One thing I learned was a little bit about how corporations interact with the political sphere. The Madison office of the satellite service was very small, but the local manager had big ambitions. Not long after I started he went to a convention in Las Vegas, where he met with executives from the satellite company's headquarters. He also met with executives from News Corp, the fake news and scandal conglomerate that is involved in its own scandal over hacking the phones of crime victims, celebrities and politicians. News Corp owns the "American" fake news network Fox, and in 1997 was negotiating with cable and satellite companies to expand its programming on their "bandwidth" spaces.
The local manager came back full of excitement about his meeting with the News Corp people. He raved about how they played hardball with ESPN, starting their own sports network when ESPN raised their broadcast fees. I didn't care much about this, but one thing he said stands out in my memory. The various broadcast media lobbied heavily for the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which deregulated the industry. The News Corp people bragged that they couldn't believe how easy it was to buy members of Congress.
Now we have the situation where News Corp is involved in a hacking scandal that may destroy the media empire of Rupert Murdoch, its principal owner. Minions of Murdoch's News of the World hacked the cell phone of a girl who was murdered, even deleting messages, which led police and her parents to believe she was still alive. Two other murder victims' phones were also hacked. Now investigators are expanding their inquiries to other crimes.
It is highly unlikely that News Corp committed crimes only in "Great Britain." The FBI is now investigating whether News Corp hacked the phones of "911" victims. A recent Rolling Stone article explores the possibility, or likelihood, that the same kinds of things that happened in "England" have indeed been happening here.
For me, all the proof I need is that News Corp's Fox News is a propaganda device for the "Republican" party. The fakery on Fox is well-known, but the criminal intent behind the fakery is only now becoming clear. Riling people up against immigrants, "liberals," "African-Americans," Obama, environmentalists, Muslims, homosexuals, women and the poor is all of one overall scheme. It is a combination of securing political power and making money.
Now, at long last, it's ashes, ashes, all fall down. This is likely the end of the Murdoch empire. It is likely also the beginning of the inevitable decline of hate media. Rush Limbaugh. Michael "Savage." Laura Ingram. Glenn Beck. Bill O'Reilly. Sean Hannity.
Things have been quiet about this scandal the past few weeks, but that likely won't last. The key element in this process is that our socioeconomic system is collapsing. This isn't simply a case of the ruling elite wanting to have all power to itself. It's more like a factional war, and not all power is invested in the extreme paranoid sector of our system. The "U.S." military, for example, recognizes the national security threat of global climate change.
If the military recognizes the dangers posed by climate change, then it is safe to say that the intelligence agencies also recognize the threat. This is a threat that endangers all life on this planet, but most particularly human life. It isn't going to go away because of News Corp, the "Tea Party," the "Republican" party, the "Democratic" party, or Rush Limbaugh.
Thanks to our "leaders," the economy is teetering on collapse. This is likely to be the last of this kind of irresponsibility. I suspect that word is filtering around that it's time to cut the crap. A good example is that last week National Public Radio reported that the Justice Department is taking a tougher stance on people who protest at abortion clinics. I have written before that I am uncomfortable with the idea of abortion, but that it's not my business to say it shouldn't be allowed. What I think is most important is freedom of choice. The second most important thing is that the "pro life" movement is a crackpot campaign, plain and simple. It is a threat to public order.
So there is cause for optimism. Not the way we necessarily would like or would have expected, but, hey, we'll take what we can get. Jobs are certainly the nation's top priority right now. But let's not forget about the evil Rupert Murdoch media empire and the threat it poses for our democracy and for our society. These are very bad people, and the sooner they are put out of business the better. Jail is the proper place for all of them. For Rupert Murdoch in particular, jail, revocation of citizenship, deportation and seizure of assets would be suitable responses to his criminality. Time's a wastin'.
Here's some more info about Rupert Murdoch. This also.
Rupert Murdoch and News Corp is the main topic in today's interview with British singer/songwriter Billy Bragg on Democracy Now.
Billy Bragg's song "Never Buy the Sun," about how people in Liverpool refuse to buy the Murdoch newspaper after it lied about them. For some background, click here. There's a video about it too.
Billy Bragg has another song about News Corp's tabloid news, It Says Here.
This website is dedicated to boycotting Fox News.
Here's some Fox lies fun from right here in Madison. On the same website, there's more recent news about Rupert Murdoch. Surprise of surprises, Fox also lies about Labor Day.
If you haven't heard about the famous "palm trees" episode, click here. For the full video of the Sacramento, California incident click here. You can make up your own mind about who was the thug.
This Fox derivative expands on the Fox lies theme. The choice of features, and the descriptions therein reveal a pernicious agenda.
Here's another story about a pernicious hate/falsehood campaign.
For a good history of Fox News, click here.
You can use this video as a motivator.