Fox’s Rupert Murdoch Got Himself In a Bind in the UK?

For all he’s done to destroy real journalism here and fan the flames of hate for the almighty dollar we can always hope this is the case.

“As scores of new victims emerged to allege they had been hacked by the newspaper, MPs voiced fresh concerns at the police handling of the affair and the role played by senior executives at News International, News Corp’s UK subsidiary and the ultimate parent company of the News of the World, the Sun, the Times and the Sunday Times.

Meanwhile, back across the Atlantic, it emerged that News Corp was facing another problem. Last week 400 rabbis from all the main branches of Judaism in the US bought a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal, calling on Murdoch to take sanctions against News Corp’s Fox News subsidiary. The rabbis were incensed at the way that Fox commentators regularly referred to those with whom they disagreed as “Nazis”.

“You diminish the memory and meaning of the Holocaust when you use it to discredit any individual or organisation you disagree with. That is what Fox News has done in recent weeks,” the ad read.

The placement of the ad was even more poignant and shocking as it was published on Holocaust Remembrance Day. It came partly in response to comments by Murdoch’s brash Fox News leader, Roger Ailes, who had compared executives at National Public Radio to Nazis after they sacked a commentator who made ill-advised remarks about being scared of flying with Muslims.

But it also focused on the most controversial figure in the pantheon of Fox News personalities: Glenn Beck. Fox’s biggest star repeatedly uses Nazi and Hitler references to describe figures he does not like.

[snip]

Coming at a time when News Corp wants regulatory approval to take over British satellite broadcaster BSkyB, both the phone-hacking scandal and the row with the rabbis are damaging not only to the company’s reputation but its bottom line.

Liberal commentators have used both to question whether Murdoch should be allowed to own more of the British media landscape.

Murdoch must have hoped the BSkyB deal would have been waved through by now, but the culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has postponed making a decision to see if remedies can be found to avoid a long Competition Commission inquiry.

[snip]

As Murdoch waits in regulatory purgatory and hedge fund managers push BSkyB’s share price north — a move that could see News Corp having to stump up as much as £1bn more than it expected — the media giant’s investors are said to be growing restless.

A full News Corporation board meeting is believed to have been scheduled for Wednesday. The phone-hacking scandal and the BSkyB deal are expected to be high on the agenda. Bin Talal, who simply “does not lose money” according to someone who knows him well, is likely to pay very close attention to what is discussed.”

[snip]

Why News Corp is so eager to bag BSkyB was plain to see last week, when the broadcaster reported pre-tax profits of £467m, up a stunning 26% on the previous year.

But for Murdoch, BSkyB’s profits came with a sting attached. As analysts at City brokers Charles Stanley Research note: “Our best guess is that clearance [for the News Corp takeover of BSkyB] will be granted, although perhaps only after a lengthy further investigation by the Competition Commission and/or the implementation of certain ‘remedies’.

[snip]

The phone-hacking scandal and the BSkyB deal are expected to be high on the agenda. Bin Talal, who simply “does not lose money” according to someone who knows him well, is likely to pay very close attention to what is discussed.

Worryingly for Murdoch, who is used to his investors taking a back seat, the prince is a far from passive backer. As a sizable investor in bombed-out banking giant Citigroup, bin Talal has been vocal in calling for its management to improve the firm’s fortunes, warning its chief executive last year that the “honeymoon was over”.

Murdoch may soon find himself receiving similar encouragement if the BSkyB bid falters. It is an unpalatable prospect for an autocrat.

Read the Full Story Here at The Guardian

Related Story:Phone hacking: show of unity can’t hide cracks in News Corp

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