Thursday, July 7, 2011

Real-Life Bad Companies: NEWS CORPORATION, full stop. #msmfail

According to the prevailing journalistic ideology, news organizations are supposed to be dedicated to finding and reporting the truth. As Jack Webb's most famous detective character insisted: "Just the facts, ma'am."

Rupert Murdoch does not believe in objectivity, truth, or responsibility. All he believes in is power, and he wants as much of it as possible. He will go to any lengths to get it. For one thing, he invented the TEA Party alongside the brothers Koch for that purpose. In Britain, his publication News of the World has been hacking the phones and email accounts of murdered girls, slain soldiers, and victims of the 7/7 London terror bombings (which happened six years ago today), leading their bereaved families to believe their loved ones were still actually alive. If that weren't enough, that most infamous of tabloids has been spying on Murdoch's critics, from muckraking journalists to liberal political opponents. In America, Fox News has the comparable James O'Keefe scandal.

As the phone-hacking scandal become ever more gruesome and intolerable, Murdoch decided to sacrifice the News of the World. This turns out to be suspiciously convenient: he gets to destroy the record of his crimes, and he also gets to turn his other sleazy British tabloid, the Sun, into a full daily publication by converting NOTW into the Sun Sunday edition.

The real problem is that Murdoch has infiltrated his agents into the highest reaches of the British, American, and Australian governments. He has bought thousands of British police. His control of the Conservative and Labour parties is so complete that one could almost call the UK itself a division of News Corporation, the same way his friends the Koch brothers are trying to turn the US government into a division of Koch Industries. And so the NOTW hacking scandal now threatens to bring down the entire British government.

Corruption has become News Corp's biggest business.

News Corporation is the company, and Rupert Murdoch is the man, hellbent on monopolizing the entire news business. His publications and "news" channels are the Corporatist version of Stalin's Pravda and Izvestiya. It is good to see the chief propagandist of corporate socialism and his empire fall at last. Hell, he could even go to jail. Millions would cheer him on.

We'll have to see if the scandal that destroyed the News of the World metastasizes and brings down the Sun, and maybe even Murdoch's British flagship paper, the London Times. For all we know, it could spread across the Pond to his big American propaganda outfit, Fox News.

You can't lose by short selling News Corp. Wall Street and the City of London sure are.

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