I wrote this case study for my Media Ethics class on Friday. I thought it was pretty interesting to see that that bastion of flag-waving conservatism had made its profits last year on BORAT, which is perhaps the most obscene, racist and sexist movie to show in American theatres in years. Hmmm. Makes me wonder why the Evangelicals (or at least the Fundamentalists) aren't boycotting Fox News.
“News Corporation Earnings Decline 24%”
Accessed at : http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/08/business/media/08news.html?ref=media
This article focuses on the drop in earnings that News Corp’s owner, Rupert Murdoch reported yesterday. Apparently News Corp is losing money on some of its new internet outlets.
A note of interest is where News Corp, owner of arch-conservative Fox News did make money this last year: “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.” “Borat” earned News Corp $230M in profits so far, just through ticket sales.
How intriguing that a company which owns Fox News, the U.S.’s most conservative cable television news outlet, would make its profit from a movie which is disturbingly obscene and stands in stark contrast to the views and preferences of Fox News’ target demographic.
What is the role of a corporation’s principles in producing entertainment content? It is plain comical to think of how News Corp seems to be deliberately marketing their Fox News network to social and political conservatives, while they are also releasing one of the most obscene movies to play in American theatres in years.
On a positive note, perhaps, is Fox News’ own review of the film:
So, at least we know that, this time, conglomeration/consolidation didn’t prevent the movie reviewer at Fox News from saying what he thought about the movie’s content. Although, it does seem that the review itself avoids having a negative outcome with the ending line, “…if you have a sick sense of humor, "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan" is for you,” which has the tone of a wink to the content which has just been denigrated in the preceding review.