Tag: Rupert Murdoch

FCC: Merry Christmas, Rupert

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

The Obama administration’s Federal Communications Commission is on the verge of handing media mogul Rupert Murdoch a very nice Christmas present. Murdoch, who already owns Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, Fox News Channel, Fox movie studios, 27 local TV stations and more, now wants to purchase the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, that are currently owned by the bankrupt Tribune Company, and a controlling stake in the Yes Network. Julius Genachowski, the F.C.C. chairman, is about to ease the rules to let him.

We were down this road before during the Bush administration and it was roundly rejected, not only by the public, but by Congress and the courts:

Genachowski’s proposal is essentially indistinguishable from the failed Bush administration policies that millions rallied against in 2003 and 2007. Ninety-nine percent of the public comments received by the FCC opposed lifting these rules when the Republicans tried to do it.

Genachowski’s proposal is nearly identical to the one the Senate voted to overturn with a bipartisan “resolution of disapproval” back in 2008. Among the senators who co-sponsored that rebuke to runaway media concentration were Joe Biden and Barack Obama.

At the time, Obama blasted the FCC for having “failed to further the goals of diversity in the media and promote localism,” saying the agency was in “no position to justify allowing for increased consolidation.” Nothing has changed — except which party controls the White House.

The federal courts have repeatedly — and as recently as 2011 — struck down these same rules, noting the FCC’s failure to “consider the effect of its rules on minority and female ownership.” The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the FCC to study the impact of any rule changes before changing the rules. The FCC has done nothing of the kind.

Yet, the Obama FCC now wants to hand control of the news in a media outlet to one man.

Bill Moyers addressed this issue with Sen. Bernie Sanders on why big media shouldn’t get bigger.

In 1983, 50 corporations controlled a majority of American media. Now that number is six. And Big Media may get even bigger, thanks to the FCC’s consideration of ending a rule preventing companies from owning a newspaper and radio and TV stations in the same big city. Such a move – which they’ve tried in 2003 and 2007 as well -would give these massive media companies free rein to devour more of the competition, control the public message, and also limit diversity across the media landscape. On this week’s Moyers & Company (check local listings), Senator Bernie Sanders, one of several Senators who have written FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski asking him to suspend the plan, joins Bill to discuss why Big Media is a threat to democracy and what citizens can do to fight back.

Sanders also expresses his dismay that such a move would come from an Obama appointee. “Why the Obama Administration is doing something that the Bush Administration failed to do is beyond my understanding,” Sanders tells Bill. “And we’re gonna do everything we can to prevent it from happening.”

FCC May Give Murdoch a Very Merry Christmas

by Bill Moyers and Michael Winship

Until now, this hasn’t been the best year for media mogul Rupert Murdoch. For one, none of the Republicans who’d been on the payroll of his Fox News Channel – not Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum or Mike Huckabee or Sarah Palin – became this year’s GOP nominee for president. [..]

But Murdoch’s luck may be changing. Despite Fox News’ moonlighting as the propaganda ministry of the Republican Party, President Obama’s team may be making it possible for Sir Rupert to increase his power, perversely rewarding the man who did his best to make sure Barack Obama didn’t have a second term. The Federal Communications Commission could be preparing him one big Christmas present, the kind of gift that keeps on giving – unless we all get together and do something about it. [..]

In prior years, the FCC has granted waivers to the rules, but this latest move on their part would be more permanent, allowing a monolithic corporation like News Corp or Disney, Comcast, Viacom, CBS or Time Warner – in any of the top twenty markets – to own newspapers, two TV stations, eight radio stations and even the local Internet provider. [..]

Make your voices heard – write or call Genachowski and the other commissioners – you can find their names, e-mail addresses and phone numbers at the website fcc.gov, or on the “Take Action” page at our website, BillMoyers.com. Write your senators and representatives, too, tell them the FCC must delay this decision and give the public a chance to have its opposition known. We’ve done it before.

Just ask the FCC this basic question: What part of “no” don’t you understand?

“Bury Your Mistakes”

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

The problem with Rupert Murdoch’s “philosophy” is that eventually something starts to “smell” really bad and they start digging. The more they dig, the more bodies they find. Like peeling an onion.

