Tuesday, July 3, 2007

"How Rupert Murdoch Will Sabotage American Capitalism" by Andy K.

There are only 3 great daily newspapers left in the
United States, and that sad fact says more about the
decrepit state of American journalism than it says
about the magnificence of The New York Times, The
Washington Post, or The Wall Street Journal. Of
these, The Wall Street Journal is arguably the most
important because the planet is owned by corporations
and the men who own these corporations have the time
and patience to read only one newspaper: The Wall
Street Journal.

I have mixed feelings about The Journal, because their
news and business coverage is impeccably trustworthy,
thorough, and objective, while their right-wing
Editorial page is a shameless cheerleader of Big
Business. And so I am amused to learn that the
hypocrites who write The Journal's pro-capitalism
Editorials devoted almost the entire June 6th edition
of their Editorial page to denouncing Rupert Murdoch.

Up until May 1st, the Wall Street Journal's own stock
was trading at $36 a share, and then Murdoch offered
to buy every share for $60 each. How can the
hypocrites at the Journal who worship free market
capitalism possibly oppose such a lucrative offer?
They must be naively unaware that free trade and open
markets solve all problems!

As you probably know, Rupert Murdoch is the Republican
asshole who owns Fox News and MySpace.com. And even
by the grotesque standards of lowbrow mass media (I'm
talking Time Warner, Disney, NBC), Murdoch is the
sleaziest of the sleaziest: for 40 years, he's been
purchasing unprofitable decent newspapers (The New
York Post, The Times of London, etc.) and converting
them into profitable pieces of shit. Murdoch himself
has already admitted that he is "sometimes frustrated
by the [Wall Street Journal's] long stories." In
other words, say goodbye to the Journal's

Contrast Murdoch's "journalism" to the competition's:
during the first 3 months of 2007 daytime programming,
Fox News devoted only 6 percent of their air time to
the Iraq war, compared with 18 percent at MSNBC and 20
percent at CNN. But what Fox lacks in gravitas, it
makes up for in sensationalistic voyeurism: Anna
Nicole Smith received 17 percent of Fox News'
programming time. (Predictably, the Nielson ratings
have consistently ranked Fox as the most popular cable
news network in America.)

The Wall Street Journal is owned by the Bancrofts: a
family of millionaires who desperately want to be
billionaires. In their defense, they hate Rupert
Murdoch. Murdoch has promised the Bancrofts that he
will not debase the Wall Street Journal franchise by
publishing naked boobies on Page 3, although
considering that he DOES publish naked boobies on Page
3 of his own London Sun newspaper, Murdoch's solemn
vow is painfully insincere, and the savvy Bancrofts
know it.

Given that Rupert Murdoch has no respect for literacy
(not to mention decency), I've decided that his bid
for The Journal isn't entirely bad. Yes, he'll ruin
the damn paper. And that's an unfortunate loss for
American journalism. But more importantly, Murdoch is
in a unique position to seriously damage American

Considering that this is the only newspaper that the
executives on Wall Street actually read, Murdoch will
inadvertently make them dumber and less informed than
they already are. Rather than educate them with
objective, thorough reporting, Murdoch will uneducate
them with his unreliable propaganda.

Oh how amusing it will be to watch the markets be
sabotaged! And considering that American capitalism
managed to survive (and grow exponentially) during 40
years of communist threat, wouldn't it be delightfully
ironic if it was finally killed by the sleaziest
capitalist who ever lived? Who would have thought
that the greatest threat to capitalism would be
capitalism itself!

There are many scenarios of how this will play out,
but the most likely will involve China. Some
background: when the Chinese government complained to
Murdoch that his satellite TV service was delivering
the BBC's uncensored coverage of China's fledgling
democracy movement, Murdoch dropped the BBC from his
satellite system. When China complained that his
MySpace subsidiary was being used to challenge China's
authoritarianism, Murdoch agreed to let the Chinese
government censor MySpace.

In fact, the Pulitzer-prize winning reporters who work
at the Journal's China bureau bravely wrote a letter
to the Bancrofts reminding them that Murdoch "has a
well-documented history of making editorial decisions
in order to advance his business interests in China."
In other words, say goodbye to the Journal's

American executives who will be gambling billions of
dollars of capital on China, will be doing so
ignorantly after Murdoch takes over. If another SARS
epidemic hits Shanghai, rest assured that the
Journal's wealthy readers will be the last to know
about it. If China's Da Qing oil field continues to
decline in oil production, the gullible Americans who
run General Motors' and Ford's subsidiaries in China
will be clueless.

In short, capitalism's greatest newspaper will soon be
as trustworthy, thorough, and objective as Fox News.
And that's bad news for capitalism.

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