Thursday, July 21, 2011

Rupert Murdoch - Modern Day Citizen Kane

"Dont be afraid to make a mistake, your readers might like it." - William Randolph Hearst

The media has had world leaders and politicians by the balls since the inception of the printing press. Many credited pressure from Hearst for McKinley not opposing a war, and they credit him for McKinley's death. The term "yellow journalism" was coined just for him, meaning the use of sensational (and sometimes fictional) images and headlines to improve readership.  Today some say Murdoch is the reason Britain and the US are currently in Libya (Since he has a lot riding on BP stock). Murdoch has taken his greed and over reach of power to a whole new level, spanning continents and congressional houses, and all without any ounce of shame or remorse, because he knows he can pay off a scapegoat or pay to have evidence appear or disappear if he wishes.

Most of us know that anything said or shown on any major network has to be taken with a grain of salt, not just because of the bias passed down from whichever major conglomerate owns a specific cluster of stations or newspapers and they harbor a specific agenda (aren't there laws against monopolies?), but because of the fact that if people aren't being riled up and misinformed there is no debate and hence, no ratings. (My favorite fact checking site?

What happens when media heads rub elbows with top political figures and celebrities?  We get fed a lot of bull and can be spied on and exploited for a headline and their profit. We can be so distracted by headlines that we forget to keep an eye on behind the scenes, made so afraid that we will do whatever our leaders tell us, because a worried public is a compliant one. Hearst, Kane, Murdoch, all very much the same person, all three taken over by a zealous quest for power using fear mongering and blackmail to virtually do what ever they want, most notably, giving more privileges to the people who need them the least.

The head of Scotland Yard, London Police, the FBI, The CEO of Dow Jones and Wall Street Journal, American politicians, conglomerate CEOs, they seemingly throw any values to the wind for good spin that will profit them or push their agenda along  How does one person at the top become so self serving that they manipulate everyone and justify it to themselves and those around them under the scapegoat of  "journalism"?

Flipping through the channels - CSPAN - House of Commons.  MSNBC - Murdoch. CNN - Murdoch. BBC - Murdoch.  FOX -  . . .   crickets. Does Fox just think no one's heard or made the connection?  Do they not think they look awfully foolish for almost completely omitting a huge story (that is actually news, for a change)?  Internationally, Murdoch makes Kane look like the proud owner of a lemonade stand. He owns so many media outlets under sub-companies it's hard to even know how far reaching his stranglehold is. Take back the media has sorted it out for us. To summarize, between 1984 to 2004, we went from 50 media ownerships to just 5.

Hearst went out of his way to try to block the release of Citizen Kane.  Back then you didn't go up against moguls or shine them in a less than complimentary light.  Now, Murdoch seems untouchable with a never ending line of scapegoats.

In Citizen Kane,  there was a glimmer of remorse.  In Rupert Murdoch, there is none.

  I wonder what he had to pay Brooks to take the fall and protect the empire?

1 comment:

  1. Let me know when Rupert gives us something with the majesty of San Simeon or movies comparable to Hearst's Cosmopolitan Productions (which did much more than make Marion Davies films). Hearst was hardly an angel, but he had some beliefs and, while they changed over the years (as is the case for just about all of us), he stuck to them. Murdoch has no beliefs other than power and money.