David Carr, “Media Equation” columnist for The New York Times, taks with Rachel Maddow about the News Corps record of unethical bullying and illegal business behavior and looks ahead to Rupert Murdoch, James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks testifying before British Parliament Tuesday.

There is a possibility that Ms. Brooks may not testify because of her arrest on Sunday.

Troubles That Money Can’t Dispel

By David Carr

“Bury your mistakes,” Rupert Murdoch is fond of saying. But some mistakes don’t stay buried, no matter how much money you throw at them.

Time and again in the United States and elsewhere, Mr. Murdoch’s News Corporation has used blunt force spending to skate past judgment, agreeing to payments to settle legal cases and, undoubtedly more important, silence its critics. In the case of News America Marketing, its obscure but profitable in-store and newspaper insert marketing business, the News Corporation has paid out about $655 million to make embarrassing charges of corporate espionage and anticompetitive behavior go away.

snip

Litigation can have an annealing effect on companies, forcing them to re-examine the way they do business. But as it was, the full extent and villainy of the hacking was never known because the News Corporation paid serious money to make sure it stayed that way.

And the money the company reportedly paid out to hacking victims is chicken feed compared with what it has spent trying to paper over the tactics of News America in a series of lawsuits filed by smaller competitors in the United States.

snip

In 2009, a federal case in New Jersey brought by a company called Floorgraphics went to trial, accusing News America of, wait for it, hacking its way into Floorgraphics’s password protected computer system.

snip

The complaint stated that the breach was traced to an I.P. address registered to News America and that after the break-in, Floorgraphics lost contracts from Safeway, Winn-Dixie and Piggly Wiggly.

Much of the lawsuit was based on the testimony of Robert Emmel, a former News America executive who had become a whistle-blower. After a few days of testimony, the News Corporation had heard enough. It settled with Floorgraphics for $29.5 million and then, days later, bought it, even though it reportedly had sales of less than $1 million.

Murdoch’s tactics are not a secret. In an article from Forbes written in 2005, Peter Lattman described the business practices by Paul V. Carlucci, then head of the marketing division of News America:

Paul V. Carlucci takes no prisoners. The head of a marketing division of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., Carlucci once rallied his sales force by showing a film clip from The

Untouchables
in which Al Capone beats a man to death with a baseball bat.

I wonder if Mr. Carlucci is friends with Carl Palladino the former NY State gubernatorial candidate with a penchant for solving problems with a baseball bat?

The Week in Editorial Cartoons – Of Kings and Wingnut Clowns, with Special Comment

Crossposted at Daily Kos and The Stars Hollow Gazette

John Sherffius

John Sherffius, Comics.com (Boulder Daily Camera)

