Out goes the old face of evil ...
In the English-speaking world, from his native Australia to the UK to the USA, which gave him citizenship, one individual bears responsibility for poisoning the well, and his name is Keith Rupert Murdoch. Here we have had a mafia boss to outrank all other mafia bosses, whose empire has messed up whole countries, and with no comeback to worry about. Let that sink in.
So when the news came yesterday that Don Rupioni was finally relinquishing the reins of power to his favourite son Lachlan, and some commentators began to praise the old tyrant, one could be sure that this reflected only the emptiness and amorality of so much of the media class. Rupert Murdoch was not just an unelected foreigner. He was the embodiment of pure evil.
One need only consider the kinds of people that the Murdoch mafiosi have willingly employed: the deeply unpleasant Kelvin McFilth, their UK CEO Rebekah Brooks (twice), the singularly repellant Dan Wootton, and over at Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse) there were wackos like Glenn Beck, Jeanine Pirro, Laura Ingraham, and Tucker Carlson.
When the new media idiocy like Darren Grimes (not at all craftily) say of him “Rupert Murdoch has been a force for good in the world throughout his life and through his media empire”, you can deduce two things: Grimes is full of crap (which you probably knew anyway), and he is desperately trying to gain the attention of someone in the Baby Shard bunker - to score some money.
This is not an isolated example: as with the central premise of Terry Southern’s Magic Christian, people will do anything for money; everyone has their price. The Murdoch empire added fear to that equation: do as you’re told and you’re paid well, don’t do as you’re told and you become a journalistic Unperson in very short order. And don’t even think about whistleblowing.
... and in comes the new one
So while the BBC report on Rupe kicking himself upstairs is procedural and anodyne (the Beeb is also scared of him), the Guardian’s Dan Sabbagh has brought us “Power and scandal: how Murdoch drove the UK, US and Australia to the right”, which is rather more revealing, reminding us that phone hacking is still a thing, and Fox News is in big defamation trouble.
He notes “The Sun, whose Page 3 topless photographs lasted 44 years, turned from Labour to supporting Margaret Thatcher. Murdoch bought the Times titles with a supportive government in the background and fought the print unions at Wapping - before switching later to Tony Blair, eagerly backing him over the invasion of Iraq and sticking with him long after it had been revealed to be a disaster”. Hundreds of thousands dead. A failed state.
Every Murdoch newspaper backed the Iraq War. All 170 plus of them. The idea that all those editors came to the decision independently is pure tosh. Sabbagh again: “When the polls turned again, the papers, always with the proprietor making the final call, backed David Cameron, then Brexit, a once marginal cause that had been kept alive by a handful of rightwing newspapers … until it eventually went mainstream”. Another disaster.
And another disaster for which Don Rupioni does not have to face any kind of judgment. He is a politician unanswerable to electorates, the ultimate example of Stanley Baldwin’s “Power without responsibility”.
What, then, of favourite son Lachlan? He is just as far to the right as his father. He also, it seems, would continue the now loss-making Sun. The editorial line at Fox News is unlikely to change. The hatred, bigotry, paranoia, climate change denialism and faux populism will carry on. The elected politicians will bow down before the new Capo di Tutti Capi.
Unless the Murdoch family indulge in a little infighting. That’s your only hope.
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