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Taming the Murdochs’ Toxic Corporate Culture

“When someone tells you who they are,” counsels the novelist Maya Angelou, “believe them the first time.” Yet when it comes to Rupert Murdoch’s companies – which have been telling the public about themselves, over and over again, for years – many, from board members to regulators, have been effectively covering their ears.

LONDON – “When someone tells you who they are,” counsels the novelist Maya Angelou, “believe them the first time.” The same advice applies to companies. Yet, though Rupert Murdoch’s companies have been telling us about themselves for years, many, from board members to regulators, have been effectively covering their ears.

Consider Fox News, a 21st Century Fox subsidiary. Despite the racist and sexist messages that have been a staple of Fox News’s reporting and commentary since the network was launched in 1996, it took more than 20 lawsuits alleging racial and sexual discrimination to bring real recognition to the problem. The unsurprising truth is that the company has long prioritized profit over ethics, treasuring the men who bring in the money, however badly they behave – or however flagrantly they violate the rights or dignity of their less lucrative colleagues.

During his 20-year tenure, Roger Ailes, the former CEO of Fox News, fostered an environment rife with bullying, harassment, and misconduct. And, apparently, he led by example: before he died earlier this month, ten women publicly accused him of sexual harassment, while at least 20 more privately accused him of some kind of workplace harassment. Those accusations got him forced out of Fox News last year.

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