When I see a 9/11 victim family on television, or whatever, I’m just like, “Oh shut up” I’m so sick of them because they’re always complaining. — Glenn Beck

~~~~~~~~~~~

Man is man because he is free to operate within the framework of his destiny.  He is free to deliberate, to make decisions, and to choose between alternatives.  He is distinguished from animals by his freedom to do evil or to do good and to walk the high road of beauty or tread the low road of ugly degeneracy. — Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Tea-Sucker Manifesto

The Wall Street Journal is currently displaying “A Tea Party Manifesto” at the top of its website, and this thing includes a declaration of war on the Republican Party.

The tea party movement is not seeking a junior partnership with the Republican Party, but a hostile takeover of it.  

After that relatively bold war-whoop, most of the rest of it is just about the sort of anti-government hate-speak that you might expect.

By definition, government is the means by which citizens are forced to do that which they would not do voluntarily. Like pay high taxes. Or redistribute tax dollars to bail out the broken, bloated pension systems of state government employees. Or purchase, by federal mandate, a government-defined health-insurance plan that is unaffordable, unnecessary or unwanted.

By definition! It couldn’t be more obvious! Only a fool would dispute these self-evident truths!

Glenn Beck calls Fox Owner a 9/11 terrorist! He is going to get FIRED for this!

It finally happened. Glenn Beck has gone too far for his right wing owners. How do I know that? Because he just blamed 9/11 on one of the guys who pays his salary.

Watch the video here.

The guy Beck is blaming for 9/11 is one of his bosses, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who just happens to be the largest stockholder of Fox News who isn’t a member of majority owner Rupert Murdoch’s family.

Calling your boss a terrorist who is responsible for 9/11 can’t be good for your job security, can it?

Transcript and more below the fold

Small Teaspoon Model Victories against Rupert ‘The Pirate’ Murdoch and PirateCorp

Burning the Midnight Oil for Breaking the Silicon Cage

About a month ago, I asked, “ Monday, October 19, 2009

Can the Teaspoon Model stand up to Bloodsucker Streaming Sites?

Now, on the occasion of the first small victory of the “Teaspoon Model” over PirateCorp (aka NewsCorp), I’m catching my breath and looking back at this process. Note that if you have tuned in just for the victories, you should scroll down to the section with “Victory” in the title.

Over the past month, its become clear that one of the biggest bases of support – not active support, but tacit complicity – lies within the NewsCorp media empire itself, on the MySpaceCDN servers owned by 20th Century Fox’s “Intellectual Properties” division.

There’s irony there, because the whole point is that these are by and large neither creations, productions, nor licensed works of any NewsCorp enterprise. They are, rather, bootlegs being illegally copied by uploaders, and then repeatedly extra-legally copied by NewsCorp when they stream the files on request.

On Murdoch And Google, Or, Hey, Rupert, Where’s My Check?

Our favorite irascible media tyrant is in the news once again, and once again it’s time for me to bring you a story of doing one thing while wishing for another.

In a November 6th interview, Sky News Australia’s David Speers spent about 35 minutes with the CEO of NewsCorp, Rupert Murdoch; the conversation covering topics as diverse as software piracy, world economics, the role of Fox News (and Fox NewsPinion¬©) in American politics, a strange defense of Glenn Beck, and, not very long afterwards, an even stranger defense of immigration.

We have heard a lot about the…how can I put this politely…challenges Murdoch seems to face associating factual reality with his reality, and we could have lots of fun going through his factual misstatements-but instead, I want to take on one specific issue today:

Rupert Murdoch says he hates it when people steal his content from the Internet to draw readers to their sites…which is funny, if you think about it, because he has no problem at all stealing my content (and lots of yours, as well) for his sites.

Action: Citizen’s Tax on Rupert ‘the Pirate’ Murdoch

Check last week’s review of the story so far.

Act on Friday, 4pm and 10pm Eastern, 1pm and 7pm Pacific.

The diary this week is to throw the floor open. I have listed the various reasons why I am happy to impose a Direct Action Citizen’s Tax on Rupert “The Pirate” Murdoch. The focus this week is on you. What do you have against Rupert “The Pirate” Murdoch?

  • His Hypocrisy?
  • His War-Mongering?
  • His Vicious Union-Busting Politics?
  • The further destruction of our political discourse, also known as “Fox News”?
  • His ongoing fight in support of monopoly power in the media?
  • …or whatever – share it in the comments.

The ongoing story of the “Teaspoon Model” is below the fold, and after that, instructions on how to impose the Direct Action Citizen’s Tax, and The List.

The Teaspoon Model Versus Rupert Murdoch’s Pirate Support Base

Burning the Midnight Oil for Breaking the Silicon Cage

Two weeks ago, I speculated on applying the “Teaspoon Model” to the problem of protecting small, niche, video streaming markets faced:

  • on the one hand with Copyright Protection laws focused on protecting the cash flows of large media distribution middlemen; and,
  • on the other hand, with a plague of bloodsucking bootleg streaming sites, surviving on miniscule revenue flows because they leech off of everyone – not just the creators of the work themselves, but also fansub and video-rip groups that make the content availbale for download, and free stream hosting sites for the streaming itself

