all the news thats fit to stink

As the Rupert Murdoch scandal drags on, we are certainly getting a high calorie intake of phony innocence on the part of the public, and self-righteous drivel and comprehensive deceptions practiced and peddled by the pundit class. Whether News Corp’s breaches of ethics and law are minor or significant in its hacking of phone records has become secondary to the phenomenon of public spectacle. In other words, entertainment and situation comedy, albeit tragic,  like O.J. Simpson, Clinton/Lewinsky and Michael Jackson.

Read More:

The next step would be to foist Andy Coulson, Rebekah Brooks and selected others to sit down with Dr. Drew Pinsky and his celebrity Rehab. Perfect for these histrionic low-tier celebrities, and its ceaseless luridness would fit seamlessly into News of the World’s more feel-good offerings on their projected catharsis into re-born ethical fledglings. Their addiction problems are probably more profane than Pinsky’s standard fare but likely to claim the same dosage of wrath and horrible confusion.

The affable though contrived Dr. and his aggressively indifferent staff would be a fitting juxtaposition. With all the deaths of Rehab alumni- Starr and Conaway- the Murdoch crew could be in for a dangerous gig. Think of it as paying Rebekah Brooks to be an informant. This kind of public, invasive detox also has a twist: Dr. Pinsky has an interest in the outcome of their treatment being captivating to viewers, which is likely not in their interests. Nonetheless it would be entertaining to view these basically sick, violent and disagreeable failures vomit out their guts and despair for our pleasure.

Read More:

The Plan B would be to coerce James Murdoch to do an episode of Undercover Bosses. ….

But the power of the media. It may go back to Walter Lippman, a foreign and domestic policy critic and an important theorist of liberal democracy.He asserted that what he called a “revolution in the art of democracy,” could be used to manufacture consent. In other words, like Egar Bernays, to bring about agreement on the part of the public for things that they didn’t want by the new techniques of propaganda.

Lippman’s theory was that in a democracy there are classes of citizens; importantly the first of all the class of citizens are those who take some active role in running general affairs, a specialized class that’s a small percentage of the population. The rest, excluded from the elite group, the vast majority, they are what Lippman termed the bewildered herd, of which all efforts have to be done to protect ourselves from the potential trampling and rumblings of the bewildered herd. To be tamed through triviality, sports, celebrity, anything to divert attention, of which the role of the press was to assume an importance of measurable significance.

---The political significance of what appeared to be Mr. Osborne’s husbanding of the government’s ties with the Murdoch empire lay in large part in his role as the chief architect of Prime Minister David Cameron’s contentious program of harsh austerity measures. Those measures have made Mr. Osborne, 40, one of the most divisive figures in British politics. Any hint that he is politically vulnerable in the hacking scandal could affect the government’s declared resolve to hold unwaveringly to its economic policies, which combine steep spending cuts with tax increases. ---Read More:

CHOMSKY: Well, yeah, right. But actually, the New York Times to my surprise wrote a very favorable review, or what I’m sure they took to be a favorable review. They assigned it to Vincent Canby, who’s kind of an old-time New Dealer, he was the big cultural critic at the Times forever, and he wrote a review which I’m sure everybody at the Times took to be very favorable. It said something like, oh yeah, really interesting guy, wonderful film, so on and so forth. Then it said, obviously there’s nothing to what he’s saying, of course it’s all nonsense — but it was very sympathetic….

Chomsky:CHOMSKY: Salt of the Earth. It came out at the same time as On the Waterfront, which is a rotten movie. And On the Waterfront became a huge hit -- because it was anti-union. See, On the Waterfront was part of a big campaign to destroy unions while pretending to be for, you know, Joe Sixpack. So On the Waterfront is about this Marlon Brando or somebody who stands up for the poor working man against the corrupt union boss. Okay, things like that exist, but that's not unions -- I mean, sure, there are plenty of union bosses who are crooked, but nowher

ar as many as C.E.O.s who are crooked, or what have you. But since On the Waterfront combined that anti-union message with "standing up for the poor working man," it became a huge hit. On the other hand, Salt of the Earth, which was an authentic and I thought very well-done story about a strike and the people involved in it, that was just flat killed, I don't even think it was shown anywhere....Read More:

