Back in the 1970’s Rupert Murdoch was known as a brash and very savvy aussie newspaperman. He knew something that the Brits didn’t - how to make money out of journalism. As time went on, Murdoch proved that this assessment was correct. He kept on making a hell of a lot of money out of journalism. What we didn’t realize was how he did it. Well, the secrets of how Murdoch gets people’s attention are coming out now, and the tide is turning against him and his ways.
To get a sense of how far, check out Eirk Tarloff’s piece in Atlantic and Bill Keller’s piece in NYT. Keller makes the point rather well
Last Tuesday, a parliamentary committee, voting on party lines, issued a verdict that Murdoch was “not a fit person” to run a major international corporation. Meanwhile, the acid rain of criminal charges and civil lawsuits continues.
Actually “the voting on party lines” comment by Bill may be a bit misleading. As Erik points out, the Libdems broke ranks with their governing partner, the conservatives, and voted with Labour. So sure they voted in blocks - but not the blocks that you would expect. And the Libdem Labour combo got the thing passed over conservative party objections. As an aside, that tells you a lot about how politically tone deaf the Cameron led conservatives are these days.
But let’s not quibble. It is about time Murdoch got slapped down. It was obvious for many years that Murdoch made money by gaming the system. The system here is the freedom to say what you want. Murdoch et al game this by using their media outlets to shout out that anyone who disagrees with them should be a societal outcast. They turn discourse into a weird blood sport. At the end of the day, and as the scandals from the UK bring out, this is nothing more than a power grab.