The First Minister's relationship with Rupert Murdoch could be damaging Scotland's interests, phone-hacking campaigner Tom Watson has suggested.
The Labour MP, who sits on the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, said it was a "mistake" for Alex Salmond to "cosy up" to the media mogul.
However, Mr Salmond insisted his relationship with Mr Murdoch was "totally professional" and their recent exchanges "perfectly proper and above board".
The First Minister last met Mr Murdoch on February 29 in Edinburgh where they discussed the potential for further investment in Scotland, the country's constitutional future and the Leveson Inquiry into press standards.
Labour and the Liberal Democrats have since attacked the First Minister over his association with Mr Murdoch.
Mr Watson aired his views on the BBC's Sunday Politics Scotland show.
He told the programme: "The one lesson of the hacking scandal is politicians and Rupert Murdoch's executive just got too close. There has to be a distance for the checks and balances of our democracy to work.
"Alex Salmond unfortunately seems to be the only western leader that now wants to cosy up to Rupert Murdoch. I think that's a mistake for him personally but more importantly I think it's probably a mistake for Scotland and the interests of Scottish people because he (Mr Murdoch) is too powerful a media mogul and he exerts too powerful an influence over our public institutions."
Mr Salmond hit back, saying Labour has been "totally hypocritical" on this issue.
He described his relationship with Mr Murdoch as a "totally professional relationship" like any other he has with "other major companies with a huge economic footprint in Scotland".