The Murdoch Empire: How media shapes society
Other than calling it the “ground zero mosque,” the film draws some valid connections and asks a great question. Why would groups promoting these trumped-up wars now fund a peaceful Muslim community center? Actually, the answer might simply be that they all have a guilty conscience. Though with the amount of blood money we are talking, they should build a community center in every city in the United States.
Glenn Beck’s False Flag
I have spent some time critiquing Glenn Beck. His lapses in judgment. His lapses in logic. His lapses in humanity. His lapses in balance. His lapses in justice. What I haven’t said often enough is that he has some ideas that are almost right on target. Why have I not said this? Is it my lack of balance? My left leaning bias? Do I not want to give ammunition to the far right? Well, yes and no. It really boils down to corporatism. But what is it? My point of view on corporatism is that it is not a right or left issue, it is about the big swallowing the small. So Glenn is half right. And, no, it is not because he is half-wit, quite the contrary. He knows it is big uncontrolled government not regulating big uncontrolled business that is the problem, but he also knows that on his network, and in his tax bracket, that he is best off not to mention the second half of the equation. He also knows, as do we all, that the solutions, on both sides are the pharmacon of civilization, both the poison and the cure. The right dosage in the right set-and-setting for the pharmacon is all important.
Now I love a conspiracy just as much as Glenn Beck does, though I tend to see them from the opposite side of the aisle, I love them nonetheless. I love the pull of the Elmer Gantry’s of the world. I love to look toward whatever and however the morning and the evening star might save us, but in the end as I am brought down the aisle to be saved with the crowd, I am usually more comfortable questioning the savior than blindly following them over the cliff of good intentions.
You may say that I am cynical thinking that every potential solution sounds like a Just So story to be doubted, but we all want to believe, and to do so unquestioningly means we will be sucked into the collective as quickly as we can be assimilated. If you have The Answer, then you are not only to be doubted, but you must be put to the utmost public scrutiny. To do less is suicide; mentally, physically and spiritually.
The pull of corporatism as defined by the left and the right is strong. It is stronger than the left wants to hear. Big business requires big government to both foster it and control it. Everyone wants to name the disease; we know the symptoms, but not the cause. Everyone appears to think that naming is understanding and wants to give a prescription to the now named disease, but no one knows the dosage for the pharmacon, nor the proper set-and-setting. God help us. If you ask those in the middle of road, they’ll tell you it’s all in your head. While those in the wings will point at each other saying just look at what has been done. We are poisoned or we are cured. So go ahead and appeal to common sense, but whose common sense?
So how is it that Glenn Beck flies a false flag? It is easy to see that for twice the money (to cover his losses), Glenn Beck could have an epiphany, flip the script and move to MSNBC to harangue on the abuses of big business. Explaining the epiphany alone could carry him a few seasons. He is a diversion of the first order. He will tell his new (and many of the old) listeners just what they expected all along. They want to believe. Until the big tent burns and Sister Sarah dies, then he will join the more cynical among us in tears as he carries out the body. This time the tears may be real.
The Glenn Beck Review | Monday, June 7th, 2010 at 11:27 am| categories: Glenn Beck, Rules for Radicals, Saul Alinsky, means and ends,means justifies the ends.| URL: Note that the Glenn Beck Review is back and here.
How Glenn Beck Undermines His Own Narrative
Regular viewers of the Glenn Beck Show on Fox News know that Beck often refers to Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, A Pragmatic Primerfor Realistic Radicals.
Beck is frequently claiming that for Alinsky, “The ends justifies the means.” That’s it; that is what Beck claims Alinsky believed on the subject of means and ends.
Trust me; I never get the facts wrong
Regular readers of The Review will not be surprised that the reality of the matter varies widely from Beck’s short hand claim. Supporters ofGlenn Beck may be surprised that Alinsky devoted an entire 24 page chapter to the subject of means and ends with 11 rules to follow.
Alinsky’s 11 Rules Pertaining to Means and Ends
Alinsky ends the chapter on means and ends by noting that they “are so qualitatively interrelated that the true question has never been the proverbial one, “Does the End justify the Means?” but always has been “Does this particular end justify this particular means?”
