What Does Rupert Murdoch Want?

Rupert Murdock

Murdoch, as almost every literate person around the world knows, is the ruler of News Corp., a media empire without borders, operating in more than 50 countries.

He owns roughly 200 to 300 newspapers, from local weeklies to major dailies. He owns more magazines than I’ve had time to count. He has at least 15 movie and television production studios, and broadcast, satellite and cable outlets, both entertainment and news-oriented, in the United States, Britain, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Turkey, Georgia, Israel, Latvia, Israel, Italy, New Zealand, all over Latin America, Germany, Spain, China and more.

And, he controls the misnamed Fox News, the cable television outlet that spews nothing but right wing propaganda 24 hours a day throughout the United States.

This is your duty as a citizen: Take a deep breath and try to watch and listen to Fox for a half hour or so at a time, at various times of day. More if you can stand it. You’ll rarely catch even a single story that is not twisted to fit an extreme right view of the world.

Don’t take my word for it or accept that the widely-held view is correct; screw up your courage, batten down your brain and watch. And remember that nothing that happens in the Murdoch empire is done without his approval; he doesn’t personally vet every story, of course, but he approves the tone and the approach and the views expressed.)

Many of Murdoch’s other outlets in this country, and the several I have seen abroad, also push listeners, viewers or readers to the right, but generally more subtly. Even the entertainment outlets tend to lean a bit to the right in the films and shows they feature. Most of the rest feature mindless crap, often with an adolescent and smarmy sexual twist.

The Fox News in-your-face style, with shouting obvious propagandists such as Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh, apparently is rooted in the belief that the American audience for the lies it sells is too ignorant and stupid to absorb anything even slightly subtle.

That’s probably an accurate assessment.

The Wall Street Journal, which always leaned to the right in its editorial and op-ed pages, was highly respected for its fair presentation of news until Murdoch got hold of it in 2007. (Confession: I wrote many news articles for the Journal as a freelance contributor in the 1970s and ’80s; I was often assigned stories by the paper’s editors.) Since Murdoch took over the Journal, the editorial/op-ed views have gone even farther to the right -– extreme, some might say, at least in some cases –- and the right wing views of the owner have crept into news operations at an accelerating rate.

Murdoch is not one who does anything for what he thinks is the public good. Even a quick look at his life reveals a man whose only real interests are himself, his wealth, self-promotion and, especially, power. An Australian by birth and most of his life, he became a citizen of the United States quite obviously because to do so would benefit his empire.

(No doubt he took the classes and the tests sitting side by side with people who fled places like Somalia and Georgia and Serbia in search of a merely violence-free life. Yeah sure, you betcha.)

A young Orson Welles could have turned the Murdoch story into a wonderful movie about the son of a small-time Australian newspaper publisher who rose to enormous wealth and aimed to rule the world.

But Rupert Murdoch is 79 years old as of March 11. While he may not quite believe in his own mortality –- many megalomaniacs before him have had the same blind spot –- he cannot believe he’s actually going to live long enough to, in fact, be the behind-the-scenes ruler of much of the world.

Murdoch arguably already is the most powerful man in the world. He certainly influences many powerful people and undoubtedly controls some, and he can reasonably be said now to control one the the two biggest political parties in the United States through the people who work for him at Fox News, but he doesn’t yet simply lay down the law here, or even in Australia.

Is that what he wants? To rule?

I don’t know. I do know that in addition to being enormously powerful, he is enormously dangerous to countries that want to live by rule of law, and to people who want to live where ordinary men and women have influence through democratic processes. He’s pushing the rule of the rich for all he’s worth, and in financial terms he’s worth almost unimaginable sums.

Jim Fuller

James Clay Fuller, principal (and principle) author of this site, is a sort-of retired journalist who has worked in newspapers and magazines for more than 45 years. His day job for 30 years was at the Minneapolis StarTribune, where he was a business and economics reporter, features writer, and sometime music critic, as well as an editor in charge of several specialized sections of the newspaper and a number of investigative projects. He was nominated for Pulitzer Prizes in 1977 and 1992, and was the instigator and senior editor on a project that was nominated for a Pultizer in 1997. He has written for many national publications.

