Rupert Murdoch is in enough trouble here in the UK, mainly with the phone hacking scandals involving his newspapers. But I don’t think any of his UK companies have been accused of causing anyone’s death.
But that cannot be said about his American companies. The US news channel Fox News, which he owns, has now been directly implicated in the death of an old woman, by inciting her to reject the medical treatment which she needed – as reported by Karoli at Crooks and Liars and by Fred Clark at Slacktivist (thanks to James McGrath for the latter link). The old lady’s daughter wrote:
FOX News killed my precious mother, Hallie. She watched FOX religiously. And when she fell ten days before she died, she refused to go to the doctor because, “I don’t want Obamacare to get all of my information! she declared …
It seems that this old lady believed many of the deliberate lies which were being put forward by the Fox News anchor, lies directed at President Obama and at his health care policy. She appears to have thought that if she had accepted medical care, following her fall, her medical information and her money would have been sent to Islamic extremists. This is of course completely false, but a reasonable deduction from the lies told by Fox News.
Like Fred Clark, “I wouldn’t say Fox News is directly responsible for this woman’s death”. But, assuming that the facts as reported are accurate, I would suggest that the Fox campaign of disinformation about Obama and his policies gives them a measure of responsibility, in this case and in any other similar ones.
And, just as Rupert Murdoch should accept personal responsibility for the phone hacking at the News of the World, and probably at other newspapers he owns, he should also accept personal responsibility for all of the consequences of the lies told by Fox News.