Rupert Murdoch
Rupert Murdoch

See you later. Rupert Murdoch impacted the lives of countless people, said Lachlan Murdoch in announcing his father’s decision to resign as chair of Fox News and News Corp. He sure got that right.

His Fox News impacted the lives of all Americans by undermining our democracy through spreading lies and disinformation about the “stolen election” in the quest for profits.

It provided a megaphone to climate warming deniers; reported medical misinformation during the COVID-19 crisis, putting the lives of its loyal viewers at risk; and provided a platform for dangerous wingnuts like Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, Jeanine Pirro and Sean Hannity.

Murdoch paved the way for Donald Trump’s presidency, though he knew that the celebrity TV star was a lying, phony grifter from his days of dealing with him in New York.

The 92-year-old Murdoch, who says he enjoys robust health, isn’t going anywhere. His good-bye memo sounds like a “see you later” message.

As chairman emeritus, he promised to remain involved every day in the contest of ideas. “I will be watching our broadcasts with a critical eye, reading our newspapers and websites and books with much interest, and reaching out to you with thoughts, ideas, and advice,” he wrote.

Murdoch warned his companies and executives to stick around the office late on Friday afternoons because that’s when he might swing by to check up on things.

Forewarned is forearmed.

Taking a leave. Lisa Osborne Ross, one of the most powerful Black executives in PR, has taken a leave of absence from Edelman, where she was US CEO.

She joined Edelman in 2017 from APCO Worldwide, where she was the managing director of the firm’s DC office, and previously headed PA at Ogilvy. Ross previously served as head of public affairs at Ogilvy.

Osborne Ross served in the Clinton administration as communications director for the US Department of Labor’s effort to promote high-performance workplaces, deputy director of the bipartisan Federal Glass Ceiling Commission and chief of staff of the White House Office of Women’s Initiatives and Outreach.

She was gracious enough to talk with Doug Simon for the “PR’s Top Pros Talk” video series (co-sponsored with O'Dwyers's) on March 30, 2021, talking about the challenges of communicating with the Biden administration.

Matthew Harrington, Edelman global president & COO, has assumed the duties of Osborne Ross.

Good job, Ron. Florida has overtaken Texas in public school book ban cases, according to the “Banned in the USA: The Mounting Pressure to Censor” report by the PEN America writer advocacy group.

Driven by Governor Ron DeSantis’ “Don’t Say Gay” law, the Florida accounted for more than 40 percent of book bans in the 2022-2023 school year.

The Sunshine State recorded 1,406 book bans, compared to 625 in Texas, 333 in Utah and 186 in Pennsylvania.

PEN America noted that the school districts that have banned books either have a chapter or an affiliate of Moms for Liberty, Citizens Defending Freedom and Parents’ Rights in Education nearby.

CEO Suzanne Nossel said those suppressing stories and ideas “are turning our schools into battlegrounds, compounding post-pandemic learning loss, driving teachers our of the classroom and denying the joy of reading to our kids.”

They are also restricting freedom and public expression.