Job Creators

Well, it looks as though ol’ Rupert Murdoch found a suitably Galtian solution to his little crime spree as it started to get hot: fire a whole bunch of random people, except, of course, those responsible.  On Sunday, the undoubtedly checkered 168-year history of The News of the World comes to an abrupt and ignominious end, thus everyone from secretaries to paper boys gets tossed out into the land of the Shock Doctrine, and an institution destroyed by corporate malfeasance and corruption simply vanishes.  This is where we’ve come in our two-tiered justice system; no longer is it enough that the guilty go free, now the innocent must be punished for the serial misadventures of their betters.    Never mind the unlikelihood that, say, a pressman thought it would be a good idea to bribe the cops, or the circulation manager had much to say about whether they ought to be destroying and tampering with evidence in criminal trials; Murdoch’s callous disregard for those who labor in his propaganda sweatshops ought to give them all a good scare, especially the otherwise unemployable like Sean Hannity.

What does it mean, when plutocratic miscreants take to performing ritual sacrifices of ordinary people’s jobs to absolve themselves of some misdeed or other?   Worse, what does it mean when the purported watchdogs of democracy are so transcendently compromised that they break not only the law but shatter all bounds of human decency, and then move heaven and earth (and lots on money) to cover it up?   Ironically, at one point I did have some hope that even prior to this scandal the British equivalent of the FCC wouldn’t be so spineless as its American counterpart as to let Murdoch buy BSkyB, Great Britain’s largest cable provider.  No such luck; the merger, which would leave Murdoch in control of 40% of British media, loked like a lock as recently as just yesterday.

The extremity of Murdoch’s “solution” truly warms the cockles of my heart; he wouldn’t be dumping a profitable paper like NOTW if he didn’t figure that his merger is in real trouble, but even in retreat, Murdoch takes another swat at the profession of journalism itself by closing the paper rather than selling it to someone who wasn’t a right-wing propagandist like himself.  Just as FOX relentlessly implores its audience not to believe other media, Murdoch is telling NOWT’s nearly 3 million readers that if they can’t read his garbage, they can go read a cereal box.   Mission Accomplished.  Maybe this is what he’ll someday do with the New York Post, now that he’s grabbed, and immeasurably degraded, the Wall Street Journal, and thus can brainwash New York without losing so much money all the time.

The Murdoch project, just when it was moving into its endgame, may have hit a debilitating bump in the road.  It was close to monopoly control of UK media; it had, with FOX, irreversibly turned American media discourse to the right (and away from facts), and it had played a strong hand in regaining the US Congress for the Republicans in 2010.  In that situation, and still needing further regulatory acquiescence, it’s beyond dumb to be actively engaged in a criminal coverup, but they did it anyway because, not without evidence, they thought they could get away with it.  And why not? Every time Murdoch has violated antitrust and/or media diversity rules he has been rewarded with the rules being changed, and his almost pathological violations of journalistic integrity never seem to damage him in the long run.  He had achieved that hallowed state of the global elite; no law could touch him, so it no longer mattered even which country claimed his nominal citizenship, so he became an American.  (Which makes sense, really, since everyone knows those Aussies are practically commies, and our rich have it better than anybody….)

But now, he’s in a pickle.  The sacrifices have already been made, but if anything, public anger in Britain is increasing, rather than the other way around, and it looks as though popular scorn might yet impede his long-sought BSkyB takeover.  Better yet, this is the first of many News Corp outrages that has actually swept the media in the US, and despite the universal fear here of FOX, it was all over cable news today.

Pass the popcorn.


  1. dirigo says:

    The video of the NOTW rags rolling hot off the press brings to mind so many bottles of sour milk.

    HEY! — James Murdoch looks like he’s speaking from your balcony, Hag. What’s up with that?

    • cocktailhag says:

      Well, for all I know he could be, since I’m in California…..

      • dirigo says:

        I’m just concerned about CHNN’s reputation, including that of Harlan and the Flying Boat, to say nothing of docking accommodations in Naples.

        The heavens are cracking open; the waters are parting. Hugh Grant and Sienna Miller are piping up.

        • dirigo says:

          Jeez … talk about a news hole, Silvio says he’s not gonna run again.

