Much of the world is presently learning what a despicable old plutocrat Rupert Murdoch is. The still unfolding scandals in the UK have revealed just how low his ethics can descend.
On top of that his Fox News empire has been bashing Media Matters for weeks, and falsely asserting that the watchdog group is receiving federal funds with which to criticize Fox. In fact Media Matters receives no funds from the government. Fox is alleging that their tax exempt status represents some sort of financial gift. These assertions have no merit whatsoever.
The truth is that News Corp is the beneficiary of far more funding that comes at the expense of American taxpayers. I previously reported that News Corp has been stiffing America for years by using tax dodges and deferrals to underpay their fair share.
Now a new article from David Cay Johnston at Reuters confirms that Fox is a deadbeat. Johnston writes that…
[Note: Reuters has withdrawn the column by Johnston due to an error in analysis. The error involves only the $4.8 billion dollar tax refund. Everything else in his article and this one is still correct]
“Over the past four years Murdoch’s U.S.-based News Corp. has made money on income taxes. Having earned $10.4 billion in profits, News Corp. would have been expected to pay $3.6 billion at the 35 percent corporate tax rate. Instead, it actually collected $4.8 billion in income tax refunds, all or nearly all from the U.S. government.”
News Corp. has 152 subsidiaries in tax havens, including 62 in the British Virgin Islands and 33 in the Caymans. Among the hundred largest U.S. companies, only Citigroup and Morgan Stanley have more tax haven subsidiaries than News Corp., a 2009 U.S. Government Accountability Office study found.
To repeat: That’s $4.8 billion in tax refunds (not credits). So while Fox is hyperventilating over Media Matters (whose entire budget is just a few million dollars), News Corp is walking away with nearly $5 billion from American taxpayers. And they are experts at dispersing their assets throughout the world, dispensing costs to countries that collect higher tax revenues, and profits to countries that have little or no taxes. So that money is likely leaving the country never to be seen again.
It’s time to stop Murdoch from raiding the American treasury. He is the poster fogey for decrepit oligarchs. He is using money that rightfully belongs to the citizens of the United States to finance campaigns against Media Matters; to disseminate propaganda via Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, etc.; to promote right-wing candidates and issues; to bankroll AstroTurf Tea Party groups; and now, to hack into the phones of kidnapped schoolgirls and victims of terrorism on both sides of the Atlantic.
His immoral enterprise has been exposed, and now he must be made to make restitution. To start with he should pay that $5 billion back. Then we can discuss what legal actions, civil and criminal, should be pursued.
Click here to call on Congress to investigate News Corp’s hacking practices and whether they are doing it in the U.S.
Click here to call on the Justice Department to investigate whether Rupert Murdoch is violating the law.