When you own the News, don't become the News.

Promoted. Originally posted 2010-01-30 19:54:46 -0500. -- GH

There is a story up on the AP at the moment which has News Corp agreeing to settle an anti-trust case with a company called Valassis for $500 Million.

News Corp. to pay $500M settlement to Valassis

Just to put this in perspective, payouts of this amount usually receive much more scrutiny:

Exxon Valdez : In the case of Baker v. Exxon, an Anchorage jury awarded $287 million for actual damages and $5 billion for punitive damages.

OK Tedi : A negotiated settlement worth approximately $500 million in compensation and commitments to tailings containment was reached in June 1996.

James Hardie: compensation worth up to $4 billion over the next 40 years

LIVONIA, Mich. (AP) -- News Corp. subsidiary News America Marketing has agreed to pay rival Valassis Communications Inc. $500 million to settle antitrust charges.

Valassis accused News America of threatening customers with price hikes for not offering exclusivity in marketing deals.

In a statement Saturday, News Corp. said it did not want to risk presenting the case to a jury in Michigan federal court, where it was scheduled for trial Tuesday. "it was in the best interests of the company and its stockholders to agree to a settlement."

The Exxon Valdez spill compensation claim was vigorously fought in court of law as well as in the public sphere, with the figure being reduced when the Bush administration was in office.

The OK Tedi disaster was a long term dumping of mining tailings filled with toxic metals, and cyanide contaminants into a river in Papua New Guinea.

The James Hardie payout was for continuing to market and manufacture asbestos building materials and fail to limit exposure to this product even when it was known of the effects on human health.

All of these, and I am sure there are many more, were played out in the press, in the media over and over. I know for a fact that News Corp would have headlined these three, if not many more in their newspapers day after day.

An Aussie Visiting America - Adrenalin Media

  Promoted. -- GH

Cross Posted on Daily Kos as part of a series of commentaries or diaries on an Australians trip across the USA during the month of August.

Yesterday in An Aussie Visiting America - LA, I discussed my gut reaction to a segment on Fox News in the US on one of their cable TV talk shows. As an Australian watching another (ex)Australians television network instructing people what to hate about 'other' Americans, I have to take issue with this.
It may be that too often though that one watches the personalities on Fox News Network, Bill O, Hannity and Beck without remembering that the station itself and the organization is ruled by a single man. The overriding ideology, what you are seeing which is labelled as News, is simply a public airing of the belief structure and comes with the express approval of one man. This gives that individual incredible power over public opinion and it is international influence where this power is wielded.

Rupert Murdoch, 78 years of age, born in 1931 and raised in Melbourne Australia, only became an American out of convenience in 1985 when he was 54 years of age.

Newsman Fights Clown As Thieves and Pimps Look On

Barry Nolan, a long-time broadcast journalist in the Boston area, was fired for his quiet, persistent protest against the selection of Bill O'Reilly for the Governor's Award by the Boston/New England Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS). The news brought to mind three quotes:


"If only I could get Jim Briskin on my network, Hada thought gloomily. The ranking TV news clown, so popular, with his flaming scarlet wig and genial, informal patter."
          -- Philip K. Dick, "What'll We Do With Ragland Park?" (1963).

"The TV business is uglier than most things. It is normally perceived as some kind of cruel and shallow money trench through the heart of the journalism industry, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs, for no good reason."
          -- Hunter S. Thompson, 1985

"There can be no higher law in journalism than to tell the truth and to shame the devil - remain detached from the great."
          -- Walter Lippmann, 1920


Nolan might have been reading Lippman when he decided last week that standing for his profession was more important than protecting his career. The news clown, the power of his popularity, feted as a journalist by the thieves and pimps, was just too much for him.

Writing in the Boston Herald on May 22, 2008, Jessica Heslam gives the basic details of the story, Comcast fires Barry Nolan over Bill O’Reilly protest:


Nolan tells MediaBiz he was fired Tuesday following a two-week, unpaid suspension.

A CN8 spokeswoman issued this statement: “Effective May 20, Barry Nolan is no longer employed by CN8, The Comcast Network. Backstage will continue to air weeknights at 8:00 p.m. with host, Sara Edwards, and its talented team of reporters and contributors.”


Before the May 10 awards, Nolan sent e-mails to industry colleagues encouraging them to write to the Emmy governors - if they shared his opinion - and let them know “this is an appalling choice for an honor.” [...snip...] At the awards, Nolan said he quietly put fliers on tables that “simply had” quotes from O’Reilly as well as three pages from the sexual harassment lawsuit O’Reilly settled that was brought by his former producer.

Security approached Nolan and told him he couldn’t distribute information at the event.

Nolan says he has no regrets about speaking out against giving O’Reilly “the highest honor” that the local Emmy Awards can bestow. 2


According to several accounts that I'd read, and what Nolan himself later told me, he understood there could -- and probably would -- be consequences for his actions. His sense of honor and integrity would not permit him to remain still and allow what he felt was an appalling event to take place unchallenged.