What’s happening with FOX News?

by VINCENT GIOIA September 13, 2016

For years FOX News has been the go-to alternative to the biased main stream news, but no more. Anyone who has been paying attention has seen that what was once the so-called ‘fair and balanced' news outlet has morphed into a news channel with a less than impartial tone. The question is whether FOX News is shilling for Clinton or for the Republican establishment who cannot abide the possibility of having a president Trump who will topple the establishment political apple cart. We won't know until after the election but regardless of the reason for FOX News current change in news presentation, it is clear FOX News is no longer ‘fair and balanced' on major issues of the day.

Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes in whose hands FOX News has been held since its inception are no longer on the scene and management of the Murdoch news empire is now firmly in the hands of Rupert's liberal sons. However, under Rupert and Roger FOX News has been hugely financially successful - netting $1 billion annually, which is almost 20% of Rupert's flagship company, 21st Century Fox's total profits in recent years. But to ideological, already-wealthy, Rupert's heirs, money is not the object, pushing their ideology is.

There is no doubt about the political leanings of Rupert's sons, Lachlan, 43, and James, 42, who now, without Roger Ailes, are in full charge of the news channel. Although both are listed as ‘co-chairmen', Lachlan is "non-executive" co-chairman and James is the CEO who will be making the day-to-day decisions, including decisions about programming at FOX News.

So what are the political leanings of James and Lachlan? Well consider this: James is married to Kathryn Hufschmid who works for the Clinton Climate Initiative, a charitable Foundation established by Bill Clinton in 2006. James has also contributed between $1,000,000 and $5,000,000 to the Clinton foundation and he donated $2,300 (the maximum possible individual donation) to Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign and more than $1 million to the Clinton Foundation. An article in the New York Times described him in 2003 as "steadfastly liberal" and a fierce proponent of climate change ideology. James has on one occasion remarked:

"How we deal with climate change deniers depends on who they are. If they run energy policy for large governments, then they're a problem. If it's a random columnist, ignore them for a while."

After becoming in charge of FOX News International, and its newspaper, ‘The Sun', James appointed the paper's first ‘environment correspondent' in order to "report environmental issues, including climate change, more prominently."

Accuracy in Media has reported:

"The London Telegraph reports that "Thanks to friendships with Al Gore and Bill Clinton, he [James Murdoch] has developed deep green instincts?" His father made a $500,000 gift to the Clinton Global Initiative."

And:

"I've gotten to know Al [Gore] in a number of different contexts in the last number of years," James Murdoch told the Financial Times in an interview. We "think the same way about the necessity of being realistic concerning the climate crisis," Gore piped in during the same interview."

But there is more: According to one report "The New York Times has also further noted:

"Bill Clinton and Al Gore whose daughter he befriended at Harvard (James Murdoch dropped out of Harvard) runs SkyB, a part of News Corporation which airs a television project sponsored by Gore, and the foreign financed Al-Jazeera, and Al-Jazeera English television channels."

James brother Lachlan is said to be more politically conservative than James but will not have the authority over FOX News that his brother has. Lachlan, as has been reported, "also seems uninterested in continuing his father's tradition of mixing right-wing politics with the media business. In one interview he said that Fox is not and should not be a reflection of his, or his father's, political views.

By chance, intentionally, or upon orders from above, the FOX News reportage and personalities have become clearly less ‘fair and balanced' than previously.

With the new political control of FOX News by James and Lachlan Murdoch, it is only a matter of time before conservative programming like Sean Hannity, and the more objective Bill O'Reilly, are removed from the news channel. They obviously don't comport to the changing times at FOX News.

The liberal advocacy group Media Matters has in the past called for Rupert Murdoch to ‘rein' in the various Fox News personalities, including Hannity, who have voiced skepticism about the man-made global warming theory. The group complains that conservative voices on Fox far outnumber "progressive" voices and that Fox anchors, reporters, and guests inject pro-Republican views into the shows.' Well it now appears with the ascendency of James and Lachlan Murdoch their demand will be fulfilled.

Vincent Gioia is a retired patent attorney living in Palm Desert, California. His blogs at www.vincentgioia.com and he may be contacted at gioia@gte.net.


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