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Australian-born media mogul Rupert Murdoch is the chairman and CEO of 21st Century Fox, the owner of Fox News Channel. He has been a subject of controversy and criticism as a result of his substantial influence in both the print and broadcast media. In the United States, he is the publisher of the New York Post newspaper and the magazine The Weekly Standard. Accusations against him include the “dumbing down” of news and introducing “mindless vulgarity” in place of genuine journalism, and having his own outlets produce news that serve his own political and financial agendas. According to the BBC website: “To some he is little less than the devil incarnate, to others, the most progressive mover-and-shaker in the media business.”

Then-presidential candidate George W. Bush’s cousin, John Prescott Ellis, was Fox News’ projection team manager during the general election of 2000. After speaking numerous times on election night with his cousins George and Jeb, Ellis, at 2:16 AM, reversed Fox News’ call for Florida as a state won by Al Gore. Critics allege this was a premature decision, given the impossibly razor-thin margin (officially 537 of 5.9 million votes), which created the “lasting impression that Bush ‘won’ the White House – and all the legal wrangling down in Florida is just a case of Democratic ‘snippiness’.” Others, such as researcher John Lott, have responded that, by this reasoning, Fox News and the other networks were even more premature in initially calling the state for Gore, a call made while polls were still open, and which may have depressed voter turnout for Bush, actually affecting the election, whereas the call for Bush later could not have, as the polls were closed by then.