Is Rupert Murdoch Stupid?

Fox News hosts have been calling out the dogs of war. Does Rupert Murdoch think the network won't be held accountable in the event of political violence?

Excerpt: By Francis Wilkinson
The Week. August 15, 2009

I am looking at an ABC News headline: Fear for Obama's Safety Grows as Hate Groups Thrive on Racial Backlash. It cites a guy in Maryland carrying a "Death to Obama, Death to Michelle and her two stupid kids" sign. It cites the standoff in Los Angeles between police, Secret Service agents, and a suspect who had allegedly made threats against the White House. It cites Rush Limbaugh.

The story does not cite Glenn Beck. But you can bet that if shots ever ring out, Beck will not escape scrutiny. ...

Instead of simply feeding the furnace to keep things hot, Murdoch seems to have given matches to the kids and sent them upstairs to play. With each passing day, more smoke rises from the rafters as the boys set fire to ever larger sections of the attic.

Casual incitements to violence were once the portfolio of the radical Left on American campuses and the streets. They now appear to be the job description of select Fox News personalities. (Read David Frum here for a partial inventory.)

Alienated men enamored of firearms and drunk on cheap rhetoric sometimes do unsurprising things with terrible consequences. If the worst—or merely the awful—were to happen, where does Murdoch think the bulk of the blame would fall? On George Will?

A liberal cottage industry now exists to keep track of every utterance of Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, and Glenn Beck. O'Reilly's relentless attacks on abortion doctor George Tiller, subsequently murdered by a zealot, have already generated condemnation. But Tiller's murder barely rose to the level of a national event—and O'Reilly is the responsible one of the trio.

If 100,000 petitioners can respond to Beck's racial theories with an effective advertiser boycott, how would 69 million Obama voters respond in the event of actual political violence? Does Murdoch really think his network wouldn't be blamed? Does he think his advertisers wouldn't notice that a sizable portion of the nation held Fox News accountable?

instead of simply feeding the furnace to keep things hot, Murdoch seems to have given matches to the kids and sent them upstairs to play. With each passing day, more smoke rises from the rafters as the boys set fire to ever larger sections of the attic.

Casual incitements to violence were once the portfolio of the radical Left on American campuses and the streets. They now appear to be the job description of select Fox News personalities. (Read David Frum here for a partial inventory.)

Alienated men enamored of firearms and drunk on cheap rhetoric sometimes do unsurprising things with terrible consequences. If the worst—or merely the awful—were to happen, where does Murdoch think the bulk of the blame would fall? On George Will?

A liberal cottage industry now exists to keep track of every utterance of Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, and Glenn Beck. O'Reilly's relentless attacks on abortion doctor George Tiller, subsequently murdered by a zealot, have already generated condemnation. But Tiller's murder barely rose to the level of a national event—and O'Reilly is the responsible one of the trio.

If 100,000 petitioners can respond to Beck's racial theories with an effective advertiser boycott, how would 69 million Obama voters respond in the event of actual political violence? Does Murdoch really think his network wouldn't be blamed? Does he think his advertisers wouldn't notice that a sizable portion of the nation held Fox News accountable?

http://www.theweek.com/bullpen/column/99619/Is_Rupert_Murdoch_stupid