Thursday, August 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Fox News staffers fluffed blog post comment sections with pro-Fox propaganda

David Folkenflik is a media reporter for NPR and the author of the forthcoming book, Murdoch's World, which chronicles the reach of the media baron and the mood and atmosphere within his empire.

Fox News staffers fluffed blog post comment sections with pro-Fox propaganda

David Folkenflik is a media reporter for NPR and the author of the forthcoming book, Murdoch's World, which chronicles the reach of the media baron and the mood and atmosphere within his empire.

In a chapter about the Fox public relations department and its make-heads-roll reputation, Folkenflik describes the process by which Fox PR staffers would infiltrate the comment sections of negative posts about the network to anonymously post pro-Fox propaganda.

On the blogs, the fight was particularly fierce. Fox PR staffers were expected to counter not just negative and even neutral blog postings but the anti-Fox comments beneath them. One former staffer recalled using twenty different aliases to post pro-Fox rants. Another had one hundred. Several employees had to acquire a cell phone thumb drive to provide a wireless broadband connection that could not be traced back to a Fox News or News Corp account. Another used an AOL dial-up connection, even in the age of widespread broadband access, on the rationale it would be harder to pinpoint its origins. Old laptops were distributed for these cyber operations. Even blogs with minor followings were reviewed to ensure no claim went unchecked.  [Murdoch's World, pg. 67] [h/t Media Matters]

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