Sunday, July 17, 2011

Rupert Murdoch: The Sick Man of the 4th Estate

Or, When Rupert Met Milly

(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari.)

Whether they have cynically timed the arrest, I have my doubts about. But as people have said, it is somewhat unusual to arrest by appointment on a Sunday. - Former Metropolitan Police Commander Brian Paddick

The police know perfectly well that her appearance before the Culture Committee is unlikely to impede their investigations, but by arresting her at this time, it is likely to impede our questioning. - Culture Committee member and MP Adrian Sanders

Perhaps we shouldn't be too happy to hear that Rupert Murdoch's henchwoman, Rebekah Brooks, was arrested today by Metropolitan Police. First, let's look at the suspicious timing of this so-called arrest by appointment. The former News International CEO, while still chief executive officer, had already agreed to testify before Parliament not as a suspect but as a witness. Brooks' arrest earlier today on corruption and phone hacking charges already looks suspicious on account of it happening not only at the lowest ebb of the 24/7 news cycle but at a time of the week when the police officials actively involved in the phone hacking investigation aren't even on duty.

But when one considers what this would do to her testimony, this looks more and more as if it was engineered to stymie British investigators. This "arrest", in fact, looks more like protective custody because now that Brooks has been formally charged, it is almost sure to preclude any meaningful testimony in the middle of an ongoing investigation before litigation has even begun. In fact, the inability or the latitude to say nothing in this case is the logical result of sub-judice. Her appearance before Parliament, if it were to happen, would be filled with the UK equivalent of, "On the advice of counsel, I take the 5th."

Think of how many times we'd heard Bush administration officials and their parade of right wing clowns charitably referred to as press secretaries citing "ongoing investigation" in the middle of one scandal after another as a convenient excuse to stonewall the media. Somehow, the English judicial system, upon which we base ours, is set up so that once a suspect is arrested, however genteel and prearranged it may be, the less information a government enquiry can expect. Think of how many people were arrested, charged and tried as a result of a Government Oversight and Reform Committee hearing, especially when Hanry Waxman was Chairman. I can't think of any, either.

And the right wing's response to this phone hacking scandal, with the last three words sneered moreso than spoken by Steve Douchey of Murdoch's Fox "News" is as predictable as it's pathetic and based on the fear of the fallout drifting over from the UK. By downplaying the scandal and trying to fold it into other big stories such as Anonymous' hacks of Citigroup and other corporations and conflating it with the Wikileaks disclosures, Fox "News" through its minions is trying to diffuse the importance of this through entropy. "Everybody does it, so let's just move on and focus on things that are more important." (The clip then ends with Douchey sequeing into a followup story about Casey Anthony.)

Fox "News" and Rupert Murdoch's News Corp and News International are like something out of Frank Miller's Sin City: A rapacious, unscrupulous, politically-motivated organization capable of every evil under the sun in the interests of circulation, ratings and political advantage. No doubt, some right wingers have begun circulating the threadbare and well-worn meme that the ongoing police and government investigation into Murdoch's sleazy practices is (yawn) politically motivated. Never mind that everything Fox "News" does is motivated by rabid right wing politics, engineered and driven by former Nixon henchman Roger Ailes.

Or, for a more elevated cultural reference, Murdoch's crumbling empire is exactly like something out of the late Steig Larssen's Millennium trilogy, a shadowy news organization with its own heavily fortified Brain Room that produced, Athena-like, Willie Horton, rebranded and prepacked as some zombie operative or political suicide bomber for the right wing. Fox "News" and Murdoch's entire empire represents precisely the kind of right wing terrorism and fear-mongering, the same exact brand of skulking, secretive evil that Larssen had fought as a journalist in Sweden.

It's said that every great thing has humble beginnings. The same can also be said of the downfall of every great thing. Even Larssen's prodigious literary talents and imagination couldn't've imagined the downfall of Murdoch's empire would begin with a single 13 year-old murder victim such as Milly Dowler. Or perhaps he would've. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo revolves around the disappearance of another teenage girl.

In one of the most shocking examples of heartless, bottom line-driven sociopathy, it came out a week and a half ago that Murdoch's flagship UK newspaper, News of the World, literally hacked into the child's cell phone after her disappearance and deleted data when her inbox was full to make more room for future messages. Even though the girl's body had yet to be found, you would think the newsroom at NOTW would've had more consideration for the parents, who'd desperately clung to the hope the data deletion was proof of life.

But this is a Rupert Murdoch organization we're talking about. Scruples and a baseline of consideration for parents of missing/murdered children simply wasn't on their agenda. Thank God the BSkyB deal was at least shelved. Imagine what Rupert Murdoch and his right wing minions could've done with those satellites.

