Politics is a nasty disgusting business. All the while politicians are running around shaking hands and kissing babies, their wealthy puppeteers are pulling their strings. And even though this has always been true of politics in America and elsewhere, it’s gotten a bit too out-of-control, particularly when it comes to Fox News and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation.
In Paul Krugman’s column “Fear and Favor,” the economist shines some much needed light on the flagrant political machinery Murdoch as built up.
Krugman points out that every Republican presidential hopeful, besides Mitt Romney, works for Fox News. They’re paid directly by Murdoch while they build their brand for 2012.
“Now, media moguls have often promoted the careers and campaigns of politicians they believe will serve their interests,” explained Krugman. “But directly cutting checks to political favorites takes it to a whole new level of blatancy.”
Clearly, Murdoch and his President of the Fox News Channel Roger Ailes have given up any semblance of being “fair and balanced.” They know what works. Pander to the lowest common denominator of the American public and get 1 or 2 percent of population to tune in, sell ads, cut checks to future presidential/congressional hopefuls and watch as your power increases along with their bottom line.
It makes great business sense, but is it doing Americans any good? Can the Federal Election Commission do something about this blatant campaigning via Fox News? Sharron Angle openly admitted that she goes on Fox News because she makes a ton of money in campaign contributions when she does. That’s campaigning. That’s free advertising.
Also, I think it’s time we revisit and enforce the Communications Act of 1934 FCC rules on equal time. Murdoch is using the public’s airwaves to get Republicans elected – period. If that’s not illegal – it should be.