News & Analysis
Murdoch Feels the Heat as UK Scandal Heats Up
Murdoch Goes From Party Darling to Pariah ... At the News International party last month, Rupert Murdoch got the reception he's used to in London, with political figures of every stripe and from the Prime Minister down paying court at the Kensington Palace event. When he returned to the city two days ago, the 80-year-old was jostled by camera crews and faced shouted questions. Asked if David Cameron was likely to speak to Murdoch during this week's visit, an official in the prime minister's office struggled to answer over their laughter at the idea. Allegations last week that News Corp. staff hacked into the phones of murdered schoolgirls and terror victims and paid police for stories prompted Murdoch to close the 168-year-old News of the World tabloid on which his U.K. media empire was founded. – Bloomberg
Dominant Social Theme: Not only is Murdoch evil, he is Satan's pawn. He has been repressing the British political class for too long and it is time for it to free itself. The News of the World scandal has provided a triggering point. If all goes well, Parliament shall be unbound and lead Britain to a brighter day.
Free-Market Analysis: The UK is in full cry over it. And now the US is getting started. (See Bloomberg excerpt, above.) The long-running saga of Murdoch's News of the World tabloid (now shuttered) and its illegal phone-tapping of celebrities and others, has proven to be a mighty and unexpected blow for Rupert Murdoch.
Importantly, it is threatening to sink his planned purchase of the rest of the immensely profitable British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc (BSY), worth tens of billions, and he has journeyed to London to help salvage what he can.
There is an elite sub-dominant social theme here: No individual is exempt from Western justice. But from our point of view Murdoch is too important an individual to the Anglosphere power elite to be sacrificed at the altar of such rhetoric. More likely, as with the Julian Assange rape charges (if one sees Assange as a kind of elite errand boy), Murdoch's mess was not anticipated; the elite in fact do not control all. The difficulