Fox News PR used fake accounts to push back at negative commenters

Rupert Murdoch

Here’s an interesting bit of Fox News skullduggery from David Folkenflik’s new book on Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, courtesy of Media Matters:

In a chapter focusing on how Fox utilized its notoriously ruthless public relations department in the mid-to-late 00’s, Folkenflik reports that Fox’s PR staffers would “post pro-Fox rants” in the comments sections of “negative and even neutral” blog posts written about the network. According to Folkenflik, the staffers used various tactics to cover their tracks, including setting up wireless broadband connections that “could not be traced back” to the network.

From the book itself:

Fox PR staffers were expected to counter not just negative and even neutral blog postings but the anti-Fox comments beneath them. One former staffer recalled using twenty different aliases to post pro-Fox rants. Another had one hundred. Several employees had to acquire a cell phone thumb drive to provide a wireless broadband connection that could not be traced back to a Fox News or News Corp account.

Folkenflik’s book has already roiled News Corp with its account of Wall Street Journal staffers who found their attempts to report on the company’s phone hacking scandal met with roadblock after roadblock. (The company denied the account.)

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  1. I really have a huge amount of hatred and disdain for Murdoch and his Fox News network. I cannot wait for the day that it becomes possible to choose individual channels rather than being forced to pay for an entire cable channel package. Once it does, not one more dime of mine will ever find it’s way into Murdoch’s evil empire.

  2. While we all eagerly await the arrival of Folkenflik’s book to further enlighten us of this man and his corporation’s vacuous business and social ethic, it may be of interest to your readers, this characteristic is not limited to his operations in the USA and Britain.
    In Australia, he and his dominant media group have embarked on a most unprecedented, vindictive and scurrilous campaign, for a government of his choosing, to withdraw funding of an iconic and reliably independent national broadcaster, The Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC)
    His attempts, which are met with public resistance, to fulfil his ambition, to silence a publicly funded independent alternative to his own political propaganda media outlets, are yet another example this organisation and man reeking his havoc, throughout the English speaking world and beyond.
    Good luck and best wishes with the book from an aggravated Aussie.

  3. huffpo/cnn/msnbc/ et al,.. all do this and more.. there is no more truth in reporting any longer!

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