OccupyLA joined Free Press in a demonstration at Fox Studios, where Rupert Murdoch held News Corp.'s annual shareholders meeting, to deliver a letter to members. Los Angeles, United States. 21st October 2011
News Corp.'s annual shareholders meeting at Fox Studios on Friday morning drew a crowd of about 200 hundred protestors from Free Press, OccupyLA, Good Jobs LA, Avaaz.org, Change to Win, Brave New Foundation, National Lawyers Guild, and Common Cause, who assembled in front of the Pico Blvd. entrance with signs and bullhorns. David Saldana, Communications Director for the Free Press, delivered a list of demands to a representative of News Corp., who met them on the street to receive the letter and returned to the shareholders meeting without speaking to the crowd.
Saldana read the demands letter for the crowd and the press, which included CNN.
"We are a group of concerned citizens, labor organizations and advocacy groups that have come together to protest News Corp.'s toxic role in our democracy. We believe that no single company should be allowed to own an overwhelming share of the media in our country, and that the accumulation of such media power under News Corp. has had a corrosive effect on our political process.
News Corp. is showing itself to be a bad corporate citizen. The fact that it uses its unparalleled media power to bully regulators, elect compliant politicians, gain regulatory favors and undermine the public interest. News Corp. is already under criminal investigation. It's under investigation in the United Kingdom for allegedly hacking into the phones of thousands of people. Its under investigation in the United States for allegedly hacking into the phones of September 11th victims and violating the foreign corrupt practices act with regard to bribes made to British authorities.
News Corp. has paid out hundreds of millions of dollars in hush money to silence claims that it's subsidiaries used illegal tactics, including hacking into rivals computer systems to put competitors out of business. News Corp. has dodged responsibility to pay it's fair share of taxes to the US Treasury, by setting 136 front operations in countries defined as corporate tax havens. News Corp. and Fox News Channel has a long history of anti-immigrant rhetoric and biased reporting of issues that are important to communities of color in the United States.
This misconduct tells a story of a rogue corporation that has no business dictating government policy or polluting the democratic process in America.
We demand that News Corp. shareholders make company executives and the board accountable to U.S. law in the public interest. We demand that congress immediately convene hearings and investigations of the many serious allegations of criminal and unlawful acts by News Corp.
We demand that the federal communications commission review all broadcast licenses granted to News Corp. to determine whether they meet the agencies qualifications. If the ... investigations result in criminal convictions, News Corp. should forfeit its licenses to use on public airwaves.
We demand that shareholders tied to News Corp will not make anymore political contributions during the 2012 election cycle. The corporate special interest donations have already impaired the government's ability to address our nation's most critical problems. News Corp. must cease funding practices that harm the public interest."
Saldana observed, "It's not merely Fox News that's the problem, it's the consolidation of corporate power controlling so much of our media. News Corp is a symptom of a disease and that is the circle of power, money and politics that's creating policy in its own interest."
Saldana commented on media's failure to be a defender of the public interest and civil rights. "There's a reason that the press is the only profession mentioned in the constitution. And that's because they're supposed to serve as the public's surrogate, as a watchdog on government. What we have is not that now, and I think that's an incredibly damaging fact that hurts our democracy and hurts the public at large."