Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Murdoch's 'libertarian' news site goes live

Rupert Murdoch’s New Libertarian Web Site Comes Out Swinging at Jane S | Vanity Fair - Emily Jane Fox:

"April 18, 2016 - "Rupert Murdoch has a new baby: the right-of-center libertarian news site Heat Street, which launched Monday.

"'Heat Street is not a safe space. For us, orthodoxy will be unorthodox. The pomposity of self-regarding, self-conscious, self-abusing journalists will be absent from our pages. We plan to break news, move the media and mock the mainstream,' Louise Mensch and Noah Kotch, the site’s leaders, wrote in a statement. 'It takes friction to generate heat. We will rub against the grain of convention.'

The first person to get tossed into the flames Monday morning was Jane Sanders, wife of the Democratic candidate.... The site went live with a splashy lead story on how Catholic parishioners in Vermont are calling for an investigation into how she obtained loans as president of Burlington College. Heat Street reported that the group of parishioners sent a letter to the U.S. attorney earlier this year, requesting that she be investigated for bank fraud....

"Earlier this year, News Corp.’s recently formed Dow Jones Media Group confirmed that Heat Street was staffing up, and would be led by Kotch, a veteran television producer, and Mensch, a former Conservative Party M.P. in the U.K. who once questioned Murdoch during the parliamentary hearings on the phone-hacking scandal in 2011.... Mensch was hired to work for the Murdoch-owned News Corp. to work on digital projects in 2014.

"Heat Street’s launch comes at an interesting time for conservative media organizations, which find themselves being pulled in different directions by pro- and anti-Trump factions. Mensch and Kotch said in their statement that they 'seek to engage an underserved audience,' though it is hard to see how the crowded field of Fox News, Drudge Report, Independent Journal Review, the Daily Caller, and even Glenn Beck’s the Blaze leave many libertarians content-less. Fox News’s parent company, 21st Century Fox, split with Heat Street parent News Corp. in 2013, so perhaps this is Murdoch’s play to bring News Corp. more built-in traffic, in a more brazen, digitally nimble way, than its Wall Street Journal is able. If there was space for 17 candidates in the G.O.P. race not so long ago, there seems to be room enough for another center-right news site to cover them, particularly one with deep pockets. There is more than enough circus coverage to go around."

Read more: http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/04/rupert-murdoch-heat-street-jane-sanders
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