All I Know is What I Read
I am a journalist by trade, and like most journalists I tend naively to believe what I read in print, particularly from news sources that are commonly referred to as "accredited" and "respected." So if the two gentlemen I am just about to mention protest that I am treating them unfairly, I can only quote my sources.
Both of them, to different degrees, can be described as media moguls. Rupert Murdoch is a media mogul by any standard--owner of newspapers and cable news networks around the world, so jealous of the phrase "fair and balanced" to describe his properties' news reportage that he sued for its exclusive use. By all reports, he is about to add a particularly glittering jewel to his media crown: the Wall Street Journal.
On the eve of this important acquisition, therefore, it is interesting to note that Matt Pottinger, a former Wall Street Journal reporter assigned to China, wrote recently in the Washington Post that Phoenix TV, the Chinese cable news network in which Murdoch owned a substantial stake, routinely kowtowed to Chinese government policies during Murdoch's ownership, even when those policies were violently condemnatory of the U.S. and the West. (Murdoch might want to confront Pottinger about this "unfair and unbalanced" story, but he'd have to go to Iraq to do so. Pottinger is with the Marines there--not embedded, mind you, but as a combat soldier on the front lines.)
Danny Glover can't claim to be a mogul on Murdoch's level, though as the star of the "Lethal Weapon" movies, "Lonesome Dove," "Places in the Heart" and many other famous films, he can claim a substantial measure of world fame. But he does qualify as a media magnate, based on his board membership in Telesur, the Latin American TV network founded by his old friend, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
Glover has a longtime reputation as an advocate for the poor and oppressed. His dream project is a film about the life of Toussaint Louverture, the 18th-century Haitian who led the successful revolt against French imperialism that made Haiti an independent nation. Recently, Glover solicited and received $18 million in financing for the project from his old buddy Chavez. That announcement was simultaneous with the news that Chavez had yanked the license for Radio Caracas Television, arguably the most important opposition media in Venezuela. Meanwhile, Venezuelan directors said they could produce 36 films for the $18 million Chavez is giving Glover. (One of my sources for this is Time Magazine, which Glover and Chavez could denounce as a propaganda organ for the Bush administration. The other is Agence France-Presse; I guess Chavez and Glover will say that France wants Haiti back.)
I imagine I'll catch hell from both sides of the ideological spectrum for pointing out these things; but, like I said, all I know is what I read. Meanwhile, if Messrs. Murdoch and Glover would care to explain their fondness for dictators, all they have to do is press the "Comments" icon.