The liberal group Media Matters for America on Tuesday placed a full-page advertisement in the International Herald Tribune in the form of an open letter to James Murdoch, regarded as the probable heir to the throne at News Corp. Taking note of the 38-year-old Murdoch's recent appointment as Deputy COO of News Corp and Chairman and CEO of News Corporation International, the letter observed that "as long as News Corp is plagued by hate speech, illegal activity, and misinformation, you'll be a global pariah, not a leader. We Hope that in your new role, you'll work to reform News Corp." Media Matters challenged the younger Murdoch to address four critical issues the voicemail hacking of politicians and celebrities by News Corp's London tabloid News of the World ("a complete disregard for the law and personal privacy ... shareholders will have to pay the costs [of lawsuits]"); the stalled bid for BSkyB, the U.K. satellite company ("which ... could cost News Corp £1-2 billion more than the company originally bid"); its support of conservative commentators like Glenn Beck ("over 300 advertisers fled Glenn Beck"); and a hypocritical attitude toward a host of issues ("While News Corp has been a leader in pursuing Carbon neutrality, Fox News has deliberately misinformed Americans ... denying established facts behind climate change." The letter concludes with this plea to Murdoch "Use your power to make a change. Build your legacy. Usher in a new era for News Corp." Media Matters reportedly receives much of its financial backing from George Soros, a frequent target of Fox News and Beck in particular.

04/05/2011