Connect with us

Recommended

Court records show political pressure behind Fox programming

NEW YORK (AP) — In May 2018, the nation’s top Republicans needed help. So they called on the founder of Fox News, Rupert Murdoch.

President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell were trying to stop West Virginia Republicans from nominating Don Blankenship, who had been convicted of violating mine safety standards during a lethal accident in one of his coal mines, to challenge the state’s incumbent senator, Democrat Joe Manchin.

“Both Trump and McConnell are appealing for help to beat unelectable former mine owner who served time,” Murdoch wrote to executives at Fox News, according to court records released this week. “Anything during day helpful, but Sean (Hannity) and Laura (Ingraham) dumping on him hard might save the day.”

Murdoch’s prodding, revealed in court documents that are part of a defamation lawsuit by a voting systems company, is one example showing how Fox became actively involved in politics instead of simply reporting or offering opinions about it. The revelations pose a challenge to the credibility of the most watched cable news network in the U.S. at the outset of a new election season in which Trump is again a leading player, having declared his third run for the White House.

Blankenship, who ended up losing the primary, said in an interview Wednesday that he felt the change right away, with the network’s coverage taking a harsher turn in the final hours before the primary.

“They were very smart about elections — they did their dumping the day before the election, so I had no time to react,” said Blankenship, who filed a separate, unsuccessful libel suit against Fox.

On Wednesday, the network characterized Dominion Voting Systems’ lawsuit as a flagrant attack on the First Amendment and said the company had taken statements out of context. According to Fox, that included an acknowledgement by Murdoch that he shared with Jared Kushner, the head of Trump’s reelection campaign and the president’s son-in-law, an ad for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign that was to air on his network. Fox said the ad Murdoch forwarded to Kushner was already publicly available on YouTube and at least one television station.

“Dominion has been caught red handed again using more distortions and misinformation in their PR campaign to smear Fox News and trample on freedom of speech and freedom of the press,” Fox said in a statement.

Fox has long been seen as a power in GOP politics with its large conservative fan base. But thousands of pages of documents released this week in the libel suit filed by Dominion show how the network blurred the line between journalism and party politics. Dominion sued after it became the target of 2020 election conspiracy theories, often promoted on Fox’s airwaves.

Murdoch also told executives at Fox News to promote the benefits of Trump’s 2017 tax cut legislation and give extra attention to Republican Senate hopefuls, the documents show. He wanted the network “banging on” Biden’s low-profile presidential campaign during the height of the pandemic in 2020.

Nicole Hemmer, a Vanderbilt University history professor and author of the book “Partisans: The Conservative Revolutionaries Who Remade American Politics in the 1990s,” said revelations in the lawsuit puncture Fox’s long argument that there is a dividing line between its news and opinion sides.

“The real revelation here is how much of a fiction that division is,” Hemmer said. “Some who know Fox have argued that for awhile, but now we have real evidence.”

Hemmer cited text messages disclosed in the court documents from early November 2020 sent by Fox’s chief political correspondent, Bret Baier, urging the network’s leaders to retract its correct election night call that President Joe Biden won Arizona. Baier advocated for putting Arizona “back in his column,” referring to Trump.

In the days after the election, as Trump was making increasingly wild allegations that fraud cost him the White House, Rupert Murdoch’s son Lachlan Murdoch, who is executive chairman of the Fox Corp., texted with Fox News chief executive officer Suzanne Scott in alarm about a Trump rally.

“News guys have to be careful how they cover this rally,» Lachlan Murdoch wrote, according to the legal documents. «So far some of the side comments are slightly anti, and they shouldn’t be. The narrative should be this huge celebration of the president. Etc.”

Some of Fox’s politicking — like star host Sean Hannity’s frequent conversations with Trump during his presidency — is well known. But court papers show how Rupert Murdoch, the boss, inserted himself in the action, too.

Murdoch emailed Scott in November 2017 and urged her to promote Trump’s tax cut proposal, which had passed the House and was nearing a Senate vote.

“Once they pass this bill we must tell our viewers again and again what they will get,” Murdoch wrote in the email, included in the court records. “Terrific, I understand, for all under $150k.”

After the first presidential debate in 2020, a “horrified” Murdoch told Kushner that Trump should be more restrained in the next debate. (Trump canceled that event.)

«That was advice from a friend to a friend,” Murdoch said in his deposition. “It wasn’t advice from Fox Corporation or in my capacity at Fox.”