On Beck’s Distortion of Alinsky
It’s clear to regular readers of The Review that it is not real important for Beck to get it right, where “it” is the subject he’s talking about at any time. However, when Beck distorts “it” in such a way that his distortion can be easily proven such as it is here with his claim about what Alinsky wrote about means and ends, he only serves to leave himself open to the obvious criticism: Glenn Beck lies, distorts, misrepresents, quotes out of context, etc. for purposes of propaganda rather than to enlighten or inform his audience.
The Glenn Beck Show is not a blend of information and entertainment as he claims; it is a blend of misinformation and entertainment where his viewers are busy checking into people Beck slings mud at instead of fact checking any of Beck’s many false assertions. Mr. Beck; the table has turned.
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Introducing Friedrich Hayek, a European!
On The Glenn Beck Show of 6/8/10, Beck introduced his audience to Friedrich A. Hayek, an Austrian born economist famous for his defense of classical liberalism and free market capitalism. This post will question Beck’s selection of Hayek to defend unbridled capitalism compared with 1) the centralized planning of a socialist economy and 2) the centralized regulating of American, progressive capitalism in the 20th Century.
First, a comment to address Beck’s two-day-running complaint about the cost of the 2010 census. Beck is questioning why this year’s census cost $10 billion more than it did in 2000. Beck fails to mention in this rant that he and others at Fox “News” discouraged viewers from filling out the census form at all or in Beck’s case filling it out incompletely. Why is it costing $10 billion more this year than 10 years ago? The digit Beck needs to use when pointing at who’s partially culpable in this increase in cost to the American tax payers is his thumb! Thanks to Beck and his ilk, more census workers needed to be hired this year.
Next, to see Beck choose Friedrich Hayek as the voice of reason and free markets after WWII when many were critical of capitalism and looking for alternative ways to organize economic activities differently was surprising considering how often Beck bemoans the influences of European thinkers like Karl Marx–harped on often–and Friedrich Nietzsche, whom Beck mentioned once without further comment, on Americans.
Why did Beck embrace Hayek but not others? Because Beck agrees with Hayek’s “common sense” free market, anti-statist, economic philosophy. Once again, Beck’s principled stands aren’t so principled. It’s also worth noting here that the Framers of the Constitution were influenced by John Lock and Thomas Hobbes. Neither of them were American, but that doesn’t phase Beck when he’s raging against the poison of European thinkers (that he doesn’t agree with).
The book Beck set about to discuss yesterday was Hayek’s The Road to Surfdom.
Beck’s guest to discuss this book was Thomas E. Woods Jr of the Ludwig Von Mises Institute. Woods was the recipient of 2004 O.P. Alford III Prize for Libertarian Scholarship, so he’s not going to be a mainstream analyst of the economy or Hayek’s book.
The Ludwig Von Mises Institute is described on their website as “the world center of the Austrian School of economics and libertarian political and social theory.” Thus, it wasn’t surprising to hear Woods claim the following:
Woods: Economic cycles are because of regulation…Canada didn’t have a bank that failed [during the Great Depression]. States imposed single office rules on banks that lead to their failure. During the Great Depression 9,000 U.S. banks failed. Zero Canadian banks failed. Government promises stability, and the people go for this.
Once again, facts are cherry picked to make a point. The Canadian banks were very stable, but the rules Woods cited on the U.S. banks were from the states, not the federal government.
This really gets to the crux of Beck’s support, of why Beck has any followers, people willing to turn a blind eye toward his long record of deceit and his dishonorable hypocrisy. Beck claims that the Obama Administration is on the road to socialism, dependency on the state (welfare, unemployment, etc.) and surfdom.
For Beck there are two extremes, a black and white choice for America. On one hand is the (white) unbridled, unsaddled capitalism of the 19th Century before the “evil” progressives began the taming, bridling and saddling of the wild horse of laissez-faire capitalism promoted by Beck, Woods and Libertarians in general. That wild horse bucked in convulsions about every ten years of boom and busts throwing off riders who consequently are injured by homelessness, hunger and disease. It is a grey system, i.e., environmentally dangerous.
On the other hand there’s the road to socialism or surfdom to use Hayek’s term. Centrally planned, socialist economies are publically owned and become inefficient, uninspiring, protective of workers, providing full employment but otherwise stagnant and grey (environmentally dangerous). There’s no motivation to excel when wealth is not an option. Marx lacked a psychology in his writings and analysis, and thus he didn’t address motivations, ambition, desires, etc. It’s no wonder then that Communist economies are in the trash can of history for the most past.
