turned over information to police authorities.
Sun associate editor Trevor Kavanagh reports that “30 journalists have been needlessly dragged from their beds in dawn raids, arrested and held in police cells while their homes are ransacked.” He said journalists were being treated like members of a criminal gang and that freedom of the press was in danger.
If News Corporation chief Rupert Murdoch would turn over his own journalists to authorities in Britain, why wouldn’t he sack Glenn Beck in response to an orchestrated campaign from George Soros and his operatives at Media Matters?
Beck has himself talked about Soros operatives making threats against his people, while a private investigator who interviewed News Corporation personnel confirmed some of them were living in fear. The channel was told to discontinue its probes into Soros and his financial interests.
When Beck left the channel and started GBTV on the Internet, a statement was issued that Beck and Fox would continue working on projects together. Nothing happened in this regard, although Beck has made some occasional appearances on the channel.
Commenting on The Daily Caller series and other reports, John Hudson of the Atlantic Wire writes, “The leftward shift or ‘course correction’ at Fox News in recent months could have several explanations but a pair of reports in Politico and The Daily Caller give credit to the cable network’s mortal enemy: Media Matters for America. It’s a thesis that Media Matters would gladly tout and Fox News would vehemently deny, but it comes as viewer complaints accumulate that the network is embracing a more mainstream conservatism compared with its previous embrace of Glenn Beck.”
The Daily Caller reported, “Glenn Beck, the former Fox News Channel host, drew the ire of a wide spectrum of liberal groups while his program aired nationally. But according to several people who watched the process from the inside, it was Media Matters that orchestrated much of the opposition to Beck.”
It quoted a former staffer as saying that the left-wing group Color of Change, co-founded by former White House “green jobs” czar Van Jones, received much of the credit for pressuring advertisers to drop their sponsorship of Beck’s show. But The Daily Caller said that in fact “Media Matters developed the campaign that cowed Beck’s sponsors” and provided a $200,000 grant to Citizen Engagement Laboratory, Color of Change’s parent group, to campaign against Beck.
Beck had exposed Jones on the air as a self-described communist engaged in anti-police and 9/11 “truth” activities. This led to his forced resignation from the Obama Administration. Thus, Jones had a vendetta against Fox.
George Soros, who was being subjected to scrutiny by Beck on his popular Fox News Channel program, had a vendetta as well. He personally gave $1 million to Media Matters to neutralize Beck and the conservative message of Fox News.
What has been the result? Complete success on the part of Media Matters and the Soros machine.
Number one—Beck is gone, replaced by a show, “The Five,” that includes Democratic Party operative Bob Beckel. Number two—Fox News now has two paid left-wing feminists on the air, Sally Kohn and Jehmu Greene, both graduates of Jane Fonda’s Women’s Media Center. And number three—it’s being reported that Fox News is developing a new program to be hosted by Greene called “The Greene Room.”
Greene ran the ACORN front-group Project Vote. ACORN whistleblower Anita Moncrief calls her the Fox News “infiltrator.”
What’s more, News Corporation chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch is now quoting Soros approvingly in regard to his economic thinking. Murdoch’s favorable tweet about Soros followed a flattering story about the hedge fund billionaire in The Wall Street Journal, another property of News Corporation.
The handwriting is on the wall. The “course correction” at the channel is being conducted at the direction, or with the approval, of Rupert Murdoch himself. But as Politico recently reported in a fairly comprehensive story by Keach Hagey, conservatives are definitely not happy with it. A Western Center for Journalism poll found that some 70 percent of conservatives thought the channel had moved to the left.
The issue, however, goes beyond the destruction of Fox News as a reliable conservative voice to the future of News Corporation. Rupert Murdoch has to be commended for bringing conservative news and information to people on a world-wide basis, with the Fox News Channel in the U.S. being the most visible manifestation of this.
But News Corporation’s own Wall Street Journal is reporting that the pressure on the company from the hacking and bribery investigation in Britain is mounting in the U.S., as the Obama/Holder Justice Department is also seriously looking at corruption charges against the media giant.
It appears that throwing Beck to the wolves didn’t stop the onslaught against News Corporation from powerful political interests. In short, the liberal/left may see an opportunity not only to take down Fox News but the whole company. Murdoch seems to think that throwing more journalists to the wolves is his way to avoid being eaten himself.
In a statement, News Corporation says it cooperated with the British Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) in “a review” of The Times, The Sun and The Sunday Times, which are part of News International, the main UK subsidiary of News Corporation. It said the Management and Standards Committee (MSC) of the company “gave the MPS every assistance during the searches of News International premises while ensuring that all appropriate steps were taken to protect legal and journalistic privilege.” The statement added that “immediate legal representation” was offered to those arrested and that “News Corporation will continue to give its total support to the continued work of the MSC and to ensure that legitimate journalism is vigorously pursued in both the public interest and in full compliance with the law.”
But as we saw with the ouster of Glenn Beck, “legitimate journalism” that affects powerful political interests can be sacrificed when it is convenient to do so.
Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.