What Murdoch's media empire did: the big picture

Alternet's Russ Baker goes beyond the individual sins of the Murdoch media empire -- the phone hacking and such -- and looks at the big picture: what has the Murdoch empire done to the world?
He has undermined liberty: His outlets led the drumbeat for restriction or elimination of certain fundamental rights, including those under the US Fourth Amendment, while at the same time supporting unrestrained wiretapping, the harsh treatment of suspects who may have done nothing wrong, and fueling panic justifying the build-up of the national surveillance state.

He has turned the public against the press. By the generally inferior product produced, with a few exceptions, by the majority of the news outlets he controls and the tawdry methods sponsored by many of them, he has eroded the public’s confidence in media in general, tarnishing its belief even in those outfits whose work deserves to be taken seriously. He has also used his outlets to convince the public that other, more conscientious news organizations are ideologically suspect and biased.

What Rupert Murdoch Means For You Personally (via Making Light)



  1. He’s certainly been a horrible influence, but the old media has always been a friend to the powerful. All US media favors the surveillance state, and especially now with a Democrat in power, the left leaning outlets have fallen completely silent.

    Luckily they are dying out and being replaced by a more robust democratic media system. Young people don’t watch cable news.

    1. Very few people ever watched cable news, compared to how many watch broadcast TV news. But the few who do watch it are in the elite classes, and they propagate what they see into other venues. The guy who writes the editorials in the newspaper you read probably gets his opinions from FoxNews or CNN. 

      I’m not convinced that the Internet changes that dynamic. 

    2. I’m not sure how many people deliberately watch cable news in their homes, but it certainly is hard to avoid exposure to it.

      I see cable news, whether I want to or not:
      1) Whenever I’m at the gym
      2) Whenever I’m at an airport
      3) In certain bars/restaurants
      4) In the occasional waiting room

      This stuff is pretty heavily spammed, even if you deliberately try to avoid it.

    3. As a former member of the media, I respectfully disagree with you. Walter Kronkite is the standard to go by. He reported news events, without personal bias or personal political leanings, because he was a NEWS REPORTER. Much like Judges used to be, and sadly too many of them have become politicized as well. This is a perfect example of what deregulation brings you. Deregulation…interesting word, deregulation.

  2. Nice take on Maxwell and his underhand ways.
    What is there about the comments that are “typical biased comment from the liberal media” – what a silly thing to spout!

  3. Turning the public against the press is bad? First, Murdoch never had a monopoly on distorted news. Second, if we should distrust our politicians, why shouldn’t we distrust our corporate news sources as well? Especially so, since they are often the same thing. Christiane Amanpour is married to James Rubin (former Clinton official), Andrea Mitchell is married to Alan Greenspan.

    Big media should get smaller, not just Murdoch’s empire.

  4. I just see Murdoch weaving his hands together, fly-like, and in a Montgomery Burns tone of voice whisper, “Excellent!”.

  5. I see Murdoch weaving his hands together fly-like, and in a Montgomery Burns tone of voice whisper “Excellent!”.

  6. I probably agree with much of what he says, but I must say I prefer assertions to be backed with evidence, which this article seems to be very light on.

  7. We just need Christian Bale and his ragtag band of street hip newsies to bring down corrupt old media giants while singing and dancing us into a new era!

  8. And furthermore:

    He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.
    He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
    He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation
    .He has constrained our fellow citizens taken captive on the high seas to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.
    He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

  9. I was really disappointed by this article. It’s mostly a collection of broad, vague assertions. It will do nothing to convince those who aren’t already appalled by Murdoch and his empire.

    1. I agree.  He made one point about how Murdoch’s news empire will bury real issues and deflect with non-issues “like Obama not being born in the US.”  Somebody who already subscribes to the Murdoch brand of news will see that, and immediately shut down thinking “He wasn’t born in United States.  This article is written by a leftist liberal piece of crap.”  They will then leave the article and go on their merry way.

  10. As a man who has fearlessly and without respite endeavored to eliminate honesty and integrity from the field of journalism, he is without doubt Australia’s most embarrassing export

  11. A clever editor could compile a remake of Network using just NewsCorp in their own words.

    The world is a business, Mr. Beale.

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