Yesterday, media mogul Rupert Murdoch announced his decision to step down from his role as chairman of the board of both Fox Corp and News Corp.
Before stepping down, Murdoch controlled a media empire that includes cable channel Fox News, The Times of London and The Wall Street Journal. He sold most of Fox’s movie studio, FX, and National Geographic Networks and its stake in Star India to Disney for $71.3 billion in March 2019. At that time, his son, Lachlan, ran the new Fox.
“… the battle for the freedom of speech and, ultimately, the freedom of thought, has never been more intense … Self-serving bureaucracies are seeking to silence those who would question their provenance and purpose. Elites have open contempt for those who are not members of their rarefied class. Most of the media is in cahoots with those elites, peddling political narratives rather than pursuing the truth,” Murdoch wrote in a letter to his colleagues informing them of his decision to step down.
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You can read Murdoch’s letter in full in Newsweek’s article titled ‘Rupert Murdoch Stepping Down: Read Resignation Letter in Full’ published on 21 September 2023.
Taking up the mantle as the sole chairman for both entities will be his son, Lachlan Murdoch. “On behalf of the FOX and News Corp boards of directors, leadership teams, and all the shareholders who have benefited from his hard work, I congratulate my father on his remarkable 70-year career,” said Lachlan.
In 2020, Murdoch’s son James resigned from the board of News Corp citing “disagreements over certain editorial content.” It seems these disagreements were as a result of James and his wife Kathryn moving further to the left of politics while the Murdoch organisation was moving further to the right.
You can read the official timeline of Murdoch’s career HERE. Below are some details that have been left out of Murdoch’s official timeline.
Dark Secrets of the Reagan Era
Roy Cohn was an American lawyer and prosecutor who came to prominence for his role as Senator Joseph McCarthy’s chief counsel during the Army–McCarthy hearings in 1954, when he assisted McCarthy’s investigations of suspected communists. In the late 1970s and during the 1980s, he became a prominent political fixer in New York City. He created an influence machine of unrivalled power that included some of the most prominent people in media and politics as well as a cadre of celebrities.
Although he was registered as a Democrat, Cohn supported most of the Republican presidents of his time and Republicans in major offices across New York. He maintained close ties in conservative political circles, serving as an informal advisor to Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. While having close ties to the Reagan administration, Cohn was simultaneously running sexual blackmail operations that abused and exploited children.
As well as being associated with many celebrities, famous politicians and political operatives, Cohn was also the attorney and friend of Rupert Murdoch. According to New York Magazine, “Whenever Roy wanted a story stopped, item put in, or story exploited, Roy called Murdoch;” and, after Murdoch bought the New York Post, Cohn “wielded the paper as his personal shiv.”
Cohn was also a close friend of another media mogul, Mort Zuckerman, who – along with Rupert Murdoch – would go on to befriend Jeffrey Epstein.
Though Cohn’s influence in the Reagan administration and his friendship with the Reagan family and their inner circle has been acknowledged, less well-known is how Cohn aided the CIA’s covert propaganda efforts that were part of the larger scandal known as Iran-Contra.
The Iran-Contra affair was a political scandal in which the Reagan administration secretly facilitated the sale of arms between 1981 and 1986 to Iran to fund the Contras in Nicaragua.
Then-CIA Director and Cohn friend William Casey was spearheading an extensive PR campaign aimed at shoring up public support for Reagan’s Latin American policies, including support of the Contra paramilitaries.
This domestic propaganda effort was technically illegal and required that the CIA outsource the job to the private sector to minimize the risk of fall-out. Just a few days after Chad Wick, the director of the US Information Agency, promised to find private funding for the effort, Cohn brought his close friend Rupert Murdoch to the White House.
After this meeting, documents released during the Iran-Contra scandal in 1987 and later from the Reagan Library indicate that Murdoch was soon viewed as a source for the private funding for the propaganda campaign.
After that initial meeting, Murdoch became the top media ally of this Casey-directed propaganda effort, and also became increasingly close to the Reagan White House. Murdoch, as a consequence, benefited greatly from Reagan’s policies and his friendship with the administration, which allowed Murdoch to increase his US media holdings and to create the Fox Broadcasting Corporation in 1987.
Read more: Government by Blackmail: Jeffrey Epstein, Trump’s Mentor and the Dark Secrets of the Reagan Era, Whitney Webb, 25 July 2019
Phone Call with Volodymyr Zelensky
Semafor reported that Fox News Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch held a previously unreported call with Ukrainian dictator Volodymyr Zelensky earlier this year. The two men discussed the war and the anniversary of the deaths of Fox News journalists last March. Zelensky also had a conversation with Lachlan Murdoch on the same subject.
The conversations came weeks before the Murdochs fired their biggest star and most outspoken critic of American support for Ukraine, Tucker Carlson. Senior Ukrainian officials had made their objections to Carlson’s coverage known to Fox executives, but Zelensky did not raise it on the calls with the Murdochs, according to one person familiar with the details of the calls.
Read more: Rupert Murdoch and Son Lachlan Secretly Met With Ukrainian Dictator Volodymyr Zelenskyy Before Ousting Tucker Carlson – Were “Disturbed” By Tucker’s Stance on Ukraine, The Gateway Pundit, 1 May 2023
How Media Shapes Society
In January 2011, Scotland Yard opened a new investigation of News of the World phone-hacking, citing new evidence. Six months later, the last News of the World hit newsstands and the scandal spread to other Murdoch papers, including The Sun and Sunday Times.
Read more: Rupert Murdoch’s phone-hacking scandal: A timeline, The Week, 4 April 2012
James Corbett discussed the phone hacking scandal and other examples of how the media shapes society in a podcast in 2011.
“The rapidity with which the scandal has eaten through to the very heart of the unholy alliance between the British press, police and government had taken nearly everyone by surprise, even those who already knew of the existence of that alliance in the first place,” Corbett said.
“Despite the faux-shock with which the mainstream media seems to be “discovering” the extent of Murdoch’s political clout, the facts about News Corporation’s ownership of a bewildering number of media outlets around the world has been a matter of public record for some time. Nor should the idea that Murdoch uses his political influence to shape public policy come as a surprise to anyone who has followed the admissions from his broadcasting networks and from Murdoch himself that this is precisely what he has been attempting to do.
“The problem of the convergence of media and politics, while brought to the forefront by the Murdoch scandal, is by no means limited to News Corporation or its subsidiaries.”
You can read a transcript of the video below HERE.
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