Accuracy in Media

Sean Hannity, the conservative Republican commentator who takes on such controversial issues as Hillary Clinton’s legal work in a communist law firm, could be on his way out of the Fox News Channel as a result of Rupert Murdoch’s decision to turn the company over to his liberal son James.

James Murdoch, 34, who buys into global warming hysteria, has in recent days been labeled the “News Corporation Heir” and “Son King” because of changes in the company that have dramatically increased his power. The Fox News Channel is one part of Murdoch’s News Corporation.

While James Murdoch is based in London and is now being given control of News Corp’s business in Europe and Asia, he is scheduled to take control of U.S. operations when Peter Chernin, the president of News Corporation who is based in New York, steps down. Chernin is himself a prominent Democrat.  

Like Father, Like Son 

James Murdoch is said to have convinced his father, 76, to “go green” in a major May 9 speech. In the speech, Rupert Murdoch sounded like Al Gore, saying that “Climate change poses clear, catastrophic threats” and that “We may not agree on the extent, but we certainly can’t afford the risk of inaction.”

Marc Gunther of Fortune magazine commented that “Murdoch has boldly promised to make News Corp. carbon neutral by 2010 and to weave environmental issues and themes into his newspapers, TV shows, movies and online properties?a tricky business, particularly when it comes to news.” (emphasis added)

The Hillary front organization known as Media Matters has challenged Murdoch to rein in the various Fox News personalities, including Hannity, who have voiced skepticism about the man-made global warming theory. The group complains that conservative voices on Fox far outnumber “progressive” voices and that Fox anchors, reporters, and guests inject pro-Republican views into the shows.

Murdoch’s decision to hand the European and Asian operations of his company to his son James has been widely interpreted as a sign that James will soon inherit control of the entire company. That means that James’ liberal philosophy on environmental and other matters could become the party line not only of News Corporation but the Fox News Channel. Fox News already has come under conservative criticism for airing a Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. special that claimed human activity was causing global warming.

The New York Times has described James Murdoch as “steadfastly liberal” and notes that he “has supported Bill Clinton and Al Gore whose daughter he befriended at Harvard.” James Murdoch, who dropped out of Harvard, runs BSkyB, a part of News Corporation which is airing Current TV, a television project sponsored by Gore, and the foreign?financed Al-Jazeera and Al-Jazeera English television channels.

The London Telegraph reports that, “Thanks to friendships with Al Gore and Bill Clinton, he [James Murdoch] has developed deep green instincts?” His father made a $500,000 gift to the Clinton Global Initiative.

“I’ve gotten to know Al [Gore] in a number of different contexts in the last number of years,” James Murdoch told the Financial Times in an interview. We “think the same way about the necessity of being realistic concerning the climate crisis,” Gore piped in during the same interview.

While the liberal media establishment is concerned about Murdoch’s News Corporation taking control of Dow Jones & Company, which owns a paper, the Wall Street Journal, with liberal news pages, conservatives are concerned that Rupert Murdoch has been moving rapidly to the left over the last several years.

A year ago, AIM went to the News Corporation annual meeting with a series of questions about James Murdoch’s increasing influence in the company. The questions included:

*James Murdoch wrote an article for the Guardian attacking the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute for dispensing “inaccurate propaganda” about the global warming issue. But many conservatives regard the theory of man-made global warming as a hoax. Has James Murdoch been persuaded by Al Gore to embrace it?

*James Murdoch has criticized the Western media for focusing on China’s human rights abuses. Observers say this was an effort to ingratiate the company with Chinese Communist leaders because of News Corporation’s extensive business dealings with China. What is your view on that?

At the meeting, where Rupert Murdoch cut the questions short and refused to discuss his successor, AIM also questioned him about his support for Hillary Clinton. He hosted a fundraiser for her and his New York Post newspaper endorsed her Senate re-election bid.

In Australia, where he was born, Murdoch just recently engineered an endorsement of the left-wing candidate, Kevin Rudd, as Prime Minister by his national newspaper The Australian. Rudd beat the pro-American candidate, John Howard.  

Helping Al Gore  

On July 7, when the LiveEarth concerts were staged around the world, Murdoch’s Foxtel television network was the exclusive Australian broadcast partner for the event. Here, the concerts were aired by the networks owned by GE, whose chairman Jeffrey Immelt also contributes to the Clinton Global Initiative.

Proceeds from the LiveEarth concerts went to the Alliance for Climate Protection, a group headed by Al Gore. 

ISLAMISTS TARGET MICHAEL SAVAGE

Americans don’t have to look to Sudan to see Islamic fanaticism and extremism in action. The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) is trying to destroy the Savage Nation radio show featuring Michael Savage. Having forced the firing of radio host Michael Graham from WMAL in Washington, D.C., CAIR is trying to force independent conservative Michael Savage off the air nationally by intimidating his advertisers. Officially, CAIR claims its mission includes encouraging “dialogue.” But this is a big lie.   

