The pink-slipped media maven -- who has locked horns in the past with fellow mogul Rupert Murdoch -- spoke to a room full of media execs in Las Vegas about Fox's pro-Bush stance: "There's nothing wrong with that. It's certainly legal. But it does pose problems for our democracy. Particularly when the news is dumbed down . . . leaving voters without critical information on politics and world events and overloaded with fluff."
Fox didn't see the humor, however. "Ted is understandably bitter having lost his ratings, his network, and now his mind," a Fox News spokesperson told Broadcasting & Cable. "We wish him well."
This is not the first time Turner has seen shades of the Third Reich in Murdoch's empire. In 1996, after a cable deal had gone sour, the then Time Warner Vice Chairman likened the News Corporation head to "the late Fuhrer" and called him a "scumbag." Murdoch's New York Post returned volley by questioning Turner's sanity. Turner later suggested that they settle their differences in a boxing ring, winner take all.
This latest insult seems somewhat benign by comparison. But let's see how the tabloid press plays it. This tempest might well spill beyond the teacup.
1-27 update: Reacting to Ted Turner's remark, Anti-Defamation League National Director Abe Foxman calls Turner "a recidivist who hasn't learned from his past mistakes,” referring to the 1996 Murdoch-Hitler comparison made by the former Time Warner vice chairman. "Once again, Ted Turner can't seem to learn his lesson," Foxman says. "You tell him it's wrong, it's offensive, it's inappropriate, it's degrading to the memory of the six million. He apologizes -- then does it again.” For more see MediaCitizen's new post above.