End Federal Tax Subsidies to Fox!

In response to Jim DeMint, Michelle Malkin, Bill O’Reilly, and other wingnuts who are calling for an end of Federal government support for National Public Radio because it fired commentator Juan Williams for hate speech against Muslim-Americans, I am calling for the Federal government to close all those loopholes whereby Rupert Murdoch essentially usurps our taxpayer money and uses it to finance his massive airwave pollution projects.

That’s right, the US government is essentially underwriting Fox Cable News by allowing the Austrialian-American billionaire to evade the taxes that his secretaries and janitors have to pay.

Murdoch’s evasion of taxes may not be illegal, but it is immoral and unethical for someone who owns the Wall Street Journal and a whole cable news company, who is therefore part of the moral community of the United States, to avoid paying his fair share (in contrast, e.g., to the Disney Corp., which owns ABC). Murdoch’s tactics for stiffing the public and contributing to the national debt were uncovered in the 1990s. It was discovered that his news corporations worldwide were paying 6% in taxes! In contrast, Disney was paying 31%. Almost anyone reading this pays very substantially more in taxes than Mr. Rupert, and when he doesn’t pay for government services, it comes out of your pocket.

Murdoch has backed Glenn Beck, who called President Barack Obama a racist, and Sean Hannity, who has openly falsified an Obama speech by manipulating the video to make him seem to say the opposite of what he said. He is not only not delivering news under the guise of ‘Fox Cable News’, he is delivering intentional falsehood. In addition, Murdoch is a bad corporate citizen, contriving to be a free rider who will not pay his fair share of taxes. No wonder we have a big deficit!

As for the numbnuts who think that NPR can be cut off from federal grants, in fact National Public Radio, despite the name, is not funded by the federal government. Most of its funding comes from listeners. It gets a small amount of federal money very indirectly. It is public television and radio stations that receive some federal funding, but they are customers of NPR, not directors of it, and did not fire Mr. Williams.

Please write your senators and congressmen asking them to close the tax loopholes that billionaire media moguls like Murdoch use to make you and me support their dishonest and frankly stupid programming. And remind the Democrats that Murdoch is taking what is in effect a public subsidy in order to brainwash the public with Republican Party propaganda talking points. If they cannot see he is out to get them, and allow him to get away with legal tax evasion so as to gain ammunition with which to take them out, they deserve to be unemployed.

Posted in Uncategorized | 27 Responses | Print |

27 Responses

  1. It’s amazing how those who claim to be against ‘Big Government’, ‘Socialism’, and ‘government handouts’ are often those who benefit the most from what they’re against. You left out ‘hypocritical’ in their list of sins, though. Are they rushing to hire Juan Williams, since they seem to be so concerned about his fate?

  2. “Numbnuts…” Good one Professor. Remember to take a deep breath and consider who (whom?) it is calling for the defunding of NPR. I would have used an entirely different qualifier there but hey, that’s just me. Ummm, immoral demagogues?

  3. Good stuff. It might also be interesting to point out the irony in the fact that NPR will undoubtedly air a considerably wider range of opinion regarding its own firing of Williams than pretty much any mainstream news source.

  4. This has to be the lamest thing I’ve ever read.

    Fox doesn’t receive any different tax treatment than your buddies at MSBNC or CNN. None of these companies get government subsidies like the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

    The fact is that when the Corporation for Public Broadcasting was created, there were 3 national broadcast television networks, plus local radio stations. Now we have hundreds of cable television channels, digital satellite radio, digital terrestrial radio, and literally hundreds of thousands of internet radio, television, and print sites globally. We can get any type of news we want, any time we want, from any source we want, across the entire world.

    It is absolutely ridiculous that we are forced to pay for something that is not needed and quite frankly unwanted by half of the population. This is not the old Soviet Union and we don’t need a Prava.

    If you like NPR, fine. You can voluntarily contribute your own money. Oh yes, your contribution is tax deductible, which using your twisted logic also robs the government of “their” funds.

    Jefferson was 100% correct when he said: “To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves is sinful and tyrannical.”

    We should cut off funding to NPR and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting immediately.

    • Well you can write but you don’t appear to be able to read very well. NPR doesn’t get direct funding from the government, and what tiny indirect funding it gets is for targeted projects, some of which you might approve of (you might even approve of there being something on t.v. of an educational rather than a purely commercial sort).

      As for being forced to subsidize media we don’t agree with, that’s just everywhere. I don’t want Fox but I have to pay my provider for it because it is in a “package.” That is a monopoly practice being forced on me. When my provider only has a limited number of slots, why should I be forced to use up one of them on all lies all the time? Why not have a menu system so I can choose what channels I want? Because Murdoch won’t give them House unless they also take Glenn Beck.

