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Murdoch pulls the plug on Blogger Cole: Rightward shift expected for Ekos-Squared:
Fox Network acquired Ekos-Squared in a hostile takeover on Wednesday while Henry Cole was on medical leave undergoing tests at the Washington Hospital Center. Within hours of the takeover, Rupert Murdoch, whose media empire owns Fox, announced Cole’s indefinite suspension without pay. Cole is the latest in a rash of media firings including Juan Williams (NPR), Keith Olbermann (MNBC) and Phil Donahue (MNBC) all dumped by their respective networks.
In a statement released on Saturday, Murdoch, said “the final straw was Cole’s shocking and debasing insult to the Republican Party.” Murdoch was referring to a Cole cartoon which showed a GOP elephant ‘trickling down’ on an economically distressed middle class family. The cartoon was part of an Ekos-Squared Friday Funnies post entitled “Glenn Beck’s Webinar on the GOP Pledge to America.” The post spoofed such conservative notables as Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich, and Ronald Reagan.
Cole recently “went public” with Ekos-Squared Blog which is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) as (ESXXB). News of the takeover immediately sent the stock soaring.
Cole talking to reporters at his family farm in Croom, Maryland, said he was still reeling from the events of the past week, “The hostile takeover and my suspension comes as a huge shock. And it doesn’t bode well for freedom of press in America. My stuff is mild compared to the insults hurled daily by O’Reilly and company. However, I am truly gratified by the enormous outpouring of support that I’ve been receiving.” Cole said that his medical condition was not serious.
Cole had a cautionary note for progressive bloggers, “Don’t put your blog-corp on a stock exchange.”
Cole said he had no immediate plans, but had received an offer from movie mogul Michael Moore to start a new blog. Moore blasted Murdoch, Fox, and the corporate, capitalist media for its “insidious and cancerous infiltration of the public’s airwaves.” Moore added, “I want the new progressive blog would be called Ekos-quadrupled — you know, more power to the people.”
In a related development: Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (Independent-Caucuses with Dems) called for an FCC investigation of “a growing conspiracy to get progressives out of the mainstream media.”
When asked about the recent rash of media firings, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said that he would have to “get back to you on that.”