Murdoch’s bid to take over Sky just hit a wall

Fox's fake news story last week may be about to cost the Murdochs dearly.

Last week, Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News ran a story that a senior Democratic National Committee staffer, who was shot dead last month, was the source of the WikiLeaks documents on Hilary Clinton during the Presidential election. The problem is – it was a hard-right conspiracy theory. There was no truth to the story. 

And now it’s posing a big headache for Murdoch – a man who is currently trying to take control of Sky in the UK. Why? He’s trying to buy Sky via Fox.

Ofcom are currently assessing whether Murdoch is a ‘fit and proper’ person to have control of a major broadcaster in the UK. Not only that, they have to ensure a Murdoch-controlled network would be committed to accuracy and impartiality. If Fox News are publishing fake news, that looks less likely by the day.

The commitment to ‘accuracy and impartiality’ looks even ropier given serious allegations that Fox News colluded with the Trump administration to put out the lies about the DNC and WikiLeaks – in order to distract from Trump’s own Russia scandal.

Campaigners have told Let Foot Forward that the Seth Rich story is one of the key reasons why the Department for Culture, Media and Sport stepped in this week to tell Ofcom to review all the new evidence.

Avaaz have been joined by Ed Miliband MP and others in threatening to sue the Culture Minister Karen Bradley if she doesn’t step in to try and step the takeover.

This is a letter from Avaaz’s lawyers to the Culture Secretary: 


Alaphia Zoyab, senior campaigner at Avaaz, said:

“Fox News is a fake news factory that’s made a joke out of Britain’s broadcasting rules…

“The British government’s first priority should be to protect our democracy from the Murdochs. If the British government does not investigate these scandals before ruling over the Murdochs’ bid for Sky, it could find itself on the wrong end of legal action.”

Rupert Murdoch thought he could get away with taking over Sky if it was through Fox. But Fox News has done the family no service this week.

In fact, when it comes to Murdoch extending his reach into British broadcasting, this may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

Josiah Mortimer is Editor of Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter.

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3 Responses to “Murdoch’s bid to take over Sky just hit a wall”

  1. David Lindsay

    As the proprietor of the whole of Sky, Rupert Murdoch might do some good. There are positions that the BBC simply ignores.

    The workers, and not the liberal bourgeoisie, as the key swing voters. Identity issues located within the struggle for economic equality and for international peace. The leading role in the defence of universal public services of those who would otherwise lack basic amenities, and in the promotion of peace of those who would be the first to be called upon to die in wars. The decision of the EU referendum by areas that voted Labour, Liberal Democrat or Plaid Cymru.

    Opposition from the start to the failed programme of economic austerity. Against all Governments since 1997, opposition to the privatisation of the NHS and other public services, to the persecution of the disabled, to the assault on civil liberties, to every British military intervention during that period, to Britain’s immoral and one-sided relationship with Saudi Arabia, and to the demonisation of Russia.

    Rejection of any approach to climate change which would threaten jobs, workers’ rights, the right to have children, travel opportunities, or universal access to a full diet. Rescue of issues such as male suicide, men’s health, and fathers’ rights from those whose economic and other policies have caused the problems. And refusal to recognise racists, Fascists or opportunists as the authentic voices of the accepted need to control immigration.

    Mr Murdoch ought to identify and include representatives of the traditions that those and other marginalised views express in practice.

  2. Michael

    David, since Murdoch is unlikely to do anything you suggest, it would be much simpler to tell him to fuck off.

  3. Blade Runner

    @Michael And slap him in the face with a wet fish

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