Fox News on Murdoch: Not Exactly the ACORN Treatment

Fox News on Murdoch: Not Exactly the ACORN Treatment

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The allegations against the Murdoch empire are ricocheting around the world and being covered in every detail—except for one hugely influential American news outlet: Fox News.

While not every news outlet is compatible with every top story, the unfolding saga of a potential international organizational conspiracy to profit off terrorist activities seems to be right up Fox’s dark alley. Yet a recent analysis by MediaMatters.org indicates that the Murdoch-owned cable news leader is the least likely place to find the story surrounding what potentially can become the biggest media meltdown the world has seen.

The “news crew” at Fox is no stranger to stories based on allegations of organizational misdeeds. A look back to Fox’s coverage of allegations against the voter empowerment group ACORN offers an interesting comparison.

ACORN was a national organization dedicated to fighting poverty and registering low-income Americans as voters. The work of engaging disaffected Americans into the process of our freewheeling democracy is a tough task, and ACORN was the largest and most effective tiller of that soil. When a right-wing ideologue offered the world a video edited to show ACORN in the worst possible light, Fox “news” went on overdrive.

Fox “news” led the charge against ACORN, breathlessly promoting each new rumor as fact. The Fox “news” coverage was used as proof for a congressional vote against ACORN that eventually led to the demise of the organization.

In the case of Murdoch, Fox has been much more restrained. The minimal coverage offered is beyond cautious. In the tradition of the right, the rich and powerful Murdoch is being treated with much more respect than the scrappy servant of the working class, ACORN.

Absent from Fox’s coverage of Murdoch are the breathless tones, which have been replaced with the word “allegations." Unlike the coverage of ACORN, the coverage of the Murdoch meltdown calls for not “jumping to conclusions."

Beyond the obvious profit motive involved in Fox’s newfound restraint, the transformation from a political tabloid to something at least lightly resembling journalism—at least in dealing with the News Corp scandal— is based on something much deeper.

There is a certain royal deference that the right applies to the wealthy and powerful. Fox’s deference to the right-wing elite is only matched by it’s total disdain for the poor. Murdoch could be any right-wing power broker and Fox’s respect would be the same.

Fox “news” has demonstrated once and for all that if you dare to support low income working Americans you are their target and if you are a fan and protector of the powerful you are… well….. Fox News.