Comments

  1. Elaine says

    So Jim Fuller & Tom Degan hate Fox News & Rupert Murdock. But I bet you just love George Soros & all those bias TV stations that could see no wrong in Obama & could not see him for his socialists ways & spreading the wealth & of course the most arrogant man in civilization. I mean he could put thrills up Chris Matthews leg, could speaks so eloquently & went to Rev. Wrights church with the GD America & all his hateful rhetoric for 20 years but never heard it. None of them heard him telling the guy Joe that he wanted to spread the wealth, they only tried to find information on Joe & tried to discredit him, never hearing “Spread the Wealth”. The “Messiah” as they treated him could tell lies out both sides of his mouth & none of the bias media could hear it. He disagreed with McCain on health care & with Hillary on health care but ended up doing a lot of what both of them tried to push. Now knowing all of this you could get the truth on Fox & people began to realize it after this idiot got elected. There are Fox News Reports which is fair & balanced, O’Reilly is fair & balance, Megyn Kelley, America Live is fair & balanced, most of the shows are fair & balanced. Now Sheppard Smith is a Democratic but is sometimes fair & balanced but he defends Obama too much in my opinion. Hannity is a Conservative & is a commentator & everyone knows that, he makes no claims of being fair & balance. Gretta is fair & balanced. Glen Beck is trying to uphold the Constitution of the United States & takes offense to it not being followed & nobody teaching the real history any longer & trying to change it. He has pointed out, not without first studying & learning about the czars who are mostly radicals, socialists, communists, Marxist, Fascists & standing up for the Tea Party People & the 912 Project all of which are non-violent people. The threats against the Congressmen & Senators after that health care bill was passed did not come from those people but came from people that were either set up to do this things & trying to make it look like the Tea Party people. If they were violent people they would have attacked Pelosi & her cronies out their trying to incite them by walking across the street with that oversize gavel. So Mr. Fuller you have not sat & listen to the Fox News channel long enough because if you had you would not be making stupid, uneducated remarks like you have above in this article. My conclusion to you is you are a narrow minded liberal that cannot see the forest for the trees. When we end up being a Banana Republic or a third world country because of Obama then I want to hear what you have to say then. You are an idiot that sees only what he wants to see & hears what he only wants to hear. Why don’t you read A Patriots History of the United States of America or Lies the Government Told You by Judge Andrew P. Napolitano an expert of the Constitution. You might learn something.

    • says

      Elaine, I don’t hate anyone – I promise you that! But I hate like heck what they’re doing to the country more than I can even describe.

      Love,

      Tom Degan

    • says

      Elaine, I don’t hate anyone – I promise you that! But I hate like heck what they’re doing to the country I love more than I can even describe.

      Love,

      Tom Degan

  2. says

    In the good old days, the news divisions of most radio and television networks, operated outside the dictates of corporate policy. Any owner of a broadcast entity was obliged, by FCC mandate, to keep the people up-to-date with news and information – regardless of whether or not the news department made the company a profit (and in most cases it did not). If an owner was going to have the luxury of making his or her fortune by selling consumer goods over the people’s airwaves, making sure that those same people remained informed citizens was the price they had to pay – like it or not.

    Those were the days, my friend. We thought they’d never end.

    FOX and Friends: News for Idiots

    Every once in a while, I’ll tape an entire, two hour segment of the morning “news” program, FOX and Friends. It is the modern equivalent of watching the old, 1965 movie, Hold On! starring the deservedly forgotten British pop group, Herman’s Hermits: so mind-numbingly awful that it’s actually fun to watch! The very fact that this lame assemblage of info-taining, trivial nonsense is the highest rated morning cable program is instructive when trying to get to the bottom of the question as to why the American people are the dumbest, least informed, unenlightened people in the entire western world and why we are – no doubt about it – the laughingstock of the planet.

    It’s three hosts are totally lacking in any real journalistic credentials. Indeed one of them, an amiable twit named Steve Doocy (whose last name will one day become a verb, I promise you), is a former TV weatherman. He now has the job of commenting daily on important matters of national and international concern – that is, when he’s able to find the time to pry himself away from the latest Brittany or Paris scandal du jour. FOX and Friends is embarrassing any way you analyze it. It is nothing more than a propaganda arm of the Republican National Committee. It’s message is as simplistic as it is unbalanced:

    Conservative: GOOD. Liberal: BAD. Think of it as Mallard Fillmore in real time.

    http://www.tomdegan.blogspot.com

    Tom Degan

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