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Rupert Murdoch Warned By Australian Press Watchdog
By James Grubel CANBERRA, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Australia's newspaper regulator on Tuesday weighed in on a row over bias by Rupert Murdoch's newspapers in the country's election campaign, telling editors to provide an accurate account of public issues. The Australian arm of Murdoch's News Corp is the country's dominant newspaper publisher and is responsible for around 70 percent of big city newspaper sales. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has accused Murdoch's Australian newspapers of bias and of campaigning for a change of government at the Sept. 7 elections, while Murdoch has also used social media to press the demand. Julian Disney, chairman of the Australian Press Council, has written to editors of major newspapers following complaints from the public and the industry over newspaper election reporting. Disney reminded editors of guidelines issued in 2009, which stress the need to distinguish news from editorial opinion, although the Press Council says newspapers have the right to hold a political opinion and favour particular candidates. "Newspapers that profess to inform the community about its political and social affairs are under an obligation to present to the public a reasonably comprehensive and accurate account of public issues," Disney wrote. "As a result, the Council believes that it is essential that a clear distinction be drawn between reporting the facts and stating opinion. A paper's editorial viewpoints and its advocacy of them must be kept separate from its news columns." Murdoch's top selling Sydney Daily Telegraph has run the strongest anti-government stories, with a front page headline on the first day of the election saying "Kick this mob out" over a photo of Rudd. Rudd continued to criticise Murdoch's newspapers on Tuesday, urging voters to view an analysis of bias broadcast on Australian Broadcasting Corp. television on Monday night. The ABC's Media Watch programme said an analysis of the Daily Telegraph's reporting in the first week of the election campaign showed half of its 80 stories were slanted against the government, with none against the conservative opposition. Over the next two weeks, it said, 59 stories were against the government, while only four were slanted against the opposition.
WATCH: Maddow Excoriates Alex Jones
Rachel Maddow used the final moments of her Wednesday show to plead with the GOP to "disqualify" conspiracy theorist Alex Jones from Republican politics after he argued that the government might have used a "weather weapon" to steer a tornado through Moore, Okla. Jones and his site Infowars have churned out conspiracy theories claiming that the mass shootings in Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, Conn., were fake and that 9/11 was an inside job.
Cable News Far More Hawkish On Syria Than The Public
A Pew study on Monday attracted attention for its assertion that Al Jazeera America, which promised a different take on the world than its cable news counterparts, mostly mirrored their approach when it came to the debate over Syria. But an equally interesting portion of the study found that all of the cable news channels were markedly more hawkish in their coverage than the public as a whole.
Rupert Murdoch Looking For A Quick, Quiet Divorce
By Karen Freifeld NEW YORK, June 14 (Reuters) - Rupert Murdoch appears to be seeking a quiet divorce, based on the lawyer he has chosen and the absence of incendiary allegations, people with knowledge of the case and experience of high-profile New York divorces said. Divorce papers filed by the media mogul on Thursday comprised a short document saying the marriage is irretrievably broken, according to a person with knowledge of the filing. The document, which formally starts a divorce action under New York's no-fault law, contains no details of wrongdoing, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity. That, his choice of lawyer and a series of pre- and post-nuptial agreements all favor a strategy for ending his 14-year marriage to Wendi Deng Murdoch as quickly and quietly as possible, the experts said. "While she might try to get more money somehow, and he might be willing to give it to her because he's got so much money, it seems to me she's bound by all those agreements," said John Vassallo, who has represented rock star Mick Jagger and movie star Harvey Keitel in divorce proceedings. Ira Garr, representing Rupert Murdoch, was referred to the case through a lawyer at News Corp, the Murdoch media empire, the person with knowledge of the divorce filing said. He may have been hired because of a reputation for settling divorces quietly and because he is friendly with Pamela Sloan, the lawyer representing Wendi Deng, the person said. Among his previous divorce clients were businessman Donald Trump's former wife Ivana Trump and federal judge Kimba Wood. Sloan's firm, Aronson Mayefsky & Sloan, helped represent actress Katie Holmes in her divorce from actor Tom Cruise.
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