Sunday, July 08, 2012

Murdoch, LIBOR and more

Rupert Murdoch doesn't think the Libor scandal is real. It's just another big fake, like global warming. As emptywheel puts it:
I guess it shouldn’t surprise me. After all, some of Murdoch’s most important properties, starting with Fox, thrive on lying as a business model. But at a time when even the (British, at least) business community is finally awakening to what happens when the banksters reveal the “market” is just a bunch of really rich white guys operating behind a curtain, Rupert Murdoch is doubling down on lies.
There's a new book about Murdoch published in Australia -- though not yet in the U.S. The title is Rupert Murdoch: An Investigation of Political Power, and the author's name is David McKnight. It promises to be much more hard-hitting than Michael Wolff's useful but overrated volume (which spends way too much time talking about the Wall Street Journal deal). The Murdoch press down under is making every effort to smear McKnight, so you know that this book is the one to look for.

From Lobster's review:
Essentially, what McKnight argues is that most commentators on and critics of Murdoch have misunderstood the man because they have regarded him as primarily a businessman, motivated overwhelmingly by profit. What he shows is that Murdoch is, in fact, very much a political animal, a man committed to political causes, with a vision that his newspapers and Fox News aggressively propagate. As McKnight puts it:
‘Murdoch is at least as devoted to propagating his ideas and political beliefs as he is to making money........Murdoch has a particular conservative view that has evolved over the years and on whose evangelisation he spends many millions annually, through both corporate spending and personal (often secret) donations’.
He goes on:
‘Key parts of his empire are deeply enmeshed in their nation’s politics and operate as megaphones for Murdoch’s values and leverage’. 
Indeed, Murdoch has for many years subsidised loss-making newspapers precisely because of the political influence they have brought him: The Australian lost money for twenty years, The Times has lost money every year since he acquired it, and the New York Post has cost News Corporation millions of dollars. These subsidies are not motivated by some sort of sentimental attachment to print journalism, as is sometimes suggested, but have one purpose and one purpose only: ‘to give Murdoch a seat at the table of national politics in three English-speaking  nations’.

I disagree in part with this assessment. The "seat at the table" thing is, in my view, merely a happy byproduct. What Murdoch wants is to change the way people think. His purpose is propaganda. Just that simple.

I left a scathing comment over at Modeled Behavior. One of their folks who is an economist showed up on Chris Hayes on Saturday morning and said it made no big deal because it was gamed up and down. He thought that made it just fine. Plus, what did every one expect? That no one would cheat?

Unbelievable. You should go look at the panel. Jared Bernstein looks like he's been hit by a bus he's so flabbergasted. This is a BFD. PERIOD.
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