Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch said it is the job of Fox News to serve as the “loyal opposition” to the Biden administration, stating clearly the political biases of a network that until 2017 billed itself as “fair and balanced,” NBC News reports.
“New York Times columnist David Brooks is drawing a second salary for his work on an Aspen Institute project funded by Facebook and other large donors — a fact he has not disclosed in his columns,” Buzzfeed News reports.
“Brooks has published multiple columns that promote (the Aspen Institute project) Weave, in addition to writing pieces that mention Facebook, its founder Mark Zuckerberg, and the company’s products without disclosing his financial ties to the social networking giant.”
“The Los Angeles Times has filed a federal lawsuit seeking to unseal the warrant that authorized federal authorities to search Sen. Richard Burr’s (R-NC) cellphone as part of the FBI investigation into stock trades just as the coronavirus pandemic began to surge across the country,” the Los Angeles Times reports
“The lawsuit, which was filed Feb. 24 but became public late Tuesday, seeks to have a federal judge make public the warrant, supporting affidavits and related materials connected to the search of the North Carolina senator’s phone.”
The Week: “Left-leaning and centrist news publications get fewer clicks on Facebook if they publish false stories. But far-right publications experience the opposite, nabbing nearly twice as much Facebook engagement on stories classified as misinformation.”
“The researchers at the Cybersecurity for Democracy project at New York University found that not only are far-right publications unique in that they are seemingly rewarded for posting faulty information, they are receiving by far the most engagement compared to slightly right, center, slightly left, and far-left publications in general.”
Brian Stelter: “On a chart of Sunday’s TV ratings, President Trump’s CPAC speech looks like the lift-off of a Space Force rocket. At least 5.7 million viewers watched the 90-minute speech on Fox News and another 1.5 million watched it on Newsmax. That’s about 7 times higher than Fox’s audience the previous Sunday, and 15 times higher than Newsmax’s performance. This is yet another sign of the GOP base’s loyalty to Trump…”
He adds: “Here is a flawed, but irresistible, comparison. The Golden Globes, later in the day on NBC, averaged 6.9 million, a record low. Trump reached 7.4 million across Fox and Newsmax. How many people watched both, you reckon?”
“It’s the truth and I’m just going to say it. That I wish I never would have fucking met Trump. I wish it never would have happened. And it’s not the attacks I’ve been through. I’m so sick of fucking Donald Trump, man. God, I’m fucking sick of him. And I’m not doing this because, like, I’m kissing his fucking ass, you know. It’s, like, I’m sick of it.”
— Alex Jones, in a leaked video ranting in 2019 about then President Trump.
An embarrassing correction from the BBC:
“In our Newshour radio programme on Friday, a man claiming to be Senator Cory Booker was interviewed in what appears to be a deliberate hoax. We have apologised to Senator Booker and are looking into what went wrong to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany will officially join Fox News, NBC News reports.
“The news comes after weeks during which the network had equivocated about McEnany’s role at the network. It was not immediately clear what her role will be at the company.”
Daily Beast: Fox News insiders rage against hiring ‘mini Goebbels’ Kayleigh McEnany.
Washington Post: “Only a few months ago, Fox cracked down on appearances by its hosts and journalists at partisan events, deeming them a breach of the line distinguishing a news organization from a political-advocacy outfit.”
“But Fox not only permitted Bongino and Hegseth to address CPAC this week — the network was directly involved in financing the conference.
Washington Post: “Starting Monday, the White House’s press office said it will start charging journalists for coronavirus tests, which are required for anyone entering the White House grounds. The proposed cost for each test: $170. With dozens of journalists at the White House each day, the fees could add up to tens of thousands of dollars flowing from newsrooms, many of them small and cash-strapped, into government coffers.”
“Until now, the cost of testing has been borne by the White House. But officials there contend that the cost of maintaining the testing regime for nearly a year has strained its budget. So it wants to shift the burden onto news organizations: No test, no entry to the White House.”
“George Clooney is producing a docuseries about the decades-long sexual abuse scandal in the athletic department at Ohio State University, where Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) was once an assistant coach of the wrestling team,” Mediaite reports.
Matt Taibbi: “The so-called media reporters at major organizations like CNN and the New York Times have mostly either been silent or have played cheerleading roles during the most eyebrow-raising recent developments: the decision by Facebook and Twitter to block access to a pre-election New York Post story about Hunter Biden, the stunning exercise in monopoly influence by Amazon and Apple in swallowing up the ‘free speech’ platform Parler, the banning of Socialist Worker Party accounts in England and the U.S., and the shutdown of livestream capability by alternative media outlets (and the removal of celebrated footage shot from the Capitol riot by people like Status Coup videographer Jon Farina), a story that amazingly only got major play at … Fox News.”
“All of these stories share the same theme: small, unelected groups of private executives making sweeping decisions about speech, cheered on by Democratic Party politicians. If it proceeds to its logical conclusion, it poses a much more serious problem for society than even Fox News at its worst.”
Democratic strategist Tara McGowan is planning a new $65 million effort to push progressive local news around the United States as part of an attempt to match the dominance of right-wing media, Recode reports.
Alex Shephard: “The Sunday shows are not designed to inform or educate. They are barometers of what representatives from the two parties think is important. The goal is not to understand an issue, let alone divine the truth, but to broadcast what Democrats and Republicans care about at that moment. They are vehicles for talking points rather than works of journalism…”
“But overall, the format itself feels exhausted, a relic from an earlier, more consensus-driven era. These were shows designed to highlight respectful political difference and to provide a place where both sides could come together and spin the public. These were not shows designed for a political system where one party wrongly believes that an election has been stolen, or that lives in fear of the whims of one man. The Sunday shows remain influential, but they haven’t been relevant in a long time.”
“Al Jazeera is launching Rightly, a new digital platform aiming to serve conservative audiences — reaching center-right folks who feel left out of mainstream media,” Politico reports.
The Hill: “Al Jazeera, which is financially backed by the Qatari government, has had mixed success in its past U.S.-focused efforts.”
“In a case of potential brand-blemishing by association, the Murdoch empire’s cash cow, Fox News Media, is spending $250,000 to underwrite a three-day partisan political confab featuring ousted president Donald Trump and a host of speakers on multiple panels pushing the big lie that President Joe Biden was fraudulently elected,” the Daily Beast reports.
“Fox News Media donated the money via its fledgling Fox Nation streaming service, which is listed as a top corporate sponsor—along with the American Conservative Union, the organizer of the confab, and Liberty HealthShare, a Christianity-based health-care management firm—of this week’s Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida.”
A new Pew Research report finds 24% of Republicans and and 25% of Democrats “consistently” turned to “partisan news media bubbles” for their news.
“Republicans who stuck to their partisan bubbles tended to be much older than those that relied on outlets with left-leaning audiences or a mix of publications. About 80% of the Republicans who stuck to their partisan bubbles were older than 50, including 44% older than 65.”
“Democrats who get their political news only from outlets with left-leaning audiences were more likely to be white and have college degrees. Democrats who consistently turned to outlets with mixed or right-leaning audiences were more likely to be Black (29%) or Hispanic (21%).”