This so-called “dialogue” is a one-way street. CAIR has found Savage “guilty” of having an “anti-Islam” bias in the same way that a British teacher was jailed and expelled from Sudan for naming a teddy bear Mohammed.  

We had better wake up fast. “They’re applying Sharia law here,” says Bill Warner of the Center for the Study of Political Islam. “In the United States we’re getting Sharia law by the inch. Islam cannot be criticized. It is a sin against Allah. What Savage has done is a grievous sin against Allah, Mohammed and Islam. They are not making this up. CAIR has no choice here. As a real Muslim, they must condemn anyone who criticizes Islam.”

The modus operandi is as straightforward as it is frightening? pressure companies to stop advertising on the show, and “The Savage Nation” will go off the air. Hence, a prominent critic of political Islam will be silenced.

Ironically, CAIR is distributing a column by Ibrahim Hooper on the teddy bear case insisting that “the Prophet had the opportunity to retaliate against those who abused him, but refrained from doing so.” The article goes on to say, “After the Danish cartoon controversy and allegations of Quran desecration at Guantanamo Bay, CAIR initiated educational campaigns as a peaceful, constructive response. This is an approach that people of all faiths can appreciate, as it helps us move toward respect and religious tolerance.”   

The Real Agenda  

But CAIR isn’t interested in the virtues of “dialogue” and “tolerance” in Savage’s case. It isn’t waging an “educational campaign” but is trying to force him off the air. It did the same thing with Michael Graham, who was fired from WMAL in 2005 for claiming Islam was a terrorist organization. At the time, CAIR welcomed WMAL’s action “as a step toward reducing the level of anti-Muslim bigotry on our nation’s airwaves.”

What we are witnessing is a direct attack on the First Amendment disguised as a campaign against “hate speech” that comes from special interest groups, not government. But the use of government for this same purpose is being promised by liberal-left organizations that want a President Clinton or Obama to put in place a liberal majority at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to crack down on conservative talk radio. That is why AIM has titled its new book on the controversy, The Death of Talk Radio? 

The CAIR vs. Michael Savage case provides a lesson in how this campaign will proceed once liberals control the White House. It is important to realize that with a 3-2 majority on the FCC the liberals won’t even have to bother with pressuring advertisers. They will be able to directly use the full force of the federal government to pressure talk radio to toe the politically correct line. The FCC can bring back the so-called Fairness Doctrine, in order to suppress “hate speech” on the air, without a vote by Congress.  

In fascinating comments on the Savage case, CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin was quoted as saying that it was “encouraging that companies nationwide are choosing not to associate with Mr. Savage’s hatred and bigotry.” She added, “Freedom of speech includes the right not to subsidize hate.” 

The right not to subsidize hate? What about the right to free speech? Notice how the First Amendment has taken a back seat to whether the speech meets with CAIR’s approval. In effect, CAIR is setting itself up as a national arbiter of what should be permitted to be said on the air. CAIR even advises its supporters to “organize local coalitions with friends of the Muslim community to challenge Savage’s hate rhetoric.” 

Those friends include Media Matters, the Hillary Clinton front organization which has publicized CAIR’s complaints about “anti-Muslim” comments in the media.    

Pipeline To The FCC 

The return of the Fairness Doctrine would give these groups direct access to the FCC. 

The issue isn’t whether Savage has been critical of Islam or even whether he has made some extreme statements. It is that a special interest group wants to muzzle its political enemies. And it is succeeding! It is just as dangerous as the campaign against the British school teacher in the Sudan.

Ironically, CAIR’s vice-chairman received the ACLU’s 2003 Liberty’s Flame Award “for contributions to the advancement and protection of civil liberties.” But the civil liberties of Michael Savage don’t matter in CAIR’s scheme of things.

Whether you like Savage or not, he must not be forced off the air as the result of a special interest political pressure campaign. Beyond that, however, the public must be educated about how CAIR’s campaign against Savage is part of the effort to force Sharia law on the world.

   CAIR’s opposition to “hate speech” is quite extraordinary, in view of the fact that the Islamic holy book the Koran declares that “They who dispute the signs of Allah [kafirs] without authority having reached them are greatly hated by Allah and the believers.” 

The Koran also declares that the “kafirs” should be killed through beheading. “When you encounter the kafirs on the battlefield, cut off their heads until you have thoroughly defeated them and then take the prisoners and tie them up firmly,” it says. 

The “kafirs” are usually described as the unbelievers. But Bill Warner of the Center for the Study of Political Islam says the term has far more sinister connotations.  

“The worst part of hate speech in the Koran is what we translate as unbeliever,” he says. “But that is a ruinously false translation?A kafir can be tortured, killed, deceived, raped, and robbed. Allah despises the kafir. Allah deceives and plots against the kafirs. Allah hates the kafirs.”

