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Meyerson: “The Political Slanting Of News From News Corp. Outlets … Is Conscious And Con

January 19, 2011 8:16 am ET by Media Matters staff

In a January 19 Washington Post column titled, “Murdoch’s Fox propagandists, degrading journalism,” Harold Meyerson wrote that “[t]he political slanting of news from News Corp. outlets … is conscious and constant.” Meyerson cited a memo from Fox News Washington managing Bill Sammon directing his network’s journalists not to use the phrase “public option”:

Consider, for instance, the memo (subsequently leaked) that Fox News Vice President Bill Sammon sent at the height of the health-care debate, shortly after Republican pollster Frank Luntz said on Sean Hannity’s Fox show that Americans were split on a “public” option but that when it was called a “government option,” voters overwhelmingly opposed it. Sammon directed news staffers to “use the term ‘government-run health insurance,’ or, when brevity is a concern, ‘government option,’ whenever possible.”

Meyerson further wrote that “the stuff [Rupert Murdoch’s] company feeds mass audiences is the most sustained and coordinated dose of right-wing propaganda this country has ever seen. Father Coughlin, Joe McCarthy, George Wallace and their ilk were freelancers, much as Limbaugh is today.” He continued: “The choir at Fox News, by contrast, sings from Murdoch’s hymnal. Their mission, promoted by Fox News president and former Richard Nixon aide Roger Ailes, is to advance right-wing causes and Republicans.”

Meyerson concluded, in part: “No one did a better job of spinning and spreading the paranoid fantasies in which the right is awash than Murdoch’s Fox News employees.”


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