Accuracy in Media

An influential voice in the “conservative media” has jumped ship. The New York Post has endorsed Hillary Clinton for the Senate over a solid conservative, John Spencer. It’s another sign that Post owner Rupert Murdoch, whose News Corporation is also the parent of the Fox News Channel, is moving to the left.

The endorsement by the New York Post came shortly after Senator Clinton indicated she would approve of state action to legalize homosexual marriage.

On all the major issues, Spencer and Clinton disagree. These include border security, gun control, abortion, affirmative action, special rights for homosexuals, and flag burning. A principled conservative, Spencer is pro-life, pro-marriage, pro-economic growth, pro-2nd amendment, and anti-illegal immigration. He is a true conservative. But the New York Post dismissed him as not “credible.”

The paper said Clinton had been a “pretty good Senator” but offered no reasons to believe that’s the case, except to imply that she had delivered some pork to the state. That’s hardly a conservative position. The paper said some of her positions on national security issues were not as bad as they could be. But it acknowledged that she is moving to the left on Iraq, into the “Bush lied” camp.

This poor excuse for an endorsement can only be explained by direct orders from Murdoch to his editor that he wanted Hillary endorsed no matter how bad a record she had on the issues. At the recent News Corporation annual meeting, Murdoch made it clear that his personal views on various subjects can be ascertained by reading the editorials of the papers he owns. So there is no question that he wants to see Hillary re-elected. It’s significant that his editor couldn’t come up with any coherent defense of her work as a Senator. But when the boss wants you to do something, you do it.

Another reason for endorsing Hillary, according to the editorial, was that she has “an insurmountable lead in the polls.” In other words, the paper wanted to go for the likely winner. How’s that for doing what’s right?

In the letters column the next day, one reader wrote, “The Post was the only New York paper I could turn to without a liberal left-wing slant; then I woke up and discovered your endorsement. Clinton is a leftist tax-‘em-to-death liar who is against monitoring terrorist communication, the Patriot Act, tax cuts and school choice.”

The editorial must have been a surprise to those Post readers unfamiliar with how Rupert Murdoch has been moving left. He not only hosted a fundraiser for Hillary earlier this year, he sent a contribution to the Senate campaign of Democrat Harold Ford in Tennessee after meeting with the congressman. The company official who reportedly arranged both events was Gary Ginsberg, a former Assistant Counsel to President Clinton who serves as Executive Vice President of Investor Relations and Corporate Affairs at News Corporation.

Ginsberg reports to Peter Chernin, the News Corporation President and Chief Operating Officer who is a big Democratic Party fundraiser. Chernin was known in the fundraising business as a “bundler” for John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign. These are people who collected individual contributions in “bundles” of $50,000 or $100,000.

Speaking of Kerry, who is in hot water over his comments about U.S. troops being “stuck in Iraq,” Fox News host Bill O’Reilly went out of his way on his show last night to say that he didn’t think Kerry meant what he said, and that it was not the Democrat’s intention to disparage our troops who are fighting. O’Reilly had on two Democratic Party consultants who tried to explain away Kerry’s comments and attack the Republicans for highlighting them. An AIM supporter disgusted with O’Reilly’s handling of this matter on his show countered: “I guess it wasn’t intentional when Kerry called his fellow troops rapists, murderers, you name it, everything under the sun when he testified about Vietnam.” Columnist Mary Mostert points out that Kerry has a 35-year record of saying things that “undermine and discredit the men in our armed forces.”

O’Reilly made it repeatedly clear during the 2004 campaign, when he was pleading for an interview with Kerry on his show, that he believed the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth attack on Kerry’s record was malicious and unfair. Despite his begging, O’Reilly never got his Kerry interview during the campaign. (O’Reilly eventually got an interview with Kerry on June 29 of this year).

The New York Post’s endorsement of Hillary should serve as a wake-up call to those who have concluded that Fox News is part of the new media revolution and that it, like the New York Post, is a reliably conservative instrument. The right-wing mogul who calls the shots isn’t so right-wing after all. Expect the left-ward drift to accelerate if the Democrats take Congress.

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