Those are the two extremes: Marxist Communism or Hayek’s wild, unbridled horse. However, socialism is not embraced in contemporary America, is not the Democratic or Obama’s agenda and is not the end game of most progressives. Laissez-faire capitalism is not the goal of mainstream Republicans like George Bush or Lindsey Graham. It is the goal of Beck (sometimes), Hayek and Libertarians: Black and white.
Liberals in the Administration of FDR did not create the minimal social safety net out of compassion or some moral imperative. Socialist candidate for President, Norman Thomas was seen as a threat by elites, and he polled 880,000 votes in 1932. FDR co-opted his supporters by adopting some of the socialist policies to prevent an eventual socialist take-over of the government.
If Libertarians and other reactionaries like Glenn Beck actually manage to reverse 100 years of progressive legislation protecting food, the environment, worker safety, working class people in general, the elderly and the poor from abject poverty, homelessness and starvation that charity cannot suffice to prevent in a country of 308 million people, the likelihood of a democratic socialist election in the U.S. would increase as would another enormous crash of the world economy. It is the minimalist government protection against the excesses of unbridled, unsaddled capitalism that is the road to socialism, not progressive, regulated capitalism.
Luckily, the lion’s share of the American people have no interest in reversing the political progress made over the last 100 years. The American people want some kind of middle course, some shade of grey, some regulation of banks and financial services, environmental protections to prevent future oil spills and minimize the ones that happen anyway, etc. That is good for economic freedom, for the captains of industry, and for the super rich like Glenn Beck. It’s also good for those Beck would prefer to leave unprotected and forgotten by charitable organizations unable to help all those thrown off the wild horse of laissez-faire capitalism.
The question that needs to be answered is how to pay for the shade of grey, the amount of social protections provided and the massive military reach of world hegemony by the U.S. How do we pay for the guns and the butter? That will have to wait for another post, but it’s worth mentioning one point that Beck always fails to mention when he speaks of his hero, Ronald Reagan. The national debt tripled during Reagan’s eight year regime. If you want a rounded out and balanced view of history, The Glenn Beck Show is not the place to get it.
Thanks to all of you for joining our campaign and helping in the many ways that you can to combat the misinformation perpetuated by FOX News. That said, we have some disappointing news to relate–FOX ratings continues to grow. The other news networks had relatively small gains in recent months, but FOX News has had major ratings bumps. Not only that, but polls have shown that most networks have a reasonably cynical set of viewers — all except for the Republicans who watch FOX. The combination of the ratings jump and the blind trust of the right wing in FOX News has led to many of its personalities to echo the sentiments of FOX President Roger Ailes and respond to any criticism of the network by saying, “Well, we’re the most trusted name in news.”
We cannot let FOX dominate the conversation by dodging valid questions about their judgment by claiming they have the highest ratings. It’s why it’s so important for you to help Turn Off FOX. Obviously, this is not the kind of campaign that is likely to garner a lot of coverage in the news, especially when the highest ratings go to precisely the serial misinformers who seek to ignore it. But it’s nonetheless an effective campaign, even if in small ways and building up. Here’s a story of how one of our readers, Bob Arnold, helped contribute:
I went to one of my favorite restaurants in small town Massillon, Ohio, with my wife where they have a TV in the rear and I always try to get a seat nearby to watch it. FOX News was on and I walked up to it and changed it to MSNBC, saying out loud that I can’t watch the crap that FOX News spews. Another patron nearby said out loud that FOX is all he watches, where I then replied that I felt sorry for him and then sat down with my back to him and started watching MSNBC while being served dinner.
Taking a stand such as Bob has may appear to be a small gesture, but they are precisely the kind of efforts that can and will have, cumulatively, a largest effect. For that, we need your help to spread the word. Not only can you go out and dissuade people from airing FOX, but you can also enlist others to join the campaign. Please forward this e-mail to five friends who could help the cause. If you want to take the campaign out to establishments but don’t know what to say, we offer cards you can print out for free that can do the talking for you. Plus, if anyone you encounter wants evidence of FOX’s lies and manipulations, you can always send them to Turn Off FOX for detailed explanations.
