The Fox problem

Fox News has long since abandoned any pretense to being a news organization. It is now an unapologetic propaganda arm of the racist, white nationalist, neo-Nazi, Republican movement in America that has reached its apotheosis in Donald Trump. Long gone are the dog whistle codes to provide a face-saving façade. As Jon Schwarz points out, Fox News has done more to incite domestic political violence than Trump, and he discusses the history of how the network was designed to serve this purpose.

[Gabriel] Sherman says “there’s almost no daylight now between the agenda of the White House and the agenda of Fox News. … Trump is the logical conclusion of entertainment and right-wing media taking over the Republican Party.” President George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum has concluded that “Republicans originally thought that Fox worked for us, and now we are discovering we work for Fox.”

But Fox is a publicly traded company, part of the News Corp empire. Who are the major shareholders and what do they have to say about this? The largest shareholder is Rupert Murdoch, who is the Executive Chairman, whose only goal in life is to make money and does not care how it is achieved. Currently the Murdoch family owns about 39% of the voting shares, giving it a tight grip on the company. But what about the rest of the shareholders? Interestingly, the third largest shareholder is the billionaire Al-Waleed bin Talal, a member of the Suadi Arabian royal family, and one of the people who was arrested and held in detention for nearly three months in the Riyadh Ritz Carlton by Mohammed bin Salman as part of the latter’s power grab. (Hasan Minhaj talked about him on his show.) He and the others were released after paying billions as a kind of ransom fee. This is the kind of government that the US is allied with.

It looks like as long as Fox is profitable and increasing its share prices, the shareholders and board of directors are not going to challenge the path it has taken, even though it makes a mockery of its own corporate citizenship statement. And the only way they will lose money is if their advertisers pull out because being associated with Fox is too toxic for their corporate image. So far, that does not seem to be happening to the network as a whole, though individual Fox shows have had their problems.


  1. Holms says

    It’s truly astonishing just how much of the world’s current ills were influenced for the worse by Murdoch.

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