          • cocktailhag says:

            Does he want to spend more time with his floozies?

          • dirigo says:

            Right out of Dickens …

            “The only reliable, durable and perpetual guarantor of independence is profit.”

            — James Murdoch, 2009
            — quoted in The Guardian, 7/10/11

            The Guardian/UK is credited with blowing the lid off the Murdoch news scam in London.

  2. avelna says:

    Job Creators
    Gotta love the additional irony of that title given the jobs report out today. The PTB are, in really fairly short order, creating their own fiefdom with all of us relegated to the status of serfs.

  3. meremark says:

    I agree with you, Hag, and have yet to see anyone notice the far extent of the likely effects of this Murdockalypse. … likable in my thinking, at least.

    The cable TV-bundled information cartel has yet to see it or show it despite and no matter that they’re ‘all over it’ with ‘coverage’ (‘uppage’?)

    Consider Murdockalypse ruin far beyond family-&-friend disgraced associations, and set aside prospective criminal convictions throughout the ranks of faux-journalist slacker-gen employees, and be unconcerned now for vast fortune deflation, redistribution of wealth, nor care for stocks or market or broker imbalances.

    Jumping ahead there’s a conclusive sense that the result might be some real damage, to the lifestyle many are accustomed to.

    The Wall Street Journal might disappear just as TNOW did.

    FUXNews itself may go out of business. Anyway, be bumped from its Basic Cable bundle channel number and reassigned in the pay-per-view Adult Entertainment tier up above 599 or 666 with the rest of the porn, foreign language, or staged-spectacle shows.

    All the righwing FOXfascist talk radio broadcasts today ‘sponsored’ (slush-funded) by in-kind trades and time bartering with Murdock media properties — all of talk radio (locally Larson, worldwide Limbaugh) loses all of those ditto-head dollars circulated among echoing parts of the radio-TV-radio-TV-radio-TV hate-broadcaster brotherhood. Furthermore, cable subscription payments entirely might also shrink — some principled cancellations from disgust, some incidental decrease from consumer destitution.

    But … the BIG thing might be the cardiac arrest and complete stoppage of the beating heart of massmedia rightwing propaganda. The all-night so-called Grand Old Party could be ending and we the people could rise in a glorious morning in America without noise machine Republicans. As the obsolete Industrial Age baronage has been terminally vegetable and on artificial life-support since being infected with fundamentalist puritanical bile, (since 1975, post-Roe v. Wade and at the advent of cable TV bundling), now comes Murdockalypse and pulls the plug … ‘he trips, stumbles, and falls and his foot kicks the cord.’


    • meremark says:

      Today two heavyweight media mavens ‘dialogued’, so in awe of Murdockalypse seen through their expertise in only its ‘media(property)’ facet, that they are left blank and speechless in imagining how much larger, no idea in how many other facets (social cultural political personal-psychology mass-psychology academic theologic economic etc.) catastrophic (not to say tsunamic) repercussions and ramifications, the sound of bubbles popping, might loom history-making BIG besides the ‘media(property)’ dimension.

      New York Magazine, News & Features Daily Intel, July 12, 2011

      Blood in the Water: Frank Rich and Adam Moss Discuss Just What Rupert Murdoch Is Guilty Of

      Adam: Hi, Frank. So let’s talk about the spiraling Murdoch scandal that led to the closing of News of the World, which has been the news — of the media world, at least — since last week (I’m having a hard time telling if this is just a giant media story here or something larger). To the extent that Americans are interested, it is because ….

      Frank: I can’t get enough of this saga. Given Murdoch’s outsize role in American politics and showbiz as well as journalism ….

      They used to say (before your time CH) when technology ‘advanced’ from (atomic) A-bomb to (hydrogen) H-bomb, that the difference in magnitude is they have to set off an A-bomb first to serve as a mere trigger ‘blasting cap’ for setting off the larger H-bomb nuclear-fission chain reaction. NOTW eruption might be but the A-bomb for larger reactions touched by repercussions.

      I can’t wallow enough in Saga Murdockalypse. … and why hasn’t mainstream media picked up on my clever 1-word graphic for this news story: Murdockalypse? … maybe I should run it in boldface emphasis ….