Despite the unfortunate news of FOX’s ratings increase, we know that you are out there and helping to support the cause. We appreciate it very much. Always feel free to send in your success stories as we enjoy reading them, and when possible, relating them to others. It’s part of the beauty of a guerrilla campaign — having the opportunity to relate to the others in the cause. Thanks again for all your help, follow us on Twitter @turnofffox, and no matter how the ratings war goes, remember to choose to Turn Off FOX.
The BuzzFlash Turn Off FOX Campaign
The reasoning involved in the nature of the evil of an “ex-chemical company” like Monsanto is not rocket science. We only have to consider a few basic principles. Once they are accepted as true, the rest follows. The first principle is that life processes and systems are complex. They are the most complex systems known. This makes all developing life sciences, especially those involved with the dysfunction and repair of life processes, as much an art as a science. Those that would create a product must also be able to maintain and repair it, not only the product, but also any consequence of its use. So the practice of ’making’ or modifying of life must equate to the healing of life in its methods in order for it to be a moral enterprise. Those that would improve life must be able to heal it when things go awry. To confuse a practicing art with an applied science is to engage in fraud and quackery of the most unethical and dangerous sort.
Before the chemical companies like Monsanto became biotechnology companies they only dealt with chemicals that interacted with life processes. Repeatedly chemical companies like Monsanto produced new chemicals (thousands daily now) that they had no way of knowing what the full long term effects would be on living systems. They were released without sufficient study. I know this because the needed pre-release experiments would have involved the study of such long term high level multivariate interactions that it would have been impossible to do these experiments in principle (though some have theorized it was possible albeit too costly to perform such experiments in practice). In actual practice the environment itself was the testing ground, and the lawyers and the public relations propagandists delayed the inevitable lawsuits until a profit could be turned, a subsidiary company divested and the inevitable move to another product accomplished. This is the model set by Monsanto over its hundred year history. Just think asbestos, saccharin, PCBs, DDT, Agent Orange (dioxin), BGH, aspartame, fluoride, mercury, GMOs, monoculture, Nazis, nuclear waste & News Corporation when you consider Monsanto. You might add morgellons syndrome and mass bee death to that list, but that seems premature without more evidence. Yet the evidence mounts, for the bees, for the morgellons, and for the cover-up. In some real sense this all appears to be a final Solutia scenario for mankind and an awesome business plan.
Let us not forget the biggest piece to this warped pattern of corporate amorality, that of government contracts and mandates. The growth and cover of these corporate giants was through government contracts. Wars and rumors of war provide unlimited funding for research and development and also unlimited cover from equitable prosecution under sovereign immunity. They did it because the government asked them to do it and the government had to do it because they were at war. This is the real secret behind the congressional military industrial complex.
This brings us to yet another startling piece of the puzzle. When you are at war you also have the patriotic duty to work for less under less safe conditions and companies don’t have time to worry about the consequences of this to their workers, let alone the general population. Pollution standards can be lowered in the name of patriotism with the added benefit that your product can be freely marketed through government propaganda.
It is one thing when these companies are given a hand up by providing materials for war; it is yet another thing when these chemical products are changed to civilian uses, but retain the same standards and agreements as were used for the military at war. This was root of the old style fascism, and its more modern guise of corporatism.
It was bad enough when it was just harmful chemicals disbursed by Monsanto, now permanently lodged in every living thing on earth, that were the product of chemical reactions, but now they want to exponentiate the level of their catastrophic failure to the level of biological reactions. Monsanto wants you to believe that they are both competent and moral enough to patent life and license its product in combination with the same subsidiary chemicals that they released to the detriment of billions around the globe. If they couldn’t consider the interaction of molecules, in principle, then even the lowest forms of life must still be beyond their reach. When further understanding of epigenetics reveals subtle negative effects, none of the crop scientists will be able to hide behind ignorance, given the warnings of the clear and present danger. So they need hide the facts as long as possible and hope no own notices until they turn a profit. Can competition regulate such abuses? Like Spain during colonial exploration, if you can’t kill the natives, marry them. The model works so well everyone has copied it.
