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Feeding the News Corp. Beast

Reported by Melanie - March 5, 2005

Hannity & Colmes did yeoman's work for their boss, News Corporation, Fox News's parent company this past week, and Cal Thomas will bring up the rear tonight.

On Tuesday, March 1, 2005, Tom Fenton, the former senior European correspondent for CBS News was a guest. Fenton's book, Bad News: The Decline of Reporting, the Business of News, and the Danger to Us All, was published by ReganBooks, a News Corporation subsidiary, and was released that day. Having Fenton as a guest not only helped sell the book, it provided a perfect opportunity to bash that "liberal" media bastion, CBS News.

On Thursday, March 3, Ari Fleischer, the former White House press secretary was a guest. Fleischer's book, Taking Heat: The President, the Press, and My Years in the White House, was published by William Morrow, another subsidiary of News Corporation. It was also released on March 1. Fleischer's visit not only helped sell his book, it provided a perfect opportunity to praise George Bush and talk about Jeff Gannon, as News Hound Deborah reported.

Fleischer will be Cal Thomas's guest tonight (March 5, 2005) at 11:00 p.m. ET on "After Hours w/Cal Thomas."

On Friday, March 4, Anne Bird, Scott Peterson's sister was a guest. Bird's book, Blood Brother: 33 Reasons My Brother Scott Peterson Is Guilty, was also published by ReganBooks and released on March 1. Bird was a perfect Friday night guest, a time for lighter fare.

What a racket Rupert Murdoch's got going. He owns movie studios, book publishers, television stations, cable entities, including Fox News, the Fox sports channels, and the National Geographic Channel, Direct Broadcast and Satellite Television entities, including DireCTV, magazines and inserts, lots and lots of newspapers, including the New York Post, and "other assets."

Through his movies, Rupert Murdoch can show Fox News airing on television screens and books published by one of his publishing houses sitting on coffee tables. He can publish books that promote his political point of view and then promote those views, the authors, and the books on the Fox News Channel. Authors who write for the New York Post or the Weekly Standard are frequent guests on Fox News. Again, their points of view get air-time and their publications are touted. When Fox reports on events around the world, it can call on one of the reporters from its worldwide newspaper network to appear as a guest to explain the matter. Through DireCTV, Murdoch can decide whether or not he wants to include competing television stations or television stations with viewpoints he disagrees with. Later this year, News Corp. will debut an all-business "news" channel, much like CNBC. If shows on the new channel are anything like the "business" shows on Fox News Channel, the overall bent will be politics, not business. (For example, this was the promo tag for this morning's "Cavuto on Business": "Will a free Middle East spell big profits free and clear?")

News Corporation. It's quite a machine. Here's some of the "cross pollination" we've witnessed over the past many months.

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