And while evidence would have to be presented and cases made by federal authorities, for now it's enough for us to speculate that Rupert Murdoch's Fox "News" would hardly be more ethical, fair and balanced when they serve as a daily referendum on the necessity for an impartial and independent media. They've told countless lies, rarely with retraction, about the President, his agendas, his supporters and virtually every Democrat in the country. Is it really such a leap to assume that the Murdoch-owned and Ailes-run Fox "News" wouldn't resort to phone hacking?

Perhaps Jon Stewart shouldn't feel so comfortable with the US MSM, after all.


At July 17, 2011 at 8:33 PM, Blogger Stan B. said...

Forget who said it, but the amazing thing is that FOX is playing it like they were hacked- they're the victims!


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

KindleindaWind, my writing blog.

All Time Classics

  • Our Worse Half: The 25 Most Embarrassing States.
  • The Missing Security Tapes From the World Trade Center.
  • It's a Blunderful Life.
  • The Civil War II
  • Sweet Jesus, I Hate America
  • Top Ten Conservative Books
  • I Am Mr. Ed
  • Glenn Beck: Racist, Hate Monger, Comedian
  • The Ten Worst Music Videos of all Time
  • Assclowns of the Week

  • Links to the first 33 Assclowns of the Week.
  • Links to Assclowns of the Week 38-63.
  • #106: The Turkey Has Landed edition
  • #105: Blame it on Paris or Putin edition
  • #104: Make Racism Great Again Also Labor Day edition
  • #103: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Toilet edition
  • #102: Orange is the New Fat edition
  • #101: Electoral College Dropouts edition
  • #100: Centennial of Silliness edition
  • #99: Dr. Strangehate edition
  • #98: Get Bentghazi edition
  • #97: SNAPping Your Fingers at the Poor edition
  • #96: Treat or Treat, Kiss My Ass edition
  • #95: Monumental Stupidity double-sized edition
  • #94: House of 'Tards edition
  • #93: You Da Bomb! edition.
  • #92: Akin to a Fool edition.
  • #91: Aurora Moronealis edition.
  • #90: Keep Your Gubmint Hands Off My High Pre'mums and Deductibles! edition.
  • #89: Occupy the Catbird Seat/Thanksgiving edition.
  • #88: Heil Hitler edition.
  • #87: Let Sleeping Elephants Lie edition.
  • #86: the Maniacs edition.
  • #85: The Top 50 Assclowns of 2010 edition.
  • #(19)84: Midterm Madness edition.
  • #83: Spill, Baby, Spill! edition.
  • #82: Leave Corporations Alone, They’re People! edition.
  • #81: Hatin' on Haiti edition.
  • #80: Don't Get Your Panties in a Twist edition.
  • #79: Top 50 Assclowns of 2009 edition.
  • #78: Nattering Nabobs of Negativism edition.
  • #77: ...And Justice For Once edition.
  • #76: Reading Tea Leaves/Labor Day edition.
  • #75: Diamond Jubilee/Inaugural Edition
  • #74: Dropping the Crystal Ball Edition
  • #73: The Twelve Assclowns of Christmas Edition
  • #72: Trick or Treat Election Day Edition
  • #71: Grand Theft Autocrats Edition
  • #70: Soulless Corporations and the Politicians Who Love Them Edition
  • Top 10 Things Donald Trump Said to President Obama
  • Paul Ryan's Top Ten Conditions on Running for the Speakership
  • Top 10 Reasons Why Mitt Romney Won't Run for President in 2016
  • Top 10 Results of the NYPD's Work Slowdown
  • Top 10 Secret Service Security Breaches
  • Top 10 LA Radio Shows That Are Rated Higher Than Rush Limbaugh's
  • Top 10 Reasons Operation American Spring Went Flat
  • Top Ten Facts of the MH370 Air Disaster
  • Top 10 Tips for GOP Congressmen Running Against Women
  • Top 10 Signs Walmart's Mistreating its Workers
  • Top 10 Diversions John McCain Found During Syria Hearing
  • Top 10 George Zimmerman Excuses for Speeding.
  • Top 10 Reasons Paula Deen Got Fired by the Food Network
  • Top Ten Ways Pope Francis is Deviating From Convention
  • Top 10 Reasons For the Pope's Resignation
  • Top 10 Emails Hacked From the Bush Family's Email Accounts
  • Top 10 Lies Told by Mitt Romney at the 2nd Debate.
  • Top 10 Examples of How Hard the Campaign Trail is on Ann D. Romney.
  • Top 10 Ways to Tell The Boston Red Sox Are Finished.