The truth of this will not be easy to harvest given that it is first mowed, then raked and then key Monsanto figures are baled and placed in the government barn later to be fed to the company herd and their seeds used to replant the Monsanto fields, all using huge lobbying machines. It makes me shudder to consider the human impact and the impact on higher order systems of this agro-political business growth model. Consider such a company having complete control over the world food supply, or having a monopoly on life itself. Also consider the faux science needed to convince people that GMOs are safe compared with Monsanto’s history of lies. God forbid that the next tool of war becomes food. Maybe war will become obsolete given that corporations can rape and pillage the world with impunity as they brainwash the remaining vestiges of the domesticated (mute) populis. Perhaps this is a bit overstated. I wouldn’t want anyone to dismiss this as just another conspiracy theory. Every aficionado of the subject knows that there is always just one conspiracy and everything ties into it. However, you might want to see how a real conspiracy theory against Monsanto would look by clicking here.
The only morality a corporation like Monsanto has is its profit. Death is the golden skeleton that is the cost of such companies doing business. Such is the nature of evil. I am not saying profit is evil, but those that profit from death are manifesting evil incarnate.
The linkage I make of biotech with medicine is no shallow metaphor. The ethical credo of these companies must have in it a ‘do no harm‘ provision. The researchers in these companies also must follow the tripartite role model of the physician as a clinician, public health expert and scientist. To date all we have seen is Doctor Josef Mengele when it comes to Monsanto and its ilk. The even scarier part of all this that they have formed their own triangle of trade by becoming Biotech companies by way of pharmaceutical companies. So they get to treat the very illnesses they have created, but no one is going to believe this until the myths of their pseudoscience are debunked.
The governments around the world are considering going after Monsanto based on antitrust laws. If this effort were real, then they would be going after companies like Monsanto under RICO-like statutes. By doing so they would not just be forcing them to APPEAR to break up the monopolies by divesting into interlocking directorates, but they would be empowered to place direct government oversight over the corporations continually engaging in illegal and immoral activity.
One of my readers of my original post on this subject had a point. I was painting with too broad a brush and I had no plan or alternative. I just have a hard time believing that any of the Chemical Companies were or are in any way moral. However, since I had only collected history on Monsanto, I rewrote this article as Monsanto specific. Yet, I don’t see them as the only creators of Frankenstein. They are just a major player.
Posted by productionengineer on January 5, 2010 at 11:16 pm
Now that you’ve defined the problem, two questions emerge: a)What do you propose be done from here forward? and b)What alternative would you have preferred in the past?
You posit that that “chemical companies” produced all sorts of new chemicals without sufficient study, since truly sufficient study would be impossible. Are you suggesting then that none of these developments should have been allowed in the first place? If so, where are you drawing the line between “chemical companies” and “manufacturing companies (non-chemical)”? No, the line is NOT obvious. Polytetrafluoroethylene, computer chips, Gatorade, Cheerios, sewage treatment – which is on the “good” or “bad” side of the line.
Have some companies performed unconscionably? I’d be a fool to deny that. Do blanket statements across all industries do much outside of the talk show circuit? Not really.
My issue here is mostly not that they do damage, the issue is that they lie about it, cover it up and set it up to do it again and again and again. Risk is essential, yes, otherwise we never get anywhere. The problem is that we need to be informed participants in the risk, not guinea pigs.
The other lesson here is that you can be too big. Once you are big enough to control governments, then governments instituted for, by and of the people must control you. There is little choice here. Either corporations submit to ethical control or we all remain slaves to the corporation.
As for the obvious solutions, well the dirty fucking hippies had it right all along. Small systems with self sustaining technology would work. This is exactly what the giant monopolies are fighting tooth and nail to debunk. Hopefully in the last forty years we have learned enough to not let the bastards grind us down this time. Illegitimi non carborundum or more correctly operor retineo non forensis liberi attero vos.
If you think these ideas are hyperbole and that their exists peer reviewed research that contradicts what I am saying, then you have not read the Bruce Stutz article on why such true peer reviewed research has yet to be done.
The Death Merchants
O Mundo Segundo a Monsanto #ogm #gmo
Ishtarmuz’s Rebuttal to: Opposing Gay Marriage By Bill O’Reilly for BillOReilly.com Thursday, May 21, 2009
… There is no stopping the gay nuptials now, even though most Americans say they are opposed to extending marital law to same sex couples.
