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Wednesday, November 29, 2023
MRC's Fox News Defense Center Assembles After Murdoch's Retirement
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is the Fox News Defense Center, incapable of criticizing the right-wing channel -- even when it was caught lying to its viewers -- becuase it does such a great job of peddling right-wing narratives. So when Rupert Murdoch stepped down as the head of Fox News' parent company, the MRC was quick to lionize him and defend him from any criticism. Nicholas Fondacaro did the latter in a  Sept. 21 post:

On Thursday, Rupert Murdoch, the chairman of Fox Corp. and News Corp., announced he would be stepping down later this year. But the fact he would be turning over control to his son Lachlan Murdoch threw cold water on any excitement Fox News haters in the liberal would have. The ones hurt most by that realization were the liberals of CNN, chief among them was media urchin Oliver Darcy who appeared on CNN’s Inside Politics to bellyache that Fox would not ditch their “right-wing” “world view.”


And in going to Darcy, Raju asked the Orwellian question: “What do we think about this change?”

Darcy opened his comments by stoking fear of Murdoch as “one of the most powerful people in the world” in terms of media and politics (you know, everything former CNN boss Jeff Zucker and his underlings wished he was).

“But I think People should be cautious and not jump to the conclusion that that means that the editorial bent of his companies is going to change,” Darcy warned viewers. He read from Murdoch’s memo to his staff and made it clear “Lachlan Murdoch is actually going to continue the tradition of allowing these companies to be right-wing in nature.”

Darcy, who used to write for The Blaze, scoffed at Murdoch for stating “there is a ‘battle for the freedom of speech,’ ‘for the freedom of thought.’” He took particular issue with Murdoch saying “Most of the media is in cahoots with those peddling political narratives rather than the truth.”

Fondacaro whined that Darcy pointed out those Fox News lies, attempting to play whataboutism in response:

Of course, he took the opportunity to make a dig at Fox News and their settlement with Dominion Voting Systems, calling “rich” of him. “[I]t would be irresponsible for me to read that to you without pointing out that Rupert Murdoch himself talks about people peddling narratives and not the truths when he just paid $787 million to Dominion Voting Systems for knowingly advancing falsehoods about the 2020 election,” he sniped.

It would be irresponsible for NewsBusters to call out Darcy without pointing out that CNN had to similarly settle a $275 million defamation suit with Nick Sandmann after the liberal network spit venom at the then-teenager with false claims that he was a racist for smiling at a liberal protestor who assailed him. And the network that demanded transparency from others demanded the settlement stipulate that they couldn’t disclose the final price tag.

It would be irresponsible for us not to point out that Sandmann, in all likelihood, received much less than $275 million from CNN (the amount was not made public), and it's entirely possible that he received little more than token go-away money, or to remind Fondacaro that we last saw Sandmann's lawyer, L. Lin Wood, choosing to retire his law license rather than face discipline from the Georgia state bar for peddling falsehoods and conspiracy theories about the 2020 election.

It was Alex Christy's turn to whine that CNN criticized Fox News in a Sept. 22 post:

CNN Primetime host Abby Phillip wasted no time on Thursday in attacking Rupert Murdoch as he steps down as CEO of Fox News, blaming him and his “outrage porn” for the state of political discourse and the “perilous” state of democracy.

As she came on the air, Phillip solemnly declared, “Objectively American democracy is in perilous condition. The nation's politics are poisoned. Truth has become optional. Instead of desired or even required. The republic has, of course, always faced threats to it even before Rupert Murdoch, but so much of the current state of our democracy can be traced back to the beast of his creation.”

Only now did Phillip introduce herself, “Good evening everyone, I'm Abby Phillip and Rupert Murdoch is stepping down as CEO of Fox News tonight. His legacy is outrage porn. Partisan red meat. Stoking relentless culture wars.”


To make her point, Phillip then played a nearly six-minute montage of over 40 separate clips of various Fox News moments over the years. While some of the moments shown could be legitimately criticized others could not. If CNN can’t tell the difference between unproven theories about Venezuelan voting machines and critiquing gender ideology or Sean Hannity joking about Halloween being a liberal holiday, then it is also in the outrage porn industry. As for Phillip, she was the host that tried to tie Sound of Freedom to QAnon.

As we pointed out when Christy originally made this complaint, the film does, in fact, lean into QAnon consparacies, the film's star Jim Caviezel is a QAnon adherent, and the man on whose story the film is based, Jim Ballard, has refused to distance himself from QAnon.

In his Sept. 22 podcast, Tim Graham complained about "the outbreak of badly disguised joy as Rupert Murdoch announced he's going to step away from day-to-day control of the Fox News Channel. Leftists from Oliver Darcy to Brian Stelter to David Folkenflik rounded up their hot takes how terrible Fox is, and how it can only get worse." He didn't mention the MRC's own undisguised joy when CNN chief Jeff Zucker lost his job, making his outrage here more than a little hypocritical. Jeffrey Lord served up a gushy tribute to Murdoch in his Sept. 23 column:

Rupert Murdoch and his creations of Fox News and the News Corporation have at long last ended the one-sided dominance of liberal media. The liberal monopoly on information simply no longer exists. Not to mention that well beyond Fox News the invention of the Internet and social media has provided mass access to sites like this - NewsBusters - where the left-leaning media itself can be examined and challenged 24/7.

And, of course, not to be forgotten either is the advent of talk radio’s Rush Limbaugh and the spread of conservative talk radio over the AM radio air waves.

But as Rupert Murdoch at 92 hands the reins of his media empire to son Lachlan, his importance in American politics with the creation of a major-league conservative media alternative and challenge to the once-dominant liberal media will always be remembered.

And millions of conservatives out there are surely appreciative.

Clay Waters served up some Murdoch-related Folkenflik Derangement Syndrome in a Sept. 24 post:

The "public" broadcasting elite loathes Fox News. When news broke that 92-year-old media mogul Rupert Murdoch, Fox News founder and chairman of News Corp, is stepping down in favor of his son Lachlan, that encouraged tax-funded PBS to trot out Murdoch-bashing journalist David Folkenflik of tax-funded National Public Radio on Thursday evening to lament the chairman’s "corrosive" right-wing influence on the media landscape.

PBS knew what they were getting. Folkenflik is the author of a hostile 2013 biography of Murdoch and delights in Fox News scandals (CNN and MSNBC ones? Not so much).

Reporter John Yang asked Folkenflik about the elder Murdoch’s legacy.

Waters made no effort to rebut or disprove anything Folkenflik said beyond playing weak whataboutism.

The MRC also published a Sept. 26 syndicated column by Cal Thomas under the fawning headline "Rupert Murdoch Was Right From the Start."

Posted by Terry K. at 9:32 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, November 29, 2023 11:25 PM EST

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