Friday, July 08, 2011

Murdoch's Pickpocket Journalism

He is unmasked not only as an opinionated mogul (pace Fox News) but mastermind to a den of thieves, a 21st century Fagin to the Artful Dodgers of his London gang of reporters stealing news not only from politicians and celebrities but the victims of tragedies while paying off Scotland Yard for protection.

This kind of electronic pickpocketing has led to criminal investigations and the closing of his tabloid News of the World, the only newspaper, as one observer puts it, to die of shame.

For those who see Murdoch’s holdings as boils on the backside of American journalism, his British embarrassment only underscores what he has insidiously been doing here.

At the risk of sounding starchy (critics, flail away!), Murdoch’s Fox gang is yet another expression of a rapacious mentality that is not satisfied to slant the news but bend it into total submission to his purposes. (Those with strong stomachs can Wiki that history for themselves.)

"I hunger for quality news,” Jay Rockefeller told a Senate Committee recently. “There's a little bug inside of me which wants to get the FCC to say to FOX and to MSNBC: 'Out. Off. End. Goodbye.' It would be a big favor to political discourse; our ability to do our work here in Congress, and to the American people."

But no legal disasters are going to slow up Murdoch here, as they are doing in Britain now.

Eternal banality, as well as vigilance, may be the true price of liberty, but it’s worth the effort to keep Rupert Murdoch from stealing our minds.

Trash Journalism Update: Star Magazine, founded by Murdoch to compete with the National Enquirer but later sold off, is reporting that Casey Anthony and her family have been offered $1 million to appear on the Jerry Springer Show.

If News of the World hadn’t gone under, it would have saved all that money by just tapping their phones.

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