With all today’s fallout from the Government’s Brexit vote defeat yesterday evening, some observers may have missed the significant media news: the Murdoch mafiosi have sold most of their properties to the Disney organisation. What was thought for many years to be the empire that Creepy Uncle Rupe would pass on to his sons James and Lachlan has been cashed in as if it were chips in a casino, prior to a player leaving the building.
And you Matey - don't let the door hit you on the way out
As so often with these matters, the culture of press Omertà means very few newspaper sites have said anything about the deal, but fortunately the Guardian and BBC have gone there, and the news is clear: “Walt Disney has agreed to buy 21st Century Fox's entertainment assets for a total $52.4bn (£39bn) … The deal includes Fox's 39% stake in satellite broadcaster Sky, and the 20th Century Fox film studio”.
The BBC explains that “Mr Murdoch will still retain control of News Corp, the news publishing group that split away from 21st Century Fox in 2013 and which owns the Times and the Sun newspapers”. The Murdochs will also keep hold of Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse), Fox Sports and Fox Business. So the propaganda operation across the USA will continue. But the Sky stake is being sold.
As to the future for Murdoch’s sons, all we know is that “James Murdoch had been widely tipped to be given a senior role at Disney. But [Disney CEO Bob] Iger told Good Morning America: ‘James and I will be talking over the next couple of months. He will be integral to the integration process. He and I will be discussing whether there is a role for him or not at our company’”. That is the mystery. But there is no mystery about the Sky stake.
The Guardian spells it out: “Fox’s current takeover offer will proceed and the Competition and Markets Authority will give its opinion next year. But it will be Disney that inherits the UK broadcaster. And it is clear that, if necessary, Murdoch will be prepared to close Sky News to complete the takeover”. No Fox News UK. Maybe no Sky News at all.
This has led Ed Miliband, Vince Cable and Charlie Falconer to release a joint statement telling “For decades, Rupert Murdoch has expanded his empire and used his power for a deeply ideological agenda, corroding public debate. Today, he is in retreat … If this deal happens, the long held ambition of Rupert Murdoch to turn Sky News into Fox News is dead and buried. This abandonment of his attempt to Foxify Sky News is good for broadcasting, the quality of public debate and democracy”. There was more.
“The Murdochs already have too much power over UK media. After this deal, they will have less … To truly show it will stand up to the power of the Murdochs, the Government should now commission the Leveson 2 Inquiry and make good on its promise to the victims of phone hacking”. Moreover, the hacking trials, investigations into corrupt practices and illegal behaviour, and pressure on press advertisers must continue.
The Murdoch mafiosi are now in retreat. Just rejoice at that news.
Call me cynical, but could Disney buy the remaining stake in Sky, and then sell it back to Fox?
Gives Digger 40 billion to spend on propaganda....
All those propaganda clerks who sold their arses to Murdoch at Sky News might get their thanks (and come uppance) if and when he closes it down.*
Oh irony. Oh joy.
*I wouldn't bank on it, though. The far right won't want to lose one of its main corrupting tools. A substitute will be required if it does.
Nah - this can’t be good news - he’s up to something.
I hope that the F*x S*y deal is put on hold until the take over of F*x is complete, then Disney can make its own bid if it so wishes... because I wouldn't put it past Murdcock to renegue on the sale if F*x wins its bid due to the gov thinking that F*x would no longer control S*y.
The other possibility is that Murdcock is not well, so he's selling up and getting out now because he doesn't think his offspring are capable of running his legacy if he pops his clogs.
Harding leaving BBC News & Current Affairs for a new company that will offer "a clear point of view" and now this. Could they somehow be connected?
I'm not celebrating, I'm concerned.
Lachlan Murdoch is moving his family back to Sydney to their hilltop estate. This sounds to me like the Murdochs are sensing their promotion of Trump and the extreme right wing isn't going all too well.
It's a retreat (where they win bigly financially) and I'd say his sons Lachlan (the brighter one ) and James are not interested in running a global propaganda empire for much longer.
I expect the fanaticism at Fox News will also change slowly as the sons now are in control and it's doubtful they will want the network to go down with Trump's eventual demise.
Fox's rusted on viewers are old and don't have lots of income. They are a dying breed. Fox will never win over a new younger audience and will never be forgiven by the bulk of US cable viewers.
A mistake people often make is that Murdoch's right-wing advocacy demonstrates his personal political beliefs. He's an opportunist and is only interested in making money. If he thought backing Corbyn would fill the coffers he would.
This is the beginning in the end of an era. Rejoice in it but keep sharpened stakes & silver bullets ready as these Vampires don't go easily.
To Sam Best.
People said the same thing about Hearst and Northcliffe. Look at what happened subsequently.
There will be others. Given the advance of information technology, maybe in a different guise. But still the same old same old.
Check out the US move to cancel internet neutrality. The battleground may change. The reactionary barrow boy mindset won't.
Today, Murdoch and his brats. Tomorrow, some other gang of far right spivs.
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