  • Top 10 Things Mitt May be Hiding in His Tax Returns.
  • Top 10 Events at the Romney Olympics.
  • Mitt Romney's Top 10 Wild & Crazy Moments.
  • Top Ten Reasons Why Dick Cheney Got a Heart Transplant.
  • Top 10 Facts About Tonight's New England/Denver Game.
  • My Top 10 Resolutions.
  • Top 10 Rejected Slogans of the Romney Campaign.
  • Top 10 Reasons Herman Cain Suspended His Campaign.
  • Top 10 Trending Topics on Twitter During #OWS Eviction.
  • Top 10 Herman Cain Pickup Lines.
  • Top 10 Changes Since Anthony Weiner Decided to Resign.
  • Top 10 Inaccuracies re bin Laden's Death.
  • Top 10 Ways to Prevent a TSA Patdown.
  • Top Ten Things Not to Say When You're Pulled Over.
  • Top 10 Reasons Why Donald Trump Bowed Out of the Presidential Race.
  • Top 10 Ways Evangelicals Will Prepare for the Rapture II.
  • Top 10 Revelations in Today's Parliament Inquiry into News Corp.
  • Top 10 Reasons Why There Was No Vote on the Debt Ceiling Last Night.
  • Top 10 Revelations in Dick Cheney's Upcoming Memoir.
  • Top Ten Ways Americans Will Observe the 10th Anniversary of 9/11.
  • Top Ten Advances in Women's Rights in Saudi Arabia.
  • Top Ten Inaccuracies in Bill O'Reilly's Book About Lincoln.
  • Top Ten Suggestions From the Cat Food Commission.
  • Top Ten Worst Moments in George W. Bush's Presidency.
  • Top Ten Facts in George W. Bush's Memoir.
  • Top Ten Reasons Terry Jones Postponed His Koran Burning
  • Top 10 Causes for Dick Cheney's Congestive Heart Failure
  • Top Ten Ways That Jan Brewer Will Celebrate Cinco de Mayo
  • Top Ten Demands in Sarah Palin's Contract
  • Top Ten Whoppers in Karl Rove's New Book
  • Top 10 Items Left Behind in Rush Limbaugh's Apartment
  • Top Ten Things Barack Obama said to Rush Limbaugh in the Hospital
  • Top Ten Bizarre Promos Offered by the New Jersey Nets
  • Top 10 Bush Executive Orders Labor Wants President Obama to Repeal
  • George W. Bush's Top Ten Lesser Achievements
  • Empire Of The Senseless.
  • Conservative Values for an Unsaved World.
  • Esquire's Charles Pierce.
  • Brilliant @ Breakfast.
  • The Burning Platform.
  • The Rant.
  • Mock, Paper, Scissors.
  • James Petras.
  • Towle Road.
  • Avedon's Sideshow (the new site).
  • At Largely, Larisa Alexandrovna's place.
  • The Daily Howler.
  • The DCist.
  • Greg Palast.
  • Jon Swift. RIP, Al.
  • God is For Suckers.
  • The Rude Pundit.
  • Driftglass.
  • Newshounds.
  • William Grigg, a great find.
  • Brad Blog.
  • Down With Tyranny!, Howie Klein's blog.
  • Wayne's World. Party time! Excellent!
  • Busted Knuckles, aka Ornery Bastard.
  • Mills River Progressive.
  • Right Wing Watch.
  • Earthbond Misfit.
  • Anosognosia.
  • Echidne of the Snakes.
  • They Gave Us a Republic.
  • The Gawker.
  • Outtake Online, Emmy-winner Charlotte Robinson's site.
  • Skippy, the Bush Kangaroo
  • No More Mr. Nice Blog.
  • Head On Radio Network, Bob Kincaid.
  • Spocko's Brain.
  • Pandagon.
  • Slackivist.
  • WTF Is It Now?
  • No Blood For Hubris.
  • Lydia Cornell, a very smart and accomplished lady.
  • Roger Ailes (the good one.)
  • BlondeSense.
  • The Smirking Chimp.
  • Hammer of the Blogs.
  • Vast Left Wing Conspiracy.
  • Argville.
  • Existentialist Cowboy.
  • The Progressive.
  • The Nation.
  • Mother Jones.
  • Vanity Fair.
  • Citizens For Legitimate Government.
  • News Finder.
  • Indy Media Center.
  • Lexis News.
  • Military Religious Freedom.
  • McClatchy Newspapers.
  • The New Yorker.
  • Bloggingheads TV, political vlogging.
  • Find, the next-best thing to Nexis.
  • Altweeklies, for the news you won't get just anywhere.
  • The Smirking Chimp
  • Don Emmerich's Peace Blog
  • Wikileaks.
  • The Peoples' Voice.
  • CIA World Fact Book.
  • IP address locator.
  • Tom Tomorrow's hilarious strip.
  • Babelfish, an instant, online translator. I love to translate Ann Coulter's site into German.
  • Newsmeat: Find out who's donating to whom.
  • Wikipedia.
  • Uncyclopedia.
  • Icasualties
  • Free Press
  • YouTube
  • The Bone Bridge.
  • Powered by Blogger