Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Rupert Murdoch... Goin' Green?!

You know who Rupert Murdoch is, right? He's an Austrailian-American who owns the News Corporation, a conglomerate based out of New York City. FOX TV, FOX "News" Channel, The Weekly Standard, The New York Post, HarperCollins and MySpace.com are among the properties under his control. He also owns a big chunk of Direct TV. In addition Murdoch recently purchased Dow Jones, and made a bid to buy the Wall Street Journal. Although Murdoch's political affiliations have historically been all over the map, he is associated in the United States with the radical right wing. He's been close to both Ronald Reagan and Pat Buchanan, and he voted for Dubya in 2000 and 2004. All of his worldwide newspapers strongly supported the invasion of Iraq. He's even on the record accusing BBC television of having a left-leaning bias. In any case the media mogul identifies himself as a "libertarian".

Murdoch inherited his trade from his father- who upon his deathbed instructed the newspaper he owned to jump-start his son's career in journalism. Though some observers believed that Rupert had more interest in gambling and making money, he soon warmed to the publishing business. Through an ambitious plan of acquisition he soon built his own empire, with a heavy focus on tabloids. His holdings expanded to England, and he soon ran afoul of the printers union by setting up an expanded process of automation. Despite the ire he garnered for that move, the youthful Murdoch proved to be quite successful as a businessman. He became known as the kind of guy that can (and would) justify doing anything for money. In fact he became a US citizen just to satisfy the requirements for owning an American television station.

Somehow Rupert Murdoch has managed to side-step many onerous regulations, including paying any form of corporate taxes for an unspecified number of years. Apparently News Corp. Investments has used a complex tax structure (involving offshore havens) to avoid paying its due. Yet somehow Murdoch is able to remain more of a cartoon villian than a real-life antogonist. Some credit must go to his own FOX network's The Simpsons, which routinely lampoons the man and his reputation. Whether he is as devious and tyrannical as he is portrayed is an unanswered question. However there is no doubt that he is willing to exploit any advantage (including self-serving political alliances) in order to further the interests of himself and his corporation(s).

So what should we make of the recent series of announcements that Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. is going "Green"? Not only has he pledged to reduce his comapany's carbon emissions, but he has promised to include pro-environment messages into his media products of. He says that he "wants to inspire people to change their behavior". Huh? Does this include FOX News, home of global warming deniers like Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly and Ann Coulter? What about the Weekly Standard- home of the neo-cons? I would imagine that many of the pundits that represent Murdoch's news empire are aghast and appalled by this decision. On the other hand maybe they know this is all just smoke-and-mirrors. Remember that this is the same guy that supported deposing Saddam Hussein with the rationale that "the whole world will benefit from cheaper oil". Come on now. Do you really think Murdoch has changed that much in four years?

Perhaps it's more appropriate to ask whether or not it makes any difference if Murdoch is sincere in his new campaign against global climate change. If his company really does reduce its carbon footprint, does it matter what the spirit behind the shift is? If viewers of the FOX Channel are exposed to the potential dangers of not changing their destructive behaviors, should we care whether or not Rupert Murdoch makes money as a result? The case could be made that if it's in his self-interest to confront this issue, then it should be understood as a universal concern. Or think about it this way- does whether or not a FOX news anchor truly believes in what he says give his words any more or less credibility? There's going to be an agenda either way. I'd rather see an ecologiocally responsible one.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Ryan said...

Alright, you pushed me to comment...

First off, do you actually believe that guys like hannity and o'reilly actually believe the lies and lines that they spew?
I think it is safe to say that all but about 10-15% of us now can clearly see that faux news is purely a propaganda machine and nothing else.

Establishing that, we can reasonably say that positions that they hold are purely in place for political effect. When O'reilly staunchly denies global warming he is meaning to be divisive. 'if you are on the right, you believe (a, if you are on the left, you believe (b'

you are now witnessing the power elite string pullers sinking the conservative ship and setting their new vessel out to sail.

have a listen to sean hannity and see how much time he spends talking about the democratic candidates. 90% of the discussion will be spent on clinton. and they are clearly trying to set up the perception that she is the can't lose candidate.

wonder how much that has to do with the support she has recieved from one mr. murdoch (i had to split the links up to make sure they would display. they should be one continuous string

www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/05/09/
politics/main1600694.shtml

www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/8/7/
235231/2753

nymag.com/news/intelligencer/16535/

www.commondreams.org/views06/
0510-20.htm

just as he supported gordon brown in recent past.

I'm not sold on global warming one way or the other. It is simply not as cut and dry as either side would make it out to be. have a look at the films 'the great global warming swindle' and a rebuttal to it called 'the scam of the great global warming swindle'. you only have to look as far as the pharmaceutical industry to see that scientists can be persuaded to come to any result for further funding and land on either side of the fence. the media is also pushing it big time which is a red flag to me in any circumstance. (ala laurie david/sheryl crow). either for or against they are talking about it constantly. and it really began as a chorus from all edges of the media almost simultaneously. I watch A LOT of news.

Generally, my position on such things is that we are better safe than sorry. One thing i can say for sure though, is that it is now one of the most highly charged political issues going and will be used in the future as a justification for taxation and government regulation. I for one, don't trust government to do anything right or spend tax money in good faith.

I find it interesting that in many discussions i've read of ron pauls candidacy, the problematic idealogy for most people is his stand on global warming. not abortion, not dismantling the department of education, not abolishing the federal reserve or public welfare system, not the war, but global warming.

It is very important to ask what the motivations of news corp taking such a stance are. it's been demonstrated in the past that murdoch isn't going to do anything that isn't expedient for him or his consorts. to that end i think it's part of a bigger picture of ushering in the new 'progressive' age which will push this same agenda forward with a different face on it. War will continue, they will collapse our economy and they will get a more socialized north american union out of us. (i'd be prepared to discuss any of these points but i've gone on quite bit already)

these people may all seem to be political enemies but they seem to get along great at the council on foreign relations meetings.

1:32 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

I think that, without putting too much thought into it, what Hannity and O'Reilly say generally reflects what they think.

I've never found the "all politicians are the same" line very compelling.

By the way, I tried to cut-and-paste those links, but several couldn't be found or were "forbidden" by my server.

5:33 PM  
Blogger Ryan said...

no, not all politicians are the same but there can be a case made for the idea that all politicians that are endorsed and funded by rupert murdoch may be the same.

As for believing what they say, i would urge you to pay a bit more attention to them. o'reilly, coulter, malkin and those types, in different times, may have fit right in with the world wrestling federation. watch any interview conducted by oreilly and you can easily see that the line of questioning and smear tactics are well thought out in advance and i'm quite positive that bill isnt sitting down to write this stuff out himself.

I had been aware of oreilly for years, even stretching back to his inside edition days. In the early days of fox and his 'no spin zone' his character was much different and has changed accordingly with the administrations agenda.

These guys are far too on the ball to be classified as just plain stupid and the alternative would seem to be just plain evil.

12:56 AM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

I agree that those pundits are taking their marching orders from the administration. But that still doesn't mean that they don't believe in what they are doing. I honestly think that if you believe America is the "shining beacon of freedom", you can twist and turn your way down all sorts of distorted paths. When you've built a massive edifice of delusion, you have to follow the party line- because if you don't then you have to re-evaluate your whole mindset. That's pretty scary if you've been building it for decades.

5:36 PM  

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