Refer to the lovely Shakespeare’s Sister for the teaspoon concept itself – the idea of this application is:

So this is what I was thinking. Perhaps a small, struggling company that wanted to reduce the density of the cloud of bloodsucking flies draining the work of the artists who create this material of market value could gain leverage not by trying to find the Super-Teaspoon – but by recruiting a supporting group, each armed with ordinary teaspoons.

There’d have to be at least one person at the company actually sending out the letters to the sites streaming the bootlegs – but they would be far more effective if backed up by ten or twenty people contributing a couple of hours a week tracking down where the material is located. Indeed, the “white hats” could drop in info on where to get the material legally while at the bootleg bloodsucker streaming sites, including the proliferating opportunities for legal free streams.

The objection has already been raised, “but everybody does it”. But the experiment reported here shows, no, everybody does not sit around passively waiting to get a legal order to Cease and Desist. There are companies that do check out tips and clean out the trash and even YouTube does a far better job than MySpaceCDN.

Note: most graphics are samples from extant Photobucket and Flikr albums, but the “Storm in the Teacup” is an entry from a Photoshop contest, and “You’re Both Idiots” is by ~ZeKarmaMisama who can be found at Deviant Art, and the teaspoon is by Western Australia artist Pearl Rogers

Is Rupert Murdoch Picking His Partner’s Pockets …

… or is NewsCorp just an Old Media Dinosaur that cannot keep up?

Burning the Midnight Oil for Breaking the Silicon Cage

Also available in Orange

Breaking the Silicon Cage is for breaking down those barriers that prevent us from leveraging the full potential of the netroots for progressive populist action – whether that involves using the internet for collaboration on works to be delivered live on the street, or breaking down barriers between different social networks on the internet itself.

The latter is what we have here. The progressive blogosphere, if people are to believe our words (though not always our actions) is an enemy of Rupert Murdoch and his Iraq-Invasion-supporting, Conservative-Politician-electing multinational media empire. We in the US know him primarily for the Faux News Channel, but in the UK and Australia they know him for his grossly biased newspaper oligopolies.

If Progressives were indeed intent on taking power (something Cassiodorus questions), we would be eager to take any shots at Rupert Murdch’s Media Empire that we could.

Now, I’m game, and a few others have expressed their interest, but for the most part the reaction of the blogosphere is a big, “why should I become outraged by that in particular”. If the thousands of US service members and hundreds of thousands of lives disrupted – hundreds of thousands of Iraqis kills and millions of Iraqi lives disrupted – is too big a reason to grasp for being outraged at Rupert Murdoch and his media empire … then be outraged for the mother (above right) of Cpl. Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, killed in action in a War of Choice that Rupert Murdoch loudly banged the drum in favor of choosing.

Direct Action: Charging Fox Noise Owner Rupert Murdoch a Pirate Base Tax

I am sure you have heard of Fox News, owned by media tycoon Rupert Murdoch.

This diary is about a direct action against Rupert Murdoch in another dimension of his media empire. It turns out that Rupert Murdoch has the biggest pirate base in the US anime market.

This direct action involves those of us with flat-rate broadband connections right-clicking on a bunch of links and downloading a bunch of bootleg files into a temporary directory – then erasing the files. Since Rupert Murdoch’s MySpace servers host hundreds of bootleg anime streams, from one anime streaming site alone, if enough of us download enough files at the same time – it will increase the amount of money that Rupert’s media empire has to pay to host bootleg anime.

In short, it hits Rupert in his wallet, where it hurts him the most. More, after the fold.

Act on Friday, 6pm Eastern, 3pm Pacific, and 10pm Eastern, 7pm Pacific.

Rupert Murdoch is the Biggest Pirate of the US Anime Market

Burning the Midnight Oil for Breaking the Silicon Cage

Crossposted from My Left Wing, also available in Orange

When I wrote Can the Teaspoon Model stand up to Bloodsucker Streaming Sites?, it was clear that one reason the bloodsucker leech anime streaming sites are able to offer their “free anime” because they don’t pay streaming costs either. They rely on pointing their users to places that host the streams.

They are, in other words, an aggregator. People that know how to look and where to look collect the information, and they put a shell around it to make it convenient to the user. They live off a trickle of net advertisements and donations – and of course, nothing ever gets back to the animators, voice actors and actresses, producers, directors who actually create the work.

And if the anime was unavailable in this country, they could argue they are “growing the market”. But of course, an increasing amount of this media is available for legitimate free streaming, supported by a range of internet ads, streaming ads, and subscription models – which does feed income back to the industry that creates these collaborate works.

But the real problem is the hosts for the streams. Without the free hosting of bootleg streams, these leech bloodsucker sites could never afford to offer, as one of these sites boasts, “503 series, 7,657 anime episodes”. Its the ability to point to free streams of bootleg copies provided by someone else that allows the bloodsucker leech sites to spoil the market for legitimate streaming sites.

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