“What’s the difference?” asked Dominion’s lawyer, Justin A. Turner.

“You’ve been — keep asking me questions as head of Fox,” Murdoch said. “It’s a different role being a friend.”

Murdoch’s email banter with Kushner led to the exchange of the Biden ad, according to court records. That exchange is now the subject of a complaint from the liberal watchdog group Media Matters for America to the Federal Elections Commission, arguing Fox made an illegal contribution to the Trump campaign by giving it information about Biden’s advertisements. Fox said the sharing of public information can’t be considered a contribution.

Court records show that on Sept. 25, 2020, Murdoch emailed Kushner that “my people tell me” that Biden’s ads “are a lot better creatively than yours. Just passing it on.”

The same month, Murdoch wondered in an email to Col Allan, the former editor of the Murdoch-owned New York Post, “how can anyone vote for Biden?” Allen responded that Biden’s “only hope is to stay in his basement and not face serious questions.”

“Just made sure Fox banging on about these issues,” Murdoch responded, according to court records. “If the audience talks the theme will spread.”

Another prominent politician Murdoch describes as a “friend” is McConnell, whose wife, Elaine Chao, then Trump’s transportation secretary, had served on the Fox board. Murdoch said he would speak to the Republican Senate leader “three or four times a year.”

In a special 2017 Republican Senate primary in Alabama, Murdoch said in his deposition, he told his top executives that he, like McConnell, opposed Roy Moore, a controversial former Alabama chief justice. Moore ultimately won the party’s nomination but lost the general election after he was credibly accused of sexual misconduct, including pursuing relationships with teenagers when he was in his 30s. Moore denied the allegations.

Murdoch, in the deposition, also cited his personal friendship with an unnamed Senate candidate in his suggestion to Scott that the network give extra attention to Republicans in close Senate races.

Days before the 2020 election, after Fox business anchor Lou Dobbs was critical of Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Murdoch asked Scott to have Hannity pump up Graham, who was facing an extremely well-funded challenge from Democrat Jamie Harrison.

“You probably know about the Lou Dobbs outburst against Lindsay Graham,” Murdoch wrote on Oct. 27, misspelling the senator’s first name in the copy of the message in the court documents. “Could Sean say something supportive? We can’t lose the Senate if at all possible.”

Scott replied that Graham was on Hannity’s show the previous night “and he got a lot of time.” She added, “I addressed the Dobbs outburst.”

Riccardi reported from Denver. Associated Press writers Christina A. Cassidy in Atlanta, Jonathan J. Cooper in Phoenix, Gary Fields in Washington and Jennifer Peltz in New York contributed to this report.

Continue Reading

Recommended

Russian hackers exploit six-year-old Cisco flaw to target US government agencies

APT28, a state-sponsored hacking group operated by Russian military intelligence, is exploiting a six-year-old vulnerability in Cisco routers to deploy malware and carry out surveillance, according to the U.S. and U.K. governments.

In a joint advisory issued on Tuesday, U.S. cybersecurity agency CISA along with the FBI, the NSA and the U.K.’s National Cyber Security Center detail how the Russia-backed hackers exploited Cisco router vulnerabilities throughout 2021 with the aim of targeting European organizations and U.S. government institutions. The advisory said the hackers also hacked “approximately 250 Ukrainian victims,” which the agencies did not name.

APT28, also known as Fancy Bear, is known for carrying out a range of cyberattacks, espionage and hack-and-leak information operations on behalf of the Russian government.

According to the joint advisory, the hackers exploited a remotely exploitable vulnerability patched by Cisco in 2017 to deploy a custom-built malware dubbed “Jaguar Tooth,” which is designed to infect unpatched routers.

To install the malware, the threat actors scan for internet-facing Cisco routers using a default or easy-to-guess SNMP community string.

SNMP, or Simple Network Management Protocol, allows network administrators to remotely access and configure routers in place of a username or password, but can also be misused to obtain sensitive network information.

Once installed, the malware exfiltrates information from the router and provides stealthy backdoor access to the device, the agencies said.

Matt Olney, director of threat intelligence at Cisco Talos, said in a blog post this campaign is an example of “a much broader trend of sophisticated adversaries targeting networking infrastructure to advance espionage objectives or pre-position for future destructive activity.”

“Cisco is deeply concerned by an increase in the rate of high-sophistication attacks on network infrastructure — that we have observed and have seen corroborated by numerous reports issued by various intelligence organizations — indicating state-sponsored actors are targeting routers and firewalls globally,” Olney said.

