Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Mr. Murdoch

Remember in the bad old days, “you’re either with the terrorists, or you’re with us.” We all, of course (the thinking population) scoffed at such crude analysis. Lately, I find myself being drawn into such crude thinking, as I listen daily to reports of Fox News, and wonder about their sponsor, Mr. Rupert Murdoch. What can he be thinking, or planning as the case may be? A separate report on the potential threats from (now) right-wing extremists in the US is a bit discomfiting, and I begin to wonder how these disparate facts assemble, or not.
Mr. Murdoch has essentially beat the drum relentlessly to press his extreme right wing thinking on the Nation, through his media outlets, principally, but not exclusively Fox TV channels. His acquisition of the Wall Street Journal was disturbing, although hardly surprising, given its already heavy lean toward the right wing. But in a country in which largely, there is no serious left wing, I wonder why this heavy handed (Fox News) press to the right, bordering on fanaticism. Some of the leading lights on Fox News seem frankly crazy. Most are just witless and overpaid readers, who speak whatever is placed in front of them. But some on the extreme wing of the right seem to be seeking power independently, like Rush, our dear, drug addled fat-man of the right, the current intellectual head of the Republican Party.
But Mr. Murdoch’s role on the side of Republicans makes me queasy at best. I wonder what he gets out of his press for Republican victories, and why his approach now borders on the crazed, when his side has lost power at the polls. It may all just come down to money—Mr. Murdoch simply makes more money when his Republican friends are in power. But it troubles me when very rich people seem to be advocating near revolts, as in the teabagger protests, simply because of a change in power achieved through entirely democratic means. Their means, and surely Mr. Murdoch’s means may well deserve closer watching, for the moment through our fourth estate processes.
Perhaps, though, Mr. Murdoch needs to be on somebody’s watch list.
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