Rupert Murdoch, probably the most powerful media mogul in history, submitted to an interview with Sky News Australia's David Speers last week that was incredibly revealing. (We'll have a follow-up post to some of the other things he said. The full interview is here.)
And probably the most revealing was his full-throated defense of Fox News and its War on Obama -- and particularly Glenn Beck for calling President Obama a racist.
When Murdoch poo-poohed the notion that Fox's news coverage was slanted, while its opinion shows like Beck's were supposed to be opinionated, Speers pointed out that the problem was how far Beck was going:
Speers: Glenn Beck who you mentioned has called Barack Obama a racist, and he helped organize a protest against him and others on Fox have likened him (Obama) to Stalin is that defensible?
Murdoch: No, no, no, not Stalin, I don't think, ah, not one of our people.
On the racist thing, that caused a (unintelligible). But he (Obama) did make a very racist comment. Ahhh -- about, you know, blacks and whites and so on, and which he said in his campaign he would be completely above. And um, that was something which perhaps shouldn't have been said about the President, but if you actually assess what he was talking about, he was right.
Well, just for anyone interested, we've provided both in the video above and in transcript below exactly what everybody said.
First, here's what Beck actually said that Murdoch thinks was "right":
Beck: This president has exposed himself as a guy, over and over and over again, who has a deep-seated hatred for white people, or the white culture, I don't know what it is. But you can’t sit in a pew with Jeremiah Wright for twenty years and not hear some of that stuff and not have it wash over you.
... This guy has a social justice – he is going to set all the wrongs of the past right.
... I’m not saying that he doesn’t like white people. I’m saying he has a problem – he has a – this guy is, I believe, a racist. Look at the things that he has been surrounded by. Let’s look at his new green-jobs czar.
Now, what exactly was it that Obama said that brought Beck to this conclusion -- and which Murdoch claims was a "racist" thing for him to say? Well, he was talking about the Henry Louis Gates arrest:
Now, I don't know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts what role race played in that, but I think it's fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry. Number two, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home and, number three, what I think we know separate and apart from this incident is that there is a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately. And that's just a fact.
As you know, Lynn, when I was in the state legislature in Illinois we worked on a racial profiling bill because there was indisputable evidence that blacks and hispanics were being stopped disproportionately. And that is a sign, an example of how, you know, race remains a factor in this society. That doesn't lessen the incredible progress that has been made. I am standing here as testimony to the progress that's been made. And yet, the fact of the matter is that, you know, this still haunts us. And even when there are honest misunderstandings, the fact that blacks and hispanics are picked up more frequently and often time for no cause cast suspicion even when there is good cause, and that's why I think the more that we're working with local law enforcement to improve policing techniques so that we're eliminating potential bias, the safer everybody's going to be.
And this was racist exactly how?
I suppose if you redefined "racism" to include "bringing up historically and factually accurate information about racist behavior of white people", then I suppose you could say that. I don't think we're there yet, but Rupert Murdoch is obviously working on it.
Murdoch, you'll note, was either intentionally or intentionally was chock full o'
s--t misinformation. After Speers quoted the "White House Communications Director" -- namely, Anita Dunn -- for her remarks describing Fox as "the communications arm of the Republican Party", Murdoch sneeringly dismissed press secretary Robert Gibbs as "a very young, inexperienced guy" -- even though he hadn't made those remarks.
He also claimed that Fox would always make a correction when it got its facts wrong. Well, we're still waiting for multiple corrections from Glenn Beck -- and that's just for starters. Fox almost never corrects its misinformation -- just ask Media Matters.
He tried to cast Fox's news shows outside of its "opinion shows" as being accurate -- even though Fox's daytime "news" programming is every bit as slanted as its opinion shows -- they just lack the intense levels of open advocacy. Though when it came to the tea parties, there was hardly any distinction worth making.
He claimed "the other networks" only have on Democrats, while his network shows both Republicans and Dems. But the reality, of course, is that the guests are heavily weighted in favor of Republicans, and its "Democrats" are fine examples of "liberalism" like Lanny Davis and Joe Lieberman.
And his claim that no one on Fox had likened Obama to Stalin? Well, here's Judge Andrew Napolitano declaring that Obama was "Stalin without the bloodshed."
Oh, and here's a screen grab from a Fox News website front:
Because, of course, Fox's news operations are always "fair and balanced," right, mate? Wink wink, nudge nudge.
All in all, you have to wonder how someone can run one of the world's most powerful corporations effectively and have a head so full of bald misinformation. But then, maybe that's why Fox deals in so much misinformation and disinformation and outright Newspeak: It needs to manufacture nonsense in huge amounts just to create its own little bubble planet to which its corporate masters can retreat when evil liberal Democrats intrude upon their profit-making schemes. Money talks, reality walks.