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Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes Make Clear That Glenn Beck, with His Incendiary Rhetoric and Wild Inaccuracies, Will Be the Face of Fox News

Rupert Murdoch is gloating at the profits he expects to make with the venomous Beck as the channel's flagship host.

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He later noted "other cable channels" -- though not by name -- and gave "Fox Broadcasting Company" a shout-out, but it's clear that he believes financial future of News Corp. as a whole is tied closely to the financial future of Fox News .

Murdoch has quite consciously pushed Beck to the forefront at Fox News, and with him the type of paranoid, incendiary rhetoric and wild inaccuracies with which some Fox journalists are growing increasingly uncomfortable.

With a directive straight from the top of News Corp., Roger Ailes quickly fell back into line as Beck's key backer at Fox News.

Ailes came roaring back to Beck's defense this week in an interview with Kurtz after prominent Jewish leaders and Holocaust survivors condemned Beck's three-day attack on financier and philanthropist George Soros.

In the special series -- which ran from November 9th to 11th and was heavily promoted by Fox News -- Beck falsely accused Soros of being a Holocaust collaborator and repeatedly attacked Soros with anti-Semitic stereotypes, referring to him as a "puppet master" and accusing him of controlling the media, the political process, and the global economy.

Kurtz, now with The Daily Beast, reported that Ailes offered a "spirited defense" of Beck in the wake of his recent attacks on Soros, and that Ailes had even reached out to the Anti-Defamation League -- one of the groups that condemned Beck's "puppet master" series -- to smooth things over.

In fact, according to Kurtz's interview, Ailes' only real gripe with Beck seems to be that Beck criticizes Republicans too much. Ailes told Kurtz: "Beck trashes Republicans every night. I've said to him, 'Where the hell are you going to get your audience if you keep this up? You're trashing everyone.'"

Kurtz added: "There's one criticism that Ailes doesn't want to hear. He admonished the staff after unnamed Fox journalists told me they are worried that the divisive Beck is becoming the face of the network. 'Yeah, shut up,' says Ailes. 'You're getting a paycheck. Go on the team or get off the team. Don't run around here badmouthing a colleague.'"

Indeed, Murdoch and Ailes have made their game plan for Fox News increasingly clear with their constant Beck boosterism. And ironically, Ailes' analysis of Jon Stewart in his interview with Kurtz seems to best apply to Fox News and Ailes himself:

"If it wasn't polarized, he couldn't make a living." ... "He loves polarization. He depends on it. If liberals and conservatives are all getting along, how good would that show be? It'd be a bomb.'"

Read more of Sarah Pavlus at Media Matters for America .

 
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