Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sizing Up Rupert Murdoch

I think Matt Taibbi has the measure of the man. Here's a bit from a very good, very funny analysis of Murdoch's lament:
At long last, Rupert Murdoch has made it onto the Mount Rushmore of whiners. The recent house editorial in his defense by the Wall Street Journal (which he owns) contains some of the most deliciously absurd calls for sympathy and pity ever expressed in a public forum, far surpassing such classics as “You won’t have Nixon to kick around anymore” and Imelda Marcos wailing about how “It’s the rich you can terrorize – the poor have nothing to lose.”

Now, right up there with those great figures in the history of whining, comes Rupert Murdoch. He didn’t write the WSJ editorial, but he might as well have. The piece has been interpreted around the world as being something very like Murdoch’s true thoughts on the scandal. Andrew Neil of the BBC put it this way: "This, from Wall Street Journal, is closest to what Rupert Murdoch really thinks. Pretty defiant."

And this is the money quote from the WSJ editorial:
The Schadenfreude is so thick you can't cut it with a chainsaw. Especially redolent are lectures about journalistic standards from publications that give Julian Assange and WikiLeaks their moral imprimatur. They want their readers to believe, based on no evidence, that the tabloid excesses of one publication somehow tarnish thousands of other News Corp. journalists across the world.
Seeing a Rupert Murdoch publication whine about the meanness and editorial excess of other media companies is almost indescribably hilarious. For sheer preposterousness, I struggle even to come up with credible rivals to this editorial passage. In the ballpark, maybe, is John Wayne Gacy’s famed post-arrest complaint: “I see myself more as victim than perpetrator – I was cheated out of my childhood."
Yep, it is practically criminal how the world's press has misunderstood Murdoch and his heart of gold, his loving concern for fellow humans, and his open and embracing political stance.

I've got my fingers and toes crossed that this scandal will bring down NewsCorp and its evil influence over the media. I pray for the day when Fox "News" is disbanded and replaced with a sensible, honest, politically conservative channel that takes its responsibilities seriously, i.e. to be a voice for a constructive, patriotic right wing political philosophy that can make the necessary pragmatic agreements to govern. Right now, Fox "News" is selling the poison of "my way or the highway" politics.

As Matt Taibbi puts it:
Given the monstrous political influence of Murdoch and his companies – this idiotic game of chicken our government is now playing with America’s credit rating is one of countless policy disasters that I believe can be traced directly or indirectly to the insane propaganda that is a consistent by-product of Murdoch's nihilistic quest for profits – that would be a world-shaking development.


When information equals money, and everybody in the business is all about money, pretty soon lines are going to be crossed to get information.


Whether or not Murdoch broke the law, he definitely did more than anyone else on earth to screw that up for everybody in the news business. I just wonder if he’ll be busted enough for that in addition to whatever else he specifically did in this one scandal.

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