Thursday, 25 March 2010

Sarah Palin and the Discovery Channel - Connecting the dots

By Helen (nailinpalinnow)

When Palin, and $$$ and media are involved, Murdoch can't be far away, can he?

Here is a connect-the-dots exercise which explains why Discovery Channel has shocked its mild mannered and thoughtful audience by acting like a real hussy and selling out her good name and reputation to the likes of $ister $arah.

1. Discovery Channel is owned by Discovery Communications, Inc.

2. Sometime late 2009, a Mr. Peter Liguori was named COO of Discovery Communications, effective January, 2010. He replaces Mark Hollinger, who did not leave the organization but was named president and CEO of Discovery Networks International.

3. Next up comes the Hong Kong connection, the city where Murdoch reigns - at least as much as any other Westerner in the world. Dec 7 2009 “Discovery Communications has announced that Chief Operating Officer and long-time Discovery executive Mark Hollinger has been named President and CEO of Discovery Networks International. Hollinger joined Discovery Communications in 1991 as Vice President and Deputy General Counsel. In 1994, he was named Acting General Manager for Discovery Channel Asia. Based in Hong Kong, Hollinger was responsible for overseeing and coordinating all activities related to the launch and operation of Discovery Channel Asia."

4. Back to Peter Liguori, the new Chief Operating Officer of Discovery - who do you think Mr. Liguori used to work for? Fox Television and Ol’ Murder himself... although on the surface it seems they didn’t get along so great. About a year ago, in March 2009, Murdoch “repositioned” Liguori out of Fox as head of its prime time entertainment schedule.

“The most surprising aspects of last week's News Corp exec shakeup, the ouster of Fox Broadcasting CEO (Peter Liguori) and the promotion of Fox Searchlight prez Peter Rice to head of entertainment for Fox TV, have now been explained. Liguori was never very close to Rupert Murdoch, making it easy for Rupe to get rid of him to keep Peter Rice - head of Fox's successful Searchlight studio - in the fold, Variety says.” Long story short, Rupert liked Rice personally as he was the son of an old friend of his - but that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t take a business meeting with Liguori wherever he landed next.

5. Now in March of 2010, just one year later, a Murdoch minion is caught publicly salivating over sweet and innocent Discovery Communications, Inc. according to the New York Times, March 2010 - "Rupert Murdoch’s deputy, Chase Carey, looked out on the cable televisions landscape last fall and found a rival he wanted to emulate. Discovery Communications, he said, is “a road map of where I’d like to be.”

That is a big endorsement of Discovery, especially considering that it is just one-ninth the size of Mr. Murdoch’s company, the News Corporation. It is a testament to the fact that Discovery, the owner of 13 cable channels in the United States, has become a favorite on Wall Street, and its chief executive, David Zaslav, has become the subject of envy in the television industry.

6. So Rupert has Palin as a product, Discovery Channel as a prize to be won, Ligouri as a useful contact and Hollinger in place as another possibly even older contact. Is Murdoch trying to wage war on The Discovery Channel with Palin as his beachhead?

All I can say is that it is pretty clear that because of the toxic combination of Murdoch/Palin/Discovery Channel Execs, $error now has the ability to chirpily squawk about how much she loves the land she despoiled to millions and millions of people all over the world, while forever tainting the Discovery brand and getting paid a whole lot to do so.

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According to Wiki, Discovery Channel is currently the most widely distributed cable network in the United States, reaching more than 92 million households, part of its global audience of 431 million homes in 170 countries and territories. Versions of the channel are seen in Latin America, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Japan, Taiwan, India, Malaysia and other countries.

Someone commented here recently that big money was behind this newest Palin showbiz circus, and it looks like they were right. I’m not sure our earnest letters regarding Discovery Channel’s brand name or intentions will really make any difference at all. But we can try. Their offices are located in Silver Spring Maryland, and here is a corporate office phone number and the names of the chief executives.

Discovery Communications, Inc.
Discovery Place
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone: 240-662-2000
Fax: 240-662-1868

Chairman - John Hendricks
President, CEO, and Director - David Zaslav
COO - Peter Liguori

Another interesting discovery - The final dot?

It seems that Murdoch has more than a passing association with the Discovery Channel. In fact, a deeper look into the Grey Fox’s dealings for the past 15 years shows a disturbing pattern – one that hints at tax evasion on a high level and also gives notice to regular viewers that Murdoch is probably part owner of the “thinking man’s cable channel” already – but nobody knows for sure, including the IRS.

Any hour long internet search will reveal that Mr. Murdoch has a long time association with a certain John Malone, a mini-media mogul who serves at times as Murdoch’s partner, and at times as his arch-nemesis and rival. Strange as that may seem, it is a lesson to all of us lesser mortals (who are even now, sweating the fact that taxes are indeed due). Murdoch and Malone have played a decades long game of swapping media holdings, mostly to keep themselves amused, and with the side benefit of reducing or eliminating taxes on the businesses they exchange. How is that possible? The only way I can explain it is to say, if you can make the money trail extremely confusing, the best the IRS can do to keep up with you is to simply ask you what you owe, and trust you to pay at least that. One of the best examples of the business media sitting back and watching this display is given HERE.

So after many swaps and brinksmanship games with Malone’s Liberty Media which has held up to 20% shares of Discovery Channel Holding Co., it seems likely that Murdoch has a comparable interest in Discovery Communications today.

Certainly enough that a simple phone call could easily be made to Discovery Channel executives along the lines of, “Murdoch is calling, I’d like you to listen to his Palin proposal and be very open to his ideas about a show. Yes, you heard me, I said Palin.”


"Sarah Palin's Alaska" is officially headed to Discovery Communication's TLC and they're proud of it.

(A petition to boycott the Discovery channels can be signed here)

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