hi all, while the recent murdoch/news corp brouhaha was at full swing in the media, I collected a bunch of links on the subj which I was waiting for another well-timed moment to post.this event was a real media explosion on a richter scale Ive rarely seen before. but as you may have noticed, or not noticed, its almost completely disappeared from the headlines and media radar.
I saw one analysis that talked about how murdoch very well understands the ADD disorder of the public and its short attention span. and that this would affect the dynamics of the scandal. the writer openly wondered if the public would stay focused. the answer seems to be that it hasnt.
this is a real modern scandal that seemed to erupt on twitter, from what I can tell. a twitter storm was caused by the revelations that the teenage girl murder victim's phone was hacked. a hashtag was created and the avalanche of tweets started.
analyzing the dynamics of scandal eruptions a-posteriori is a very worthwhile activity, but very complex. its very difficult to untangle the different components. esp as time goes on, traces of the actual precursors fades over time. even the experts disagree on the sparks and sequence of events.
there is one aspect that is striking to me, that pops out about the whole scandal. perhaps even stunning.
lets try to reconstruct briefly the situation post 911 in both US and Britain.
at this point war was far from certain. the appropriate response was not obvious. even if we knew that bin laden was responsible [as the media confidently blared in full-throttle, indiscriminate vigilante and vengeance mood], it was not clear how to react to such information.
robert koehlers analysis below I think is esp worth highlighting:
To my mind, this magnifies the scandal a millionfold. Here's a democratically elected head of state conferring with his secret benefactor for the purpose of bringing war to the planet. This is military-industrial journalism, colluding in war for profit, bending politicians to its interest on the strength of its financial success at peddling sleaze. Murdoch's ethical void isn't limited to his trashy media empire. He's a player in war and peace.
This is journalism run amok -- the precise opposite of the ideal of my profession. Rather than standing in adversarial relationship to power and representing the interests of those on the outside, it stands in adversarial relationship to common humanity. In Murdoch World, we are all abstractions, whether we have a name (Milly Dowler) or merely a mass identification label (the Iraqis).
Journalism can drift upward toward power, become its lapdog and even, as the News Corpse revelations have demonstrated, become power itself, a behind-the-scenes dictator of events, manipulating the world for its own interests.
Fox News did its part to make sure that viewers lined up behind those harsh measures. The network plastered an American flag in the corner of the screen, dolled up one female anchor in a camouflage-print silk blouse, and featured Geraldo Rivera threatening to hunt down Osama bin Laden with a pistol. The militarism even seemed to infect the culture of Fox News. "Roger Ailes is the general," declared Bill O'Reilly. "And the general sets the tone of the army. Our army is very George Patton-esque. We charge. We roll."
even more sinister, the above accounts suggest that once the presidents were persuaded, the Murdoch machine went into overdrive to push the public opinion toward war also. as if there was an invisible voice pushing both the leaders and the public-at-large toward war.
of course Im sure many will reject this perspective, scoffing at it, that wars are not triggered in such a direct way... but its fully supported by the best information we have.
there is ample historical precedent also. consider the spanish american war, 1898. its well known among historians that Hearst played a pivotal role in the war propaganda that triggered this war, fomenting anger via his multiple newspapers. the wikipedia article on the subj says that it was seen as a way to increase sales of newspapers, but I think thats a rather feeble explanation that is somewhat unlikely.
so then you ask, if not to sell newspapers, then why? I would suggest that people like Hearst, Ailes, Murdoch are the minions of wealthy corporatists. they are almost their employees. yeah its hard to imagine Murdoch, the billionaire, as an employee for other interests, but its also not inconceivable either.
what corporatists? the ones who make vast fortunes off of wars.
who are they? of course they are well hidden, but they exist.
someday, maybe the public will finally discover them. until then, the world marches on to war after war, with little real memory of the last one.
and I say scary henchmen like finetuned, well-oiled billionaire propagandists are actually just some more pawns on the chessboard for even greater, more shadowy interests. the media oligarchs are just the advertisers, the marketers.
The Murdochs Must Stop Spinning and Resign Over the Phone-Hacking Scandal | | AlterNet
Time for Murdoch to go - CNN.com
Murdoch scandal: Is his domination of the British political class finally coming to an end? - By Christopher Hitchens - Slate Magazine
How Dare You Pie My Husband? The Story of Rupert and Wendi.
Rupert Murdoch, James Murdoch, and Rebekah Brooks pretend they're the ultimate phone-hacking victims. - By Jack Shafer - Slate Magazine
Geoffrey Robertson: Murdoch Will Survive - Newsweek
The Big Lie At The Heart Of Rupert Murdoch's Media Empire | | AlterNet
Wendi Murdoch: Wonder Wife - Newsweek
12 Ways Rupert Murdoch's Media Empire Has Made the World Worse | Media | AlterNet
Rupert Murdoch as Citizen - Newsweek
How the Guardian Broke the News of the World Hacking Scandal - Newsweek
Robert Koehler: Military-Industrial Journalism
Tabloid Bites Man - TIME
BBC News - Phone hacking: Murdochs agree to appear before MPs
BBC News - A new era for politics and the media?
AP source: FBI probing News Corp. 9/11 phone link - Yahoo! News
The Center for Public Integrity: Cries in Washington for Those Bankrolled by Murdoch, News Corp. to Return Money
Murdoch, at 80, faces biggest battle of his career - Yahoo! News
How the Guardian Broke the News of the World Hacking Scandal - Newsweek
Will Americans Turn on Murdoch the Way the Brits Have? UPDATE: Murdoch Reverses Refusal to Testify in U.K. | Media | AlterNet
Has Roger Ailes Hacked Americans' Phones for Fox News? | Media | AlterNet
Rebekah Brooks Arrested: Inside The Toxic Environment Of Her News Of The World
Murdoch to parliament: "Most humble day of my life" - Yahoo! News
Murdoch Struggles to Control News Corp. as Scandal Escalates - Bloomberg
News Corp. at 50% Discount Shows Diminishing Murdoch: Real M&A - Bloomberg
Rebekah Brooks Arrested: The Rise and Fall of Murdochâ€™s Protegee - Newsweek
Murdoch Aides Long Tried to Blunt Scandal Over Hacking - NYTimes.com
Sean Hoare dead: News of the World phone hacking whistleblower feared for his life | Mail Online
Rupert Murdoch Passes the Buck in His Testimony to Parliament - The Daily Beast
Phone hacking inquiry: Rupert Murdoch staff 'deliberately thwarted' police | Mail Online
Once ignored, phone-hacking scandal gets global audience - CNN.com
Attacker tries to hit Murdoch with plate of foam -
In latest twist, News of the World whistleblower is dead | The Cutline - Yahoo! News
Murdoch Finally Accepts U.K. Chief Exec's Resignation As FBI Launches News Corp. Investigation - Global Spin - TIME.com
Murdochâ€™s Sham News Corp. Investigation - The Daily Beast
Will Bunch: Murdoch's American Sins: Less Sensational, But More Dangerous
British comedian convicted of Murdoch pie assault | AlterNet
Behind The Scenes With The Reporter Who Took Down Murdoch | | AlterNet
Phone-hacking scandal: key figure at News International arrested | Media | guardian.co.uk
Roger Ailes and the rise of Fox News | Media | The Guardian
How Roger Ailes Built the Fox News Fear Factory | Rolling Stone Politics