News Corp soft on News Corp? Media swallow a scare
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Holmes Report

News Corp soft on News Corp? Media swallow a scare

Paul Holmes

How many reputable PR people did Fox News have to go through before it found someone willing to go on Fox & Friends and claim that the News International crisis was overblown? I particularly appreciate Bob Dilenschneider’s attempt to conflate Citigroup (a victim of hackers) with News Corp (the perpetrator of hacking) in an attempt to make the case that people are unfairly “piling on” the media group. Meanwhile, New York Times columnist Joseph Nocera uses The Wall Street Journal’s coverage of its parent company’s crisis to make the case that News Corp has Fox-ified the paper since its takeover late in 2007. “At first, The Journal ignored the scandal, even though, as the Murdoch biographer Michael Wolff pointed out in Adweek, it was front-page news all across Britain…. On Friday, however, the coverage went all the way to craven. The paper published an interview with Murdoch that might as well have been dictated by the News Corporation public relations department.” It didn’t take long for more rational sources to authoritatively debunk the Environmental Working Group’s “dirty dozen” list of fruits and vegetables that consumers should avoid because of their high pesticide levels. For a little context, a consumer would need to consumer 571 servings of applies—the number one risk on the list—to do any damage. Of course, that didn’t stop some outlets from repeating the EWG’s list without question. The Daily Mail takes a break from warning about the cancer risks of everything from tofu to tap water to question why the BBC would send (former) PR chief Ed Williams (now UK chief executive at Edelman) “on a course designed primarily for business leaders, focusing on global economics and corporate finance.” To render the “scandal” even less interesting, Edelman has offered to reimburse the BBC for the cost of the course. Israel, apparently unhappy at being the closest thing to a liberal democracy in its region, decides to become a little less liberal, and a little less democratic, making it illegal to call for a boycott of the country or its settlements.
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