Media Matters staff

Author ››› Media Matters staff
  • His Accounting Firm Ran A Ridiculous Pro-Bill O'Reilly Ad. We Annotated It To Be Factual.

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    Yashar Ali points out that Bell & Company, Bill O'Reilly's accounting firm, placed a laudatory advertisement for the Fox News host in today's Hollywood Reporter:

    Here is the annotated version of this ad, specifically designed to remove all spin:

    Graphic by Sarah Wasko

  • Murdoch Takeover Of Sky Would Undermine British Broadcasting Standards, Joint Report Shows

    Fox News And 21st Century Fox Have Faced Legal Action For Enabling Pervasive Workplace Discrimination And Sexual Harassment

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    Media Matters, in partnership with global activism group Avaaz, submitted a report to U.K.'s chief broadcasting regulator, Ofcom, detailing the risks Rupert Murdoch’s desired takeover of British satellite broadcasting company Sky poses to British broadcasting standards. On March 16, U.K. Culture Secretary Karen Bradley had referred Murdoch's takeover bid to Ofcom for a thorough investigation on the grounds of "media plurality and commitment to broadcasting standards." Ofcom has to report back to Secretary Bradley by May 16.

    Since the referral, more alarming information has come out about the toxic corporate culture and alleged improper conduct in Murdoch’s company. Media Matters and Avaaz detailed these additional concerns in their report:

    In recent months, serious allegations of sexual harassment, other abuse and discrimination, and corporate misgovernance have been levelled at subsidiaries of 21C Fox. Many of these allegations are against the highest and most influential people at the organisation. Investigative news reports, victims’ testimonies, and court documents paint a picture of a management with no meaningful accountability and no credible governance structure. The situation is so serious that federal prosecutors are now investigating.

    In July 2016, Fox News anchorwoman Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit against Fox News CEO Roger Ailes in the New Jersey Superior Court. After reportedly trying hard to campaign against the culture of harassment, she alleges that Ailes “sabotaged” her career because she “refused his sexual advances.” She was forced to file against Ailes and not Fox News because her contract had a clause that mandated employment disputes be resolved in private arbitration - an approach Fox News adopts repeatedly, denying victims their day in court.

    A stark pattern of corporate negligence and management failure emerges, with a number of alleged incidents occurring after 2012, the date when 21C Fox claims to have introduced a new corporate conduct compliance mechanism. This pattern has strong echoes of years-long attempts by executives to mislead authorities, investors, staff and the public about phone hacking and other illegal activity in the UK.

    This joint report builds upon a previous report on 21st Century Fox’s unsuitability to take over Sky -- which oversees Sky News. The new document, details the corporate governance failures of Murdoch-controlled 21st Century Fox, including the new lawsuits and reports of sexual harassment.

    This culture of discrimination and abuse is also reflected in the programming of Fox News. As detailed in the new report, the network has repeatedly violated the standards of the Broadcasting Code of Britain’s 2003 Communications Act through “a consistent pattern of derogatory or abusive statements about a variety of groups, religions and communities as well as singling out specific individuals for unfair treatment. … All in all, there is a consistent pattern of regular abusive and derogatory treatment of a range of individuals, groups, religions and communities that is absolutely not justified by the context of the broadcasts in question. Fox has largely failed to adequately correct or respond to complaints, and has let similar abusive and derogatory material air on subsequent occasions -- again, uncorrected."

    Murdoch's Fox Effect: How full ownership of Sky risks undermining British broadcasting standards by Media Matters for America on Scribd

  • From The Iraq War To Climate Change To Sexual Assault, NY Times' New Op-Ed Columnist, Bret Stephens, Is A Serial Misinformer

    ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    The New York Times hired Wall Street Journal deputy editor Bret Stephens as its newest opinion columnist, claiming he “will bring a new perspective to bear on the news.” Stephens has a long history of promoting misinformation, including on climate science, foreign policy, and sexual assault.

  • Rupert Murdoch's Memo To Fox News Will Cause Panic

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    Media Matters President Angelo Carusone, a recognized advertiser pressure campaign expert who is also running the @StopOReilly Twitter account, released the following statement after Rupert Murdoch reportedly sent a memo to staff members praising them for Fox’s recent ratings success.

    Rupert Murdoch’s memo to Fox News staff should cause 21st Century Fox’s CEO, James Murdoch, and its shareholders to panic. It will intensify the anxiety that advertisers are feeling at the moment and puts more pressure on them to act. Advertisers’ decision to reject Bill O’Reilly’s program was as much about the newly public reports of serial sexual harassment as it was worry that more reports will come.

    With good reason too. Roger Ailes left the network after more than two dozen reports of sexual harassment came to light. And, Fox News’ current co-presidents are linked to attempts to cover up or retaliate against women who had reported either Roger Ailes or Bill O’Reilly.

    It’s clear that there’s an unresolved epidemic of sexual harassment at Fox News and advertisers know that associating with that is bad for business. The blitheness of Murdoch’s memo will not only undermine staff morale, but it just signaled to advertisers that Murdoch is committed to maintaining Fox News’ culture of harassment. Advertisers are now on notice that the only way to avoid the association and support of serial sexual harassment is to further distance themselves from Fox.

    Fox News host Bill O’Reilly announced on the April 4 edition of his show that he was taking a previously booked “vacation.” On April 12, Politico reported that O’Reilly has “has quietly made one major change recently: he is now hosting four days a week, instead of five.”

    New York magazine’s Gabriel Sherman reported that multiple Fox News sources are saying O’Reilly could be off the air permanently. James Murdoch, the CEO of Fox News’ parent company, 21st Century Fox, “would like O’Reilly to be permanently taken off the air.” James’ father, Rupert; James’ older brother Lachlan; and Fox News co-president Bill Shine are pushing for O’Reilly to remain on air.

    The campaign against O'Reilly is being organized by Carusone, ThinkProgress editor-in-chief Judd Legum, and consumer advocate organization Sleeping Giants.