In his forthcoming book, Murdoch’s World, NPR media reporter David Folkenflik writes about the lengths the ruthless Fox News PR machine will go to in order to combat stories that reflect badly on the network. One particularly interesting tidbit that noted by Media Matters involves PR staffers at Fox setting up hundreds of commenters accounts on sites across the web to in effect stick up for the network when it was trashed — as it often is, for good reason — on sites like this one.
On the blogs, the fight was particularly fierce. Fox PR staffers were expected to counter not just negative and even neutral blog postings but the anti-Fox comments beneath them. One former staffer recalled using twenty different aliases to post pro-Fox rants. Another had one hundred. Several employees had to acquire a cell phone thumb drive to provide a wireless broadband connection that could not be traced back to a Fox News or News Corp account. Another used an AOL dial-up connection, even in the age of widespread broadband access, on the rationale it would be harder to pinpoint its origins. Old laptops were distributed for these cyber operations. Even blogs with minor followings were reviewed to ensure no claim went unchecked.
(Via Media Matters)