It’s the sum of collective greed and evil

American media, particularly its DC/NY political media, has many virtues: doggedness like David Fahrentold who uncovered Trump’s grifting, righteousness like Eugene Robinson and Mike Barnicle whose opeds are useful chronicles of our “interesting times”. What it fundamentally lacks is the ability to think outside itself and to call out, forcefully, how we got here, with a Trumpified GOP and Roger Stone calling for Trump to imprison the Clintons, Mark Zuckerberg and even Gen. Mattis.

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Rupert Murdoch looks at one of the first copies of the new Sun newspaper, November 1969. Photograph: Pa/PA Archive/Press Association Images via The Guardian

Murdoch destabilized democracy on 3 continents

Rupert Murdoch will be remembered as the man whose greed and cunning destabilized and upended democracy in the English language world, save for Canada. His vulgar tabloidization of the news in the UK, Australia and the US over 6 decades has contributed to sapping the public good that was the news in the post WWII era. Murdoch’s wily manipulation of naive politicians on 3 continents remains a case study in how a captain of industry can become more powerful than titular heads of government. Since 2017 the leaks of his post-Trump phone calls says everything one needs to know: as recorded by Michael Wolff “I can’t get the asshole off the phone” or “What a fucking idiot”. No President of the United States before Trump has been similarly insulted by the great puppetmaster of right wing media. In the UK Tony Blair’s infamous suckup to Murdoch in 1997 all but guaranteed the Sun newspaper’s endorsement and therefore the keys to Downing Street. The systematic right wing deconstruction, Jacques Derrida-style, of the American center right will also remain a case study in an Oz-like behind the scenes orchestration. This writer has already detailed how Murdoch’s puppetmaster ways have neutered debate on the right, where Congresspeople audition in the US Capitol for a few years before their real “job”: paid commentator on Fox News. …


Frederic Guarino

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