Right now, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Iowa, and Maine allow gays to marry. New Hampshire will soon do so. Once the legislatures of New York and New Jersey get finished taxing the life out of their citizens, they, too, will most likely pass gay marriage. And, even though the folks in California voted down gay nuptials, the Supreme Court there is desperately trying to find a way to nullify the vote.
A new CNN/Opinion Research Poll says 54% of Americans oppose gay marriage, while 45% support it. But if you oppose gay marriage, your opinion makes you a bigot. … That’s what the Miss California controversy was all about.
Where have we heard this ‘we the people’ line before? That front groups that oppose gay marriage appear to be affiliated with other corporatist front groups that oppose anything that might cut into their profits. Is this is the great great moral stand that O’Reilly touts? Does he stand with the Mormon Church because they know the evils of gay marriage, like plural marriage, or because they know its power?
Your humble correspondent doesn’t really care much about gay marriage because I believe it is no danger to the republic and the deity can sort all this stuff out after we’re dead. I take a libertarian position on issues like gay marriage because I want all Americans to be able to pursue happiness equally.
Humble is not the word I would have chosen. The idea that this is a libertarian view is de facto absurd. Is this a separate but equal argument against gay marriage? No government sanctions on marriage of any kind would be more libertarian.
… most Americans believe heterosexual marriage deserves a special place in our society. Our Judeo-Christian traditions, which have made the United States the most prosperous and just society the world has ever known, speak to a family built around a responsible mother and a father—certainly the optimum when it comes to raising children.
Let us not forget to do some drum beats for the great American way while we are at it. Pleas to common practice (tradition) and authority are bad enough, but conflating correlation to causation, and just plain rallying of nationalist fervor are quite beyond the pale. None of this is proof, lest it be of pandering to the right. It does remind me of journalistic propaganda from somewhere though. Reality may not have a right wing spin, but O’Reilly sure does.
I also understand that once America changes marital law for one group, homosexuals, it will have to allow plural marriages and other types of situations under “equal justice for all.” Also, there is no question the Scandinavian marriage model of anything goes has led to a drastic decline in traditional marriage.
Oh, I see, Gay Marriage is like a gateway drug? And yes, if you legalize something, then the tradition changes. Hopefully for the better, promoting the values of marriage, not just the form. Like many other issues defined by the right, this is all form and no substance.
…When was the last time you saw a Catholic cardinal or archbishop speak against gay marriage on television? …
After some more left wing biased media bashing, then he goes after the Catholic Church for being silent. I wonder where he got that from?
The truth is that pro-gay marriage forces have succeeded in their bigot-branding campaign and will not stop with marriage. … The left knows it has a powerful cannon with this bigot stuff.
Lets review: A bigot is someone with half baked ideas that asserts self serving views without proof against a group of people he knows little about and refuses to hear evidence to the contrary. Yes, the left does appear to have a point.
So the gay marriage debate is just about over. Conservative states won’t pass it, but liberal states will. There was a time when we were truly the united states. No longer.
Oh yes, then there is the fear monger divisiveness to top it off. We have different models of the universe so we will go to war over which side of the egg we crack open first. Pick your issue. Pick your commentator. Fox News defining the issue is like Al Qaeda defining terrorism. Interestingly the divide on this issue is generational, not geographic. Logan’s Run anyone?
We are at a time when many news enterprises are shutting down… some tell you that journalism is in dire shape, and the triumph of digital is to blame.
My message is just the opposite. The future of journalism is more promising than ever—limited only by editors and producers unwilling to fight for their readers and viewers, or government using its heavy hand either to over regulate or subsidize us.
No, you are correct, the straw man of progress is not to blame. Those that think and use old models of thought are to blame. Vertical organizations built on authoritarian control from above limiting the choices of information usage based on a worldview of property that never held sway in the arena of ideas are to blame. If the old worldview is to survive, then we will all have to become slaves, not only in the marketplace of commerce, but to the marketplace of ideas as well. Horizontal networks are cooperative and share information and profit. This is anathema to old world greed.
Note the thought process here. It is all out war between private contenders. The interference of government imposing rules, such as ‘don’t let the pirates kill each other’, is wholly unfair to such winning combatants as Kevin Rupert Murdoch. The problem with this is that no man is an island and no one does it by himself or herself. We form an interdependent community that remains healthy only by a commitment to all.
