• Who's Afraid of Rupert Murdoch?

    May 10, 2012

    The answer: the Federal Communications Commission and Congress.

    While the media mogul was called before Parliament and hammered by regulators in the United Kingdom, few in the halls of U.S. power are willing to call News Corp. to account for the “culture of corruption” that has spread through its media empire.

  • How Will Murdoch's U.K. Implosion Be Felt in the U.S.?

    May 2, 2012

    A scathing report in Britain that Rupert Murdoch and other News Corp. executives engaged in an extensive cover-up of “rampant law breaking” may have ramifications for the media mogul in the United States.

    How far-reaching those consequences are depends on U.S. politicians’ willingness to face down one of the most powerful media figures of our generation.

  • Big Brother Is Not Your 'Friend'

    April 16, 2012

    The U.S. government has increasingly shown an intense desire to “friend” you, to “follow” you, to get to know your every online move.

    Now members of the House of Representatives are channeling that desire into legislation that clears a path for authorities to work with companies like AT&T, Facebook and Google to snoop on Internet-using Americans.

  • The Misinformation Machine

    March 8, 2012

    Dirty politics is a growth industry with few happy customers. In the run-up to Super Tuesday, television viewers nationwide had to endure an onslaught of negative and deceptive political ads.

  • Murdoch's Date With Justice

    February 29, 2012

    A legal net is closing around media mogul Rupert Murdoch. On Monday a top investigator in London reported that senior News Corp. employees authorized hundreds of bribes to police officers and other government officials. And just this morning his disgraced son James stepped down from his role as executive chairman of News International.

  • Obama Joins the Democracy Fire Sale

    February 7, 2012

    President Obama succumbed late Monday to the dark logic of the Super PACs, instructing top West Wing staffers to help raise money for the so-called "independent" groups that have been successful in picking winners and losers thus far in 2012.

  • The Onslaught Is Coming to a TV Near You

    February 6, 2012

    If Minnesotans flip on their TVs right now, they're likely to see at least one — a political ad slinging mud at a presidential candidate.

  • Democracy Under Threat

    January 26, 2012

    The Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision has already picked a winner in the 2012 elections: TV broadcasters.

    Companies like CBS Corp., News Corp. and Sinclair Broadcast Group are already dividing the spoils of an election year that will see unprecedented spending on political ads.

  • Why We Went Black

    January 19, 2012

    Wikipedia and Google blacked out? Redditers in an uproar? Thousands of geeks abandoning their cubicles to take to the streets?

    What's happening here?

  • Iowa Kicks Off the Media's Mud Season

    January 4, 2012

    If you flip on a local television station and watch for an hour or so, you're likely to see at least one: a political ad that attacks a candidate for public office.

    If you live in any of the "battleground states," you'll see up to 12 political ads an hour.

    Viewers in Iowa fell under a barrage of these ads leading up to Tuesday's caucuses. This on-air onslaught offers the rest of us a preview of what television viewing will be like as Election Day 2012 draws closer.