…Then it got really interesting. It said, though what he’s saying is all nonsense, nevertheless the leading idea is worth taking seriously, even though it sounds crazy. And the leading idea, Canby said, is that the government is only responsive to the fifty percent of the population who vote, not to the fifty percent who don’t vote, so therefore we ought to try to register more people. He said, yeah, this sounds pretty far out in left field, but nevertheless we shouldn’t discount it totally, something like that.4 It just flew by him completely — he didn’t see what the film was about. I mean, the most illiterate T.V. reviewer in Tasmania didn’t miss the point like that, it’s only in the United States that it has to be completely missed. And that’s what it means to “think properly.” Read More:

---Murdoch and the BBC share this corporatism. Blair, for example, was their quintessential politician. Prior to his election in 1997, Blair and his wife were flown first-class by Murdoch to Hayman Island in Australia where he stood at the Newscorp lectern and, in effect, pledged an obedient Labour administration. His coded message on media cross-ownership and de-regulation was that a way would be found for Murdoch to achieve the supremacy that now beckons.---Read More:

Whether the Chomsky world view or that of the Frankfurt school has merit is basis of discussion. Perhaps more pertinently in the Murdoch case is his strange little world he created for a large chunk of Britain’s political and entertainment class. Kind of a cross between Brave New World and Kafka; People wonder what does Murdoch think of them, Does he even think of them? What does Murdoch know or care and how could one find out? Like Kafka, there can be no appeal. Maybe the British political Kahunas should appear on Pinsky’s. If Murdoch was paying cash to politicians its like giving money to an addict and sending them into the wilds where they will score and use.The ghost of the Marquis de Sade shadows these hearings: After all, why are these prestigious politicians ( Louise Mensch what an ironic name) willing to strike such saddening postures of deference. As some pundits have remarked, it may be to gratify a sadism on Murdoch’s behalf or a latent and profound masochism within themselves. Yes, this spectacle is all about the naughty bits.

…Chomsky:In fact, it’s extremely important for people with power not to let anybody understand this, to make them think there are big leaders around who somehow get things going, and then what everybody else has to do is follow them. That’s one of the ways of demeaning people, and degrading them and making them passive. I don’t know how to overcome this exactly, but it’s really something people ought to work on. Read More:

---Kane, Hearst and Murdoch also share a political activism which pretends to help the media-consuming masses while, in reality, mostly helped their own privileged class. Most striking is the collusion of money and power, with the role of the press retooled as a private instrument of propaganda. The overturning of antitrust rules, which allowed Murdoch to own multiple media outlets in the same market, parallels Hearst’s national newspaper empire, which dominated the American news landscape. A famous story about William Randolph Hearst, which Welles integrated into Citizen Kane, was Hearst helping push America into the Spanish-American War following the 1895 Cuban revolution. False and sensationalistic reports from Cuba accomplished this feat. One soon-to-be famous man-of-adventure would use the so called “Fog of War” from this conflict to propel himself into the White House — Teddy Roosevelt. But these “war games” are not so distant from the Murdoch-owned media’s relentless fear-mongering about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction prior to America’s adventure in Iraq.---Read More: image:


Terence Corcoran: Before we review the governance attacks on News Corp., another observation: News Corp. also appears set to become a case study for a morally unhinged overview of corporate organization and responsibility. Roger Martin, dean of the Rotman School of Management in Toronto, wrote in The Globe and Mail the other day that Mr. Murdoch cannot disavow responsibility for the hacking at News Corp. tabloids. Dean Martin compared Mr. Murdoch to Colonel Oran Henderson, the brigade commander who said he wasn’t responsible for the Vietnam War execution of up to 500 women and children at My Lai….

…The New York Times, a newspaper that traffics in stolen WikiLeaks emails as opposed to hacked phone records, produced a story that claimed the British hacking scandal — involving a dozen or so News Corp. employees out of some 50,000 — was a reflection of the company’s “crony board” of directors. “This is a board that qualifies for an ‘F’ in every category,” said Nell Minow, a director of an outfit called GovernanceMetrics International, a professional harasser of corporations that do not meet high standards of ESG — ESG being the new post-CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) acronym. It stands for “environment and social governance.”…Read More:

Related Posts

This entry was posted in Feature Article, Ideas/Opinion, Marketing/Advertising/Media and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>