From the beginning, newspapers have prospered for one reason: the trust that comes from representing their readers’ interests and giving them the news that’s important to them. That means covering the communities where they live, exposing government or business corruption, and standing up to the rich and powerful.
A bit of truth and honesty is always good in an opinion piece, though I think it might have been better as an opener.
Technology now allows us to do this on a much greater scale. That means we have the means to reach billions of people who until now have had no honest or independent sources of the information they need to rise in society, hold their governments accountable, and pursue their needs and dreams.
Yes, people need to rise up and hold the real government accountable, all those multinational business interests pulling the strings behind the scenes. Interesting how a half-truth is so much more convincing than an out and out lie.
… Some newspapers and news organizations will not adapt to the digital realities of our day—and they will fail. We should not blame technology for these failures. The future of journalism … [to] find new and better ways to meet the needs of their viewers, listeners, and readers.
So it is not the digital success, but the not taking advantage of it, that is at issue. What you are saying is that it needs to be harnessed. Harnessed means controlled, but you don’t want it controlled except by the pirates of the old model. When you suggest finding better ways to meet the needs of customers, what you mean is to bottom feed off the baser instincts of your customers.
…give people the news they want. I can’t tell you how many papers I have visited where they have a wall of journalism prizes—and a rapidly declining circulation. This tells me the editors are producing news for themselves—instead of news that is relevant to their customers…
Rome gave people what they wanted. That’s it; maybe we need to feed more liberals to the lions? Surely that is it. How could that be irrelevant? Keeping journalists with pesky Pulitzers working is not the business of a news organization.
His article then goes on for a bit stating how the old business model no longer working and explaining how he is maneuvering to make more money. Then, not satisfied with his empire based on winning court cases, he bemoans the FCC.
One example of outdated thinking is the FCC’s cross-ownership rule that prevents people from owning, say, a television station and a newspaper in the same market. Many of these rules were written when competition was limited because of the huge up-front costs. If you are a newspaper today, your competition is not necessarily the TV station in the same city. It can be a Web site on the other side of the world, or even an icon on someone’s cell phone.
And you have effectively been arguing this in court into a global monopoly for years. You have won the battle. Now what do you want? Full capitulation? Murdoch’s business model, like Monsanto’s, is model based on the Borg. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.
After a few drum beats for the value of “free” market capitalism, he comes to this:
In my view, the growing drumbeat for government assistance for newspapers is as alarming as over regulation. One idea gaining in popularity is providing taxpayer funds for journalists. Or giving newspapers “nonprofit” status—in exchange, of course, for papers giving up their right to endorse political candidates. The most damning problem with government “help” is what we saw with the bailout of the U.S. auto industry: Help props up those who are producing things that customers do not want.
Yes, unbridled free market capitalism can sell you just about anything with the right marketing, even bogus gold coins, insurance, legal services, deadly chemicals, drugs and all manner of products we don’t need. The needs of the consumers are created in the same way the taste in the news is created by the selective attention of the broadcaster. It would be a shame (for you) for broadcasting to follow a nonprofit model and really make the news independent of politics.
The prospect of the U.S. government becoming directly involved in commercial journalism ought to be chilling for anyone who cares about freedom of speech. The Founding Fathers knew that the key to independence was to allow enterprises to prosper and serve as a counterweight to government power. It is precisely because newspapers make profits and do not depend on the government for their livelihood that they have the resources and wherewithal to hold the government accountable.
You mean like the news organizations being independent of big corporations like Monsanto? Anything that you say or represent when so placed must by definition fall within the purview of commercial speech.
Mr. Murdoch is chairman and CEO of News Corp. The [original WSJ] article was adapted from his Dec. 1 remarks before the Federal Trade Commission’s workshop on journalism and the Internet.
Dear Faithful Followers of Turn Off FOX:
First of all, we would like to thank each and every one of you for taking the pledge in our effort to educate others about the rampant and intentional distortion of the truth on FOX News and joining us in attempting to get it turned off as much as possible. We have received a number of e-mails, quite a few from people who support the cause, and also many from people who have been shocked that anyone would oppose the media arm of the right wing. Believe us, we have rankled more than a couple of conservatives, and that probably means that, with your help, we’re probably doing something right.
It could be that our articles about the fallacious statements and distorted truths on FOX News have simply disturbed too many people into denial. Here’s a review of some of our recent work: