Murdoch: Fox News liberal pundit fired

Mogul says White House criticism of channel boosts ratings

NEW YORK -- Rupert Murdoch continued Fox News Channel's duel with the White House on Friday while also announcing the termination of the network's left-leaning analyst Marc Lamont Hill.

Asked about the White House's recent suggestion that Fox News is acting like an arm of the Republican Party, Murdoch simply said at a shareholders meeting that the criticism has "tremendously increased their ratings."

White House officials have recently stepped up pointed criticism of Fox News in blog postings and media appearances.

Murdoch also said that Hill has been fired. He revealed the move after a shareholder had raised the question of how Hill was hired, citing his "reputation of defending cop killers and racists."

Hill, a frequent guest on "The O'Reilly Factor" and other Fox News shows, has been the target of increasing criticism on the blogosphere for alleged sympathies to controversial figures including Assata Shakur and Mumia Abu-Jamal. Though Hill bills himself as an expert on hip-hop culture, he also drew fire for serving as a liberal foil for various Fox News personalities on subjects far from his stated area of expertise.

Hill also recently defended ousted White House official Van Jones on "On the Record With Greta Van Susteren."
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