In a last-ditch campaign to muster public and political opinion against the Federal Communications Commission’s determination to ease the rules limiting media ownership, US public interest groups have cast amiable ex-Aussie Rupert K Murdoch as the Bogeyman of Big Media.

To the outrage of Murdoch’s British megaphone The Times, the chairman/ceo of News Corporation features in a series of ads that claim “Murdoch … wants to control the news in America [and the FCC] wants to help him”.

The campaigners admit that Murdoch is something of a fall guy for even larger media conglomerates such as Disney, Viacom and AOL Time Warner – but point to his high public profile compared with the [relatively] shrinking violets lurking behind other corporate facades.

The anti-Murdoch campaign, huffed a senior NewsCorp executive yesterday was a “distortion”. And lest anyone think NewsCorp lacks a sense of irony, the honcho added that the group is “associated with bringing greater choice to consumers”.

Meantime, in the real world, the FCC is scheduled to meet Monday to vote on this explosive issue. There is little doubt over the outcome given the Republican’s 3-2 majority among the five voting commissioners.

Data sourced from: Times Online (UK); additional content by WARC staff