Thursday, May 3, 2012

  • Egyptian Military Rulers Face Growing Unrest as 11 Killed in Pre-Election Clashes

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    A mass protest has been called for Friday in Egypt after the killing of at least 11 demonstrators outside the Defense Ministry in Cairo. The attack came as hundreds protested the ejection of ultra-conservative Islamist candidate Hazem Abu Ismail from the pending presidential election because his mother has dual Egyptian-U.S. citizenship. The killings were the latest to fuel anger against the country’s ruling military council ahead of elections scheduled later this month. We get an update from Democracy Now!’s Sharif Abdel Kouddous in Cairo. [includes rush transcript]

  • Rupert Murdoch in "Unprecedented Firestorm" as U.K. Panel Finds Him Unfit to Run Global Media Empire

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    A British parliamentary committee has issued a scathing report that finds Rupert Murdoch is "not a fit person" to run a major international media company because of how News Corp. handled its phone-hacking scandal. The Parliamentary Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport said Murdoch and his son, James, showed "willful blindness" about the scale of phone hacking at the News of the World tabloid. The panel’s finding has prompted a U.S. watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, to call on the Federal Communications Commission to revoke News Corp.'s 27 Fox broadcast licenses in the United States. We speak with David Leigh, investigations editor at The Guardian, the news outlet that first exposed the phone-hacking practices taking place within the Murdoch media empire. Leigh says the British panel's findings could threaten Murdoch’s media presence across the Atlantic: "People are now beginning to say, ’Doesn’t this bleed over into the man who runs Fox News and has all those TV outlets in the U.S.?’ If he’s not fit and proper person in Britain, he’s not a fit and proper person in the U.S., either." [includes rush transcript]

  • U.S. Media Giants Reel as FCC Orders Disclosure of Rates for Billion-Dollar TV Campaign Advertising

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    During this year’s election, political analysts estimate as much as $5 billion will be spent on TV campaign advertising. Now, a new ruling by the Federal Communication Commission requires broadcasters to post political advertisement data online, making it easier for the public to see exactly who is buying those ads. We speak with Robert McChesney, co-founder of the national media reform organization Free Press, and Justin Elliott, a reporter at ProPublica working on a project called "Free the Files," that asks people and journalists across the country to visit TV stations, acquire paper data on political ads, and then post the files online at ProPublica.org. [includes rush transcript]

  • Free Press Co-Founder Robert McChesney: Murdoch Hacking Scandal a "Moment of Truth" for U.S. Media

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    Robert McChesney, co-founder of Free Press, calls the British report that slams News Corp. over the phone-hacking scandal a "moment of truth" for American media. News Corp. owns 27 broadcast licenses in the United States. "I think the evidence is in that we need to at least have an examination of this," McChesney. "We know he is the poster child of crony capitalism, of using his power as a media mogul to press politicians to get sweetheart deals. This has to be exposed. If it isn’t, it basically says billionaires are above the law." [includes rush transcript]

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