FOX News’ parent company, News Corporation, is embroiled in a phone hacking scandal that has shone a spotlight on the detestable practices its owner, Rupert Murdoch, promotes as journalism.
The ever-growing scandal has shut down one newspaper, led to multiple arrests and numerous resignations in the UK, and an FBI investigation into allegations that News Corp. staff may have sought to hack the voicemail of victims of 9/11 and their families in the US.
And now a committee in the UK parliament has issued a report blasting both Rupert Murdoch and his son James (also an executive at News Corp.) for their complicity in the scandal, concluding that Rupert Murdoch is “not a fit person to exercise stewardship of a major international company.”
It’s time for the FCC to take action. The law requires that the FCC consider the “character” of media owners when deciding whether to grant, deny or revoke a broadcast license.
We already knew that the hacking activities at the center of the scandal were not limited to a few rogue reporters, but reflect systematic orchestration from the highest levels of News Corp. This new report, however, is the clearest evidence yet that the rot went all the way to the top.
With the law saying that the FCC should consider Murdoch’s “character,” this recent report detailing both his willful blindness that contributed to the phone hacking scandal and his lack of candor in his testimony about his role, ought to enough to call the issue into question.
As Melanie Sloan, the Executive Director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) — the nonpartisan watchdog group — aptly put it, “If [Rupert and James Murdoch] are not passing the character standard under British law, it seems to me that they are not going to meet the character standard in America.”
CREW has already sent a letter to the FCC demanding that the commission revoke News Corp.’s broadcast licenses.
But the commission is likely to flout the law unless significant public pressure can be brought to bear.
We need to speak out.
Remember, Rupert Murdoch may own a massive media empire, but he doesn’t own the airwaves — we do. And the 27 broadcast stations Murdoch owns are only allowed to use the public airwaves because the FCC has made a determination that it is in the “public interest” that they be given licenses to do so.
The deplorable actions Murdoch has condoned in News Corp. go to the very heart of whether or not we can trust his company to act in the public interest.
News Corp. has crossed a line and it’s time for the FCC to take action.
Tell the FCC: Enforce the law. Revoke the broadcast licenses held by Rupert Murdoch’s media empire. Click the link below to automatically sign the petition: