Told ya that Murdoch was slime!

As a Brit, the name Rupert Murdoch has always made me cringe. Now, if we add in the fact that US Media is being controlled by smaller group of people, in particular Rupert Murdoch, that should make any American cringe. The News of the World Scandal was nothing new, or surprising, to me.

So, it is no surprise when I see John Nichols’ piece in the Nation, Rupert Murdoch Has Gamed American Politics Every Bit as Thoroughly as Britain’s, where he starts out:

Rupert Murdoch has manipulated not just the news but the news landscape of the United States for decades. He has done so by pressuring the Federal Communications Commission and Congress to alter the laws of the land and regulatory standards in order to give his media conglomerate an unfair advantage in “competition” with more locally focused, more engaged and more responsible media.

It’s an old story: while Murdoch’s Fox News hosts prattle on and on about their enthusiasm for the free market, they work for a firm that seeks to game the system so Murdoch’s “properties” are best positioned to monopolize the discourse.

I have been mentioning that Murdoch was on the board of the Cato Institute and News Corp is a big supporter of that “think tank”. But for all the talk of free markets, the real upshot is that the “Libertarians” want to dismantle government so that they can monopolise its services and pass the cost on to the consumer. Little surprise that the rich are getting richer as the rest of us see our standard of living decline.

Disobey Rupert Murdoch every chance you can!

Nichols sets it straight that the whole point of Fox, according to Murdoch, was to “dethrone” more traditional media outlets—outlets that did actual news reporting and that were not expressly ideological. Instread, Fox is dominated by talking-head commentators and places itself at the service of the corporate-dominated and militarist wing of the GOP.

Ultimately, Rupert Murdoch is a case study of how libertarian policies will end up shafting the American public. Murdoch has cozied up to the regulators and tamed them such that they are toothless. He has the legislators in his pocket so that they propose the laws that groups such as The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) want to see passed. And the “Tea Party” astroturf group is passed off as the will of the people.

There needs to be an inquiry into how far Murdoch has corrupted the American Political system.  The most critical focus of any inquiry into Murdoch’s influence over US political and regulatory players should include  those American politicians and regulators—Republicans and Democrats—who remain in positions where they can do the mogul’s bidding.  Murdoch’s misdeeds deserve to be examined—thoroughly, and aggressively, but the actions of those in government who appear to have been every bit as obedient to Rupert Murdoch as their British counterparts should be scrutinised as well.  This does not bode well for the US government.

I have to add this quote from White Rabbit:

The short answer is this: I am of course suffering terminal schadenfreude at Murdoch’s present difficulties and the more odium – and damage – heaped on his head the better. Essentially this is because he is the worst sort of bully – the sort that acts on the belief that they cannot be thwarted or checked in any way. They can do anything they like and there is no power on earth to stop them – they are above the law and above the constraints that make the rest of us more or less behave despite our own worst instincts. Anyone and anything that opposes them will be crushed – an individual expressing opposition will be browbeaten – usually by character assassination. A business opponent will be taken out by any means required. Political figures will be cowed and reduced to courtiers and supplicants. Public opinion will be bent to suit the Murdoch corporate interest – an interesting example is the rabid Europhobia of the Murdoch titles – a product of the fact that he plainly recognises the EU as too big and too unbiddable to bend to his will. The inevitable result – the endless torrent of abuse of the Murdoch titles.

Murdoch is a bit like Hitler in that he wanted the world–now his thousand year reich is crumbling and perhaps democracy will replace it.

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