Media Matters for America is one of the leading media watchdogs in the US and has long played a vital role in challenging conservative misinformation in the American media. It has submitted powerful evidence to both Ofcom and the Competition and Markets Authority condemning the corporate governance failures at 21st Century Fox and opposing Murdoch’s takeover of Sky that is currently being considered by the CMA. This recent update from Media Matters provides yet more compelling evidence about the kind of broadcast standards that we see at Fox News, a key part of Murdoch’s 21CF organization.
On November 9, The Washington Post published an extensive investigative report, compiled with more than 30 sources, with accounts from four women who said Moore had engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior toward them when they were teenagers. One woman, Leigh Corfman, was just 14 years old when 32-year-old Moore sexually assaulted her, she said. In the days following the Post’s report, Hannity used his radio and television platforms to offer several inexplicable defenses of Moore, insinuating repeatedly that the women are lying and hosting others who did the same. He even hosted Moore on his radio show the day after the Post report came out.
In recent days, several companies have announced they were either removing ads from Sean Hannity’s Fox News program or that they would not advertise on his show in the future. In August, Media Matters called on Hannity’s advertisers to stop financially supporting his lies and extremism and warned that Hannity’s volatility made him a business risk.
Among those companies was realtor.com, a real estate search engine site. As Hannity began encouraging a counter effort against companies that said they would no longer advertise on his show, realtor.com deleted its Twitter announcement and published a statement saying the company would “continue to place ads across a broad range of networks, including Fox News and its top shows.” As the headline in Ad Age put it, ‘Just kidding: realtor.com not really boycotting Hannity.’
Realtor.com is “operated by News Corp subsidiary Move, Inc.” under a license from the National Association of Realtors. In other words, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. which manages the operations of realtor.com, has decided to continue advertising on a program airing on Fox News, part of Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox.
In an article published just last month, Murdoch backed his decision to acquire Move Inc. and emphasized the advertising potential: “We live in an age when more people than ever are going to portals like Realtor.com when they’re serious about property. There’s a lot of advertising to be had.”