      Finally, you missed the point that while Disney might be able to get more tax breaks than it does for ABC News, its accountants appear not to have been instructed to push such corporate welfare to the max, whereas Rupert doesn’t pay taxes like ordinary people because he is so much better than the rest of us. But my proposal wasn’t to end only his tax loopholes, it was to end those of all the media moguls, including Time Warner etc. If you believed what you are spouting you’d join me in that call.

    • When the US military relentlessly propagandizes its troops by only running Fox News on public area TVs (soldiers don’t have a lot of private areas), it is providing both a service to Mr. Murdoch, and troops collectively indoctrinated into a paranoid world view who will not question orders. Do you think that this relationship has no effect on the military’s preferences for which news channel to leak scoops to, or on Fox’s willingness to report bad news about the military? I mean, where has Fox been during the Air Force Academy scandal uncovered by the MRFF?

    • What a total crock of horsesh*t!

      You don’t seem to know the first thing about NPR, funding of Public Programming or much of anything else for that matter.

      First of all, it’s Pravda, not Prava and we do indeed have our version of it. However, it’s called VOA, not NPR or CPB. If you’re unfamiliar with, look it up (it IS actually being funded with your tax dollars, as are the Military-Industrial Complex, the Corporate-Medical complex and the faux “Financial Services Sector”… but I digress).

      You site numerous “new sources” that are available for the people. However, in this world of media saturation (volume does not equal quality), there are scant few sources for reasonably accurate and impartial news and only one that can even loosely claim the moniker of “Public” (you know… that whole “of the people, for the people” thing).

      NPR has been under fire for decades. Why? Because it strives to broaden the minds of it’s listeners? Because it strives to be (gasp) INTELLIGENT? No, because it is not dependent on “Advertising Dollars” (despite the slippery slope of underwriting) and has managed to remain fairly independent. And the Plutocracy despises that which it cannot control.

      The “fact” is that in this era of corporate media, we need NPR more than ever.

      • Awesome comment – do you blog? You are so right on you should do this for a living.

    • It was “PRAVDA” in the Soviet Union (not PRAVA), meaning “Truth” – just as laughable and transparently double-speakish as Fox’s tagline “Fair & Balanced”.

      Also, NPR is certainly in no way a “propagat[or] of opinions”. It is in fact so devoid of political opinion, I stopped listening during the Bush years because I found it agonizing to hear intelligent news that glossed over the obvious.

      NPR does at least broadcast real news with actual facts, a respect for truth and a rare degree of journalistic integrity. That’s what you get by leaving the competition/for profit part out.

  5. Juan Williams made a bigoted comment which indicates he is not capabable of the factual, thoughtful judgement NPR expected of him. That he would leap to a multimillion dollar contract at Fox (NOT) News suggests to me that Williams’ best days are behind him. I see little difference between the islamophobic comments made by Williams and the equally offensive anti-semitic comments made last month by Rick Sanchez. Apparently both of these gentlemen believe that somehow as hispanics, and in the case of Williams, being black, grants them immunity for being held accountable. Victims of discrimination CAN – and clearly DO -sometimes have their own personal bigotry. The rest of us do not have to condone it as ‘just personal opinion’ from someone in the journalism business, nor should we. I’m not inclined to indulge it from anyone else either.

    • But seriously, do we really think this offer of $2 mil came up right AFTER the NPR firing? Not a chance. That is not how these things are done. Williams just wanted a splash before making his permanent move. He abused his defenders and NPR–the network that gave him his break–and jumped for the long green.

  6. Well done, Juan. A great idea.

    Sparked by the debates for the Senate seat from Indiana, and candidate Dan Coats’ history of several terms in Congress followed by several years in a lobbying firm, it occurs to me that we are paying far too much in pensions for Congresspersons. If these folks work at all in lobbying, much less if they rail against “entitlements,” they should be willing to give up, to to have taken from them, their own entitlements, their federal pensions and health care.


  7. Dear Professor Cole

    I wonder if this piece in Jerusalem Post and Mr Murdcoh’s recent eulogy of Margaret Thatcher has anything to do with his attempt to buy the remainder of Sky that he doesn’t already own.

    link to jpost.com

    The picture Mr Murdoch paints of beleaguered Jews is not the same one I recognise from Professor Schlaim’s work and yours.

    I agree with the people who are calling on the Business Minister in the UK to refer Mr Murdoch’s plans to the Monopolies Commission.

  8. Let’s also not forget that they support “The War on Drugs”, “The Patriot Act” and “Warrantless Surveillence”. They let “Big Government” become a “MONSTER”.

  9. To put it in some perspective, Republicans have been in open warfare against public broadcasting since Reagan.

    There are always calls to defund public broadcasting. It doesn’t matter that PBS, for example, is dominated by right-wing led talk shows and big-business oriented ‘economics’ programs. They don’t care.

