CREW reminded FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski that FCC licenses are only to be held by individuals of good character who speak with candor. The watchdog noted that the investigation into News Corp. in the United Kingdom puts the possession of those qualities by the company’s top executives in doubt.
CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan stated, “The House of Commons report makes clear that both Rupert and James Murdoch were complicit in New Corp.’s illegal activities. If the Murdochs don’t meet the British standards of character test, it is hard to see how they can meet the American standard.”
CREW says Rupert Murdoch indulged in “willful blindness” and James Murdoch showed a “lack of curiosity” when it came to the situation in the UK. It noted the fact that a committee of the House of Commons determined that Rupert Murdoch is “not a fit person to exercise stewardship of a major international company.”
The letters going to the two congressional commerce committees echo similar letters sent in July 2011.
“News Corp. has a pattern of outrageous and illegal conduct, including bribery, wire fraud, computer, and phone hacking,” continued Sloan. “If the FCC won’t act to revoke Fox’s broadcast licenses, Congress should immediately hold hearings. Retaining U.S. broadcast licenses is a privilege, not a right.”