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Murdock Gains In Quest To Control Media

By James Donahue

That prune-faced detractor Rupert Murdock appears to have scored another major victory in his war against fair and balanced journalism in the United States. It was announced Saturday, even as Murdock’s News Corporation was threatening to shut off Time-Warner’s cable links to Fox News and all the Fox stations broadcasting the popular holiday weekend football games, that an agreement was reached to pay much more for the service.

The amount of the agreed price hike was not disclosed. While Fox negotiators disputed it, one report said News Corp. was demanding a 300 percent increase in payment.

While most thinking American’s would not miss Fox News on their cable lineup, News Corporation’s control of popular sports programming, especially during the New Year Holidays, gave Murdock some powerful leverage at the bargaining table. There were threats that these channels would go dark at midnight New Year’s Eve if the News Corp. demands were not met.

A last-second extension of this shut-off deadline kept the games open for public viewing as bargaining continued non-stop throughout the holiday weekend. The deal was struck early on Saturday.

Whatever that deal was, the hike in payments to News Corp. is expected to impact future contract negotiations with all of the other broadcast channels. That means subscribers to cable and satellite television programming can expect one or both of two things to happen in the weeks and months ahead. The cost of the service is going to increase at a time when most American’s are financially strapped. Also the number of available programs will probably drop.

Our biggest fear is that Fox News will eventually win out over all or at least some of the opposition news outlets CNN, MSNBC, BBC and the traditional evening news from local television station links to ABC, NBC and CBS.

While News Corp. also is attempting to charge for access to its Internet  news sites, Murdock has not yet found a way to close all of the information outlets that flood the web. We are sure that is on his mind, however.

Imagine the information crisis Murdock could create if his Fox News channel gained exclusive control of our televised news. Nearly everything emulating from the lips of the muckrakers at Fox either bear an extreme right wing slant, or is bald-faced misinformation designed to twist the minds of the masses.

Murdock quest for wealth and power is quickly destroying any credibility left in the deteriorating field of American journalism.