Olney added that in addition to Russia, China has also been spotted attacking network equipment in several campaigns.

Earlier this year, Mandiant reported that Chinese state-backed attackers exploited a zero-day vulnerability in Fortinet devices to carry out a series of attacks on government organizations.

Continue Reading

Recommended

South Florida counties gear up for stinky seaweed season

Sargassum making its annual voyage to South Florida’s shorelines, threatening tourism and coastal ecosystem.

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Large patches of what will become stinky shoreline seaweed, stretching from the west coast of Africa to just off the southern cost of Cuba, are making their way to South Florida and local leaders are getting ready.

Local 10 News Photojournalist Curt Calhoon recently spotted sargassum, surface floating patches of brown micro algae, off the deck of a ship cruising through the Caribbean.

Brian Barnes is one of the University of South Florida researchers tracking a bloom via satellite.

“We call it the great Atlantic sargassum belt,” Barnes said. “They range in size from a handful to a square mile.”

In the ocean, it serves as a floating nursery for a variety of marine species.

The problem happens when it comes on shore. If not cleaned up properly, it can shade out corals and sea grass and create near-shore dead zones as it decays.

“It uses up all of the oxygen in the area and you can get a dead zone,” said Barnes. “As it decays, it can fall in the weather column and straight smother those ecosystems.”

As it starts to decompose, the sargassum releases hydrogen sulfide, which smells like rotten eggs.

“Some people with asthma may have some respiratory issues, but not the broader population,” said Barnes.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said the county will gear up as needed.

“We have a contract in place with a company that is removing sargassum from some of the hot spots,” she said.

Researchers who have been tracking the steady annual increase in sargassum say there are a variety of factors at play regarding why the naturally occurring micro algae is blooming patches upwards of a square mile in size, from warming seas to oceans rich in nutrients like human sewage and fertilizer run-offs from the world’s rivers into the sea.

“Definitely we are on alert and making sure there should be an increase — our current cost is $3.9 million per year for the contract,” said Levine Cava. “We do have requests for support from state and federal sources, so we are gearing up to bring attention to the fact that we do need help.”

Sargassum season typically runs from May to October, the same window as sea turtle nesting season.

Joshua Tylerbest
1 HOUR AGO
Ex-’Bachelorette’ star faces child pornography charges in Miami
South Florida counties gear up for stinky seaweed season
Sargassum making its annual voyage to South Florida’s shorelines, threatening tourism and coastal ecosystem
South Florida coastal counties preparing for stinky seaweed season

Unmute
Duration
2:29
/
Current Time
0:00

Advanced Settings

Fullscreen

Play

Up Next
South Florida coastal counties preparing for stinky seaweed seasonNOW PLAYING
Scientist says South Florida beaches will receive even more seaweed in 2023
This Week in South Florida Full Episode: January 29, 2023
This Week in South Florida Full Episode: January 1, 2023
Drug dealers facing murder charges after 2 die from drug overdose in Monroe County
FHP troopers screen cars in South Beach; Miami police surrounds Ultra
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Large patches of what will become stinky shoreline seaweed, stretching from the west coast of Africa to just off the southern cost of Cuba, are making their way to South Florida and local leaders are getting ready.

Local 10 News Photojournalist Curt Calhoon recently spotted sargassum, surface floating patches of brown micro algae, off the deck of a ship cruising through the Caribbean.

Brian Barnes is one of the University of South Florida researchers tracking a bloom via satellite.

“We call it the great Atlantic sargassum belt,” Barnes said. “They range in size from a handful to a square mile.”

In the ocean, it serves as a floating nursery for a variety of marine species.

The problem happens when it comes on shore. If not cleaned up properly, it can shade out corals and sea grass and create near-shore dead zones as it decays.

“It uses up all of the oxygen in the area and you can get a dead zone,” said Barnes. “As it decays, it can fall in the weather column and straight smother those ecosystems.”

As it starts to decompose, the sargassum releases hydrogen sulfide, which smells like rotten eggs.

“Some people with asthma may have some respiratory issues, but not the broader population,” said Barnes.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said the county will gear up as needed.

“We have a contract in place with a company that is removing sargassum from some of the hot spots,” she said.

Researchers who have been tracking the steady annual increase in sargassum say there are a variety of factors at play regarding why the naturally occurring micro algae is blooming patches upwards of a square mile in size, from warming seas to oceans rich in nutrients like human sewage and fertilizer run-offs from the world’s rivers into the sea.

