LOS ANGELES — A public policy watchdog group has asked the Federal Communications Commission to strip News Corp.’s Fox Broadcasting of licenses it has to operate television stations.
Citing the phone-hacking scandal that has engulfed News Corp.-owned newspapers in Britain, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a petition to deny Fox’s applications to renew licenses for three of its TV stations — WTTG-TV and WDCA-TV in Washington, D.C., and WUTB-TV in Baltimore.
“It is well-established that News Corp. has been involved in one of the biggest media scandals of all time,” said CREW executive director Melanie Sloan. “Its reporters hacked voice mails and bribed public officials while top executives — including (News Corp. CEO) Rupert Murdoch — either approved the conduct or turned a blind eye.”
News Corp. and Murdoch have apologized about the ethics scandal, which led to the closing of its tabloid News of the World and the departure of several senior executives. The company has been investigated by lawmakers there and blasted for the lack of ethics at some of its newspapers. Murdoch’s son, James Murdoch, has been singled out for criticism because he had oversight of the British newspapers for several years.
While U.S. lawmakers are also investigating News Corp. to determine if any of the bad behavior overseas happened here as well, the FCC has shown little public interest in getting involved in the matter.
Noting that being of good character is a requirement for holding a broadcast license, CREW’s Sloan said, “If the Murdochs don’t meet British standards of character, they can’t meet American standards. The Atlantic Ocean has no character-cleansing properties.”
A Fox spokesperson declined to comment.
Study: Tattoo infections traced to tainted ink
ATLANTA — An outbreak of infected tattoos has led to an unlikely source: the ink.
Health officials say they are seeing more cases of a nasty skin infection caused by a common bacteria traced to the ink. In the largest outbreak, 19 people in Rochester, N.Y., ended up with rashes on new tattoos.
Infections from tattoos are nothing new, but usually dirty needles and unsanitary conditions are blamed.
These infections were caused by bacteria common in tap water. In the past year, more than 50 confirmed or suspected cases were linked to tattoo ink or water used to dilute the ink. Health officials say tattoo artists and ink makers should only use sterile water.
A report on the New York cases was published online Wednesday by the New England Journal of Medicine.
NJ mom who once lost custody decapitates son, 2
CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) — A woman who had admitted to drug use and recently regained custody of her toddler decapitated the boy, put his head in her freezer and fatally stabbed herself while police officers stood outside her home, authorities said Wednesday.
Chevonne Thomas killed her 2-year-old son, Zahree, and called 911 just after midnight, then fatally stabbed herself while officers were outside, police said.
During the 911 call, she first accused her boyfriend of stabbing the boy, but then said repeatedly “I did it, I did it,” said Jason Laughlin, spokesman for the Camden County prosecutor.
Laughlin described the call as “long, rambling, very incoherent.”
Results of toxicology tests will be needed to determine if Thomas was high on drugs at the time.
Thomas, 33, had lost custody of Zahree in November 2010 after allegedly leaving the boy unattended in a car and admitting to police she had smoked marijuana laced with PCP and blacked out in a nearby park, authorities said.
She regained custody of the boy in April, Laughlin said.