    This is just the latest public excuse to do so.

  10. What would the reaction have been if Rachel Maddow, (for example; you can substitute any one of the blonde, female news anchors) had revealed that she was terrified when she walked onto a NY subway car and found herself with a black male.

    I don’t know, maybe that’s ok.

    I do feel that, given the rising level of acceptance among “serious” people of identifying Muslims as “different” , less worthy and somehow sinister, that NPR (or any reputable news agency) took the sane and ethical course of nipping what is essentially hate speech, in the bud.

  11. NPR is nothing but Nice Polite Republican ever since the Invasion of Iraq. the embedding of journalists was the end of NPR’s so-called “independence”. i remember the attack on NPR by the Chairman appointed by a Republican, a Mr. Thompson, if i have his name right. the Board at NPR became a mouthpiece for the Republicans then. it even made the news on NPR. i stopped daily listening after hearing how “partisan” NPR was scripted to be after Mr. Thompson gave orders for such.

    the word “torture” was/is taboo on NPR since the Republicans took over. Now, NPR is just a hollow shell, and a blank partisan news media that follows a party line. If it loses funding, maybe that will be fine. it has no integrity now anyway. NPR is such a waste of what used to be information before the culture wars.

    oh well, this is America today. the Right owns the conversation/media, anyway. why bother to say much about the “control” of any message. Political correctness is how the Right took over. smart effective and in charge of the media, which can’t be trusted anymore.

    educating people requires those people who are willing to think, not those willing to be led and blindly follow what they are told.

    Reminds me of the “Father Knows Best” series. Listen to the “Father,” he know what is good for you!

    a sign of the decline of America and the rise of anti-intellectualism.

  12. The fact that funding to NPR is already insufficient has been obvious to me, a long-time listener, for years now. It’s easy to tell whether your local station has been affected, just look at how much BBC programming it carries. Buying BBC programming appears to be cheaper than producing it locally. Call it outsourcing of journalism.

    If they succeed in removing what little government funding NPR does get, all it will achieve is to give more opportunities for international programming to make it to the US. This is actually a good thing: the one thing the US sorely needs is an international perspective – a glance from outside the Petri dish. But it will certainly push NPR programming leftward (because the rest of the world is more interested in facts than ideology).

  13. Sooooo, Crocodile Rupert is scamming our tax code while running his fifth column exercise in propaganda. All the while calling the democrats (and their base) unamerican, unpatriotic and feeding off of the welfare state. As opposed to this pathetic stream of reactionary talking points parroted by the biggest bunch of brain dead androids in history (O’Really, Inannity, Dreck, Coaltar, etc.) Perhaps what we need is a drastic (retroactive) rewriting of the immigration code against allowing the entry of certain rich, right wing sacks of kangaroo crap from down under.

  14. I note, and it should be noted, that “jwpegler” had no reply after Juan gave the lie to his/her acrid misinformation.

    Thanks Juan.

  15. Good grief. Your information is from 1999 when News Corp was incorporated in Australia. It is now incorporated in Delaware and it’s publicly traded in the US on NASDAQ. They pay the same taxes every other US corporation pays. This whole article is absolute rubbish.

  16. Reducing the size of government was never about reducing the cost of government. It’s always been about outsourcing to more expensive, privately owned, well connected firms.

  17. The Juan Williams saga has surfaced a series of significant issues and observations from a number of concerns and considerations in various Black venues of America. I have no reservations about the nature of Juan’s comments from my vantage point as an activist his words were blatant bigotry and troubling given a nation like ours with a tortured legacy of negrophobia of late frequent incidents of islamophobia.

    Just as troubling as Juan’s words were the remarks of Vivian Schiller NPR’s CEO her comments that Juan should consult a psychiatrist were as lethal as the hate speech uttered by Juan Williams. Yet I have yet to observe the Trotter Group or the African -American Online folks challenge, confront and/or publish any commentaries regarding Schiller’s venom.

    The Trotter Group and the AA Online summit folks both have allowed the Obama white house to used them as conduits in outreach ventures now that Obama’s is in a meltdown and the midterm elections are on the calendar YET when Black activists and others are under siege by the character assignations on our mental faculties I have observed nothing but silence and avoidance from the collective clout of the Black media outlets in particular The Trotter Group and the AA Online summit folks.

    In the area of civil rights and economic initiatives Black activists have always been on the vanguard and suffered every measure of venom and inhumanity from the majority culture. Our roles have produced as much progress and accomplishments as any sector of the Black community in America.

    Again I reiterate why the silence from Black media outlets when whites demonize Black men who dared to have an opinion. When can Black activists expect the Black media to come to our assistance as they did for Obama?????

    We hurt to when the hurricane of venom and ridicule rains on us 24/7.

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