“Definitely we are on alert and making sure there should be an increase — our current cost is $3.9 million per year for the contract,” said Levine Cava. “We do have requests for support from state and federal sources, so we are gearing up to bring attention to the fact that we do need help.”

Sargassum season typically runs from May to October, the same window as sea turtle nesting season.

“Every day, there are people looking for where nests might be, marking off those areas, making sure they are not disturbing any nests while cleaning up the sargassum,” Levine Cava said.

In Monroe County, officials said they are planning for twice-daily cleanings.

Continue Reading

Recommended

Antisemitic incidents are at an all-time high, the ADL reports

Antisemitic incidents in the U.S. rose 36% in 2022, an annual audit by the Anti-Defamation League shows.

The report, released Thursday, tracked 3,697 incidents of harassment, vandalism and assault targeting Jewish people and communities last year. It is the third time in five years that the tally has been the highest number ever recorded since the ADL first began collecting data in 1979.

«This escalation in antisemitic incidents comes just as ADL has reported on Americans’ highest level of antisemitic attitudes in decades,» the report says, adding that public officials, famous artists and social media stars have been instrumental in normalizing longstanding antisemitic tropes.

The ADL report comes on the heels of an FBI report earlier this month, stating that hate crimes reported across the country increased nearly 12% in 2021 from 2020.

5 states account for more than half of the incidents
According to the latest ADL analysis, surges in each of the major audit categories occurred in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Antisemitic harassment increased 29%, from 1,776 to 2,298
Antisemitic vandalism increased 51%, from 853 to 1,288
Antisemitic assaults increased 26%, from 88 to 111.

New York is the state with the highest number of reported incidents: 580. California follows with 518, New Jersey with 408, Florida with 269 and Texas with 211. «Combined, these five states account for 54 % of the total incidents.

Schools and synagogues are growing targets
Another alarming finding is the number of bomb threats towards Jewish institutions, including schools and synagogues, spiking from eight to 91. It is the highest number of bomb threats since 2017.

Young children and educators in K-12 schools were victims of threats or assaults in 494 incidents. Meanwhile, 219 incidents were reported on college campuses.

People who presented as Orthodox Jews were targeted in 59 of the assault incidents nationally.

The Goyim Defense League is behind more than half of all propaganda incidents
The ADL also found activity doubled among organized white supremacist groups, which were linked to 852 incidents of distributing antisemitic propaganda.

While the study cites a number of factors contributing to the surge, the organization concluded the massive uptick in the spread of anti-Jewish propaganda was «largely due to the growth of the Goyim Defense League,» known as the GDL.

The GDL network, which has significant crossover with other white supremacist groups and movements, was responsible for at least 492 propaganda incidents in 2022, a dramatic increase from the 74 recorded in 2021.

Continue Reading

Trending

slot slot gacor slot gacor maxwin 2024 Situs Slot777 http://lightfootbranding.com/ Slot777 slot slot Slot Gacor Hari Ini https://ikon.bpip.go.id/admin/css/sl-ot/ https://ikon.bpip.go.id/admin/css/sl-ot-4d/ https://keringanan-ukt.upr.ac.id/assets/img/server-thailand/ https://keringanan-ukt.upr.ac.id/assets/img/sg-pulsa-tri/ https://lp2m.eka-prasetya.ac.id/wp-content/upgrade/sg-pulsa-tri/ https://lp2m.eka-prasetya.ac.id/wp-content/upgrade/server-thailand/ https://lp2m.eka-prasetya.ac.id/wp-content/upgrade/sg-4d/ https://lp2m.eka-prasetya.ac.id/wp-content/upgrade/sg-88/ https://cyberschool.denpasarkota.go.id/assets/sg-max/ https://cyberschool.denpasarkota.go.id/assets/sg-pulsa-tri/ slot thailand gacor slot gacor maxwin slot online pay4d slot mpo gacor slot777 maxwin slot thailand slot thailand gacor https://128.199.151.9/ https://simpel.tanamanpangan.pertanian.go.id/public/uploads/aseo/slot-deposit-pulsa/ https://simpel.tanamanpangan.pertanian.go.id/public/uploads/aseo/bet88/ https://simpel.tanamanpangan.pertanian.go.id/public/uploads/aseo/server-thailand/ https://simpel.tanamanpangan.pertanian.go.id/public/uploads/aseo/s88gcr/ jakartaonline88 bintangbet88 https://steinbergusers.com/