“The worst part of the hate language from the Koran is its name for us?you and me,” he says. Will Sharia law or the First Amendment prevail in the U.S.? The fate of Michael Savage will provide the answer. 

WATERBOARDING IS NOT TORTURE 

The George Soros-funded Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) was running an ad on CNN and MSNBC featuring actor Danny Glover asserting that the Bush administration is “destroying the Constitution” by the use of renditions and “torture” against terrorists. The ad, which shows the Constitution being shredded, was rejected by Fox News.

As a result, the CCR called on its supporters to “take action” and “stop Fox News censorship.” In fact, Fox News had every right to reject this irresponsible and grossly misleading political commercial. 

The occasion of the ad was the Supreme Court’s hearing of a case, Boumediene vs. Bush, involving a Muslim named Lakhdar Boumediene currently being detained at the Guantanamo facility. The CCR finds Gitmo to be a terrible place. But talk-show host Rush Limbaugh jokingly calls it “Club Gitmo” since the detainees are enjoying hotel living conditions. Most of the inmates are putting on weight because of the good food and one has almost doubled in size.

The CCR has some rather strange ideas about how suspected terrorists should be treated. It has been critical of the practice of “forced grooming,” or the shaving of the beard or hair. It has complained that interrogators at Gitmo allegedly threatened to “apply lipstick to him [Boumediene] to make him look like a woman.” The CCR considers all of this to be “degrading” treatment. 

CCR Executive Director Vincent Warren seized on the Fox News statement, which rejected the ad because it doesn’t prove Glover’s point that the Bush Administration is actually destroying the Constitution. “Fox’s literal interpretation of the ad is utterly ridiculous,” Warren said.”To believe we are insinuating that President Bush has destroyed one of our most treasured historical documents is foolish and emblematic of the political bias of Murdoch’s media empire. Surely there are other advertisements that Fox airs that use metaphors to express their message?political or not.”  

Propaganda 

Whether Fox objected to the word “destroying” being taken in a literal sense or not, the ad is still false. It is false in the sense of asserting, without evidence, that the Bush Administration engages in torture and that the practice of rendering terrorists somehow violates the Constitution.  

The word “torture,” as groups like CCR bandy about the term, doesn’t mean what most people think it means. It has become a politically loaded term that left-wingers associate with anything that makes an accused terrorist feel uncomfortable. One of the most objectionable procedures is said to be pouring water over the face of a suspected terrorist. It is a matter of opinion whether this practice, known as waterboarding, is torture or not. Calling it torture doesn’t make it so.  

Waterboarding doesn’t leave any lasting physical or psychological damage, which is usually the mark of torture. And its use cannot necessarily be considered a violation of the Constitution, U.S. laws or U.N. treaties. It has reportedly been successful in forcing confessions of terrorist plots. 

“Our ad is about reminding Americans of their Constitutional rights that have been chipped away by the Bush administration,” claims CCR Executive Director Warren.He said the Fox News rejection of the ad is “another example of how Americans are shielded from the truth about Guantanamo and the implications of the war on terror.” 

This claim is false as well. One of the central issues in the case is whether the inmates at Gitmo are entitled to constitutional rights that Americans enjoy. The Bush Administration opposes that view and has designated them as noncitizen enemy combatants.

Jack Goldsmith’s important book, The Terror Presidency, describes how the Bush Administration came to difficult decisions involving presidential power and national security. Goldsmith, who served in the Office of Legal Counsel in the Bush Justice Department, found fault with some of the decisions but makes it plain that one of the overriding concerns was to save American lives after 9/11.   

Clinton Started It  

On the matter of renditions, which have become controversial under Bush, Goldsmith notes that the OLC in the Clinton Justice Department “signed off on the CIA’s original rendition program of snatching people from one country and taking them to another for questioning, trial, and punishment.”  

It is interesting to see how various law firms and domestic and foreign special interest groups have come down in the case. 

Boumediene’s attorney, Seth Waxman, is a former U.S. solicitor general in the Clinton administration. His side is supported by briefs introduced by the ACLU, the American Bar Association, Amnesty Inter-national, the Cato Institute, the United Nations High Commis-sioner for Human Rights, Republican Senator Arlen Specter, and parliamentarians from Canada, Britain and Europe. Several of these briefs insist that the administration’s detention program is a violation of international law.

Opposing Boumediene and siding with the Bush Administration are briefs submitted by the American Center for Law and Justice, the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, the Washington Legal Foundation, and the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.

In total, there are 23 amicus briefs in support of Boumediene and only four in support of the position of the Bush Administration.

What You Can Do

Please send the enclosed postcards or cards and letters of your own choosing to Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly of Fox News. Please also send House Speaker Pelosi the enclosed postcard about the mini Sodom and Gomorrah held in her congressional district called the Folsom Street Fair.




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