Rupert Murdoch: ‘Greta Van Susteren is certainly close to the Democratic Party’

By Chris Ariens 

News Corp. chairman & CEO Rupert Murdoch dropped in to the National Press Club last night for a talk with former NBC and CBS Newsman Marvin Kalb, who hosts the monthly Kalb Report at the NPC.

The iPad, paywalls and Google were all topics of discussion — as was Murdoch’s Fox News Channel. A few of the write ups:

The Guardian (U.K.): Murdoch was challenged in the interview – and by many in the audience – over the conservative bias of his Fox News cable television channel. The audience tittered when Murdoch said he thought the channel’s news coverage had no political bias. “We have both sides. We have Democrats and Republicans, libertarians and whatever,” he said.

The Huffington Post: Asked later during the question and answer session to name a single Democrat who worked for Fox News, however, Murdoch struggled. “They are certainly there… Greta Van Susteren is certainly close to the Democratic Party,” he said, after blanking on names first and insisting that [Roger] Ailes would have a long list. “She doesn’t do many political stories. She is just a great journalist… but people who have been involved in Democratic politics and so on, yeah we have people…”

The Wrap: Asked about the use of Sarah Palin on Fox News, Murdoch said she wasn’t a reporter but a commentator. “I don’t how often Roger [Ailes] uses Sarah Palin, but I know whenever he does the ratings leap,” said Murdoch. “We are not adverse to high ratings.”

Politico: Ari Rabin-Havt, from the liberal watchdog Media Matters, began the Q&A by rattling off statistics of Fox’s coverage of the tea parties and asked if it was appropriate for a news network to promote the movement. “No,” he responded. “I don’t think we should be supporting the tea party or any other party.” Murdoch said he’d have to investigate before commenting further.

The discussion was recorded for a program to be broadcast on public television at a later date.