WASHINGTON, April 7 (UPI) -- The role of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin on Fox News Channel is that of commentator, not journalist, Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch said.
Murdoch -- chief executive officer of FNC's parent company News Corp. -- made the comments Tuesday during an appearance at the National Press Club, saying viewers want to be entertained as well as informed, The Hill reported Wednesday.
"I do believe the public wants good, ethical journalism -- but they also want to be entertained," Murdoch said.
The media mogul said the network's ratings shoot up whenever Palin, the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, is on and "we're not adverse to high ratings."
Fox last week premiered "Real American Stories with Sarah Palin" to mixed ratings, mediabistro.com reported. The show beat the competition on CNN, HLN and MSNBC but lost audience from its lead-in, "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren," and drew 10 percent lower ratings than the program in the same time slot the previous week. In addition, mediabistro.com said Palin's show lost viewers from its first quarter hour until its final quarter hour.
Murdoch said Tuesday he is neither Republican nor conservative but "maybe a radical" and denied there is "any conscious angling of the news" on Fox while asserting that rival networks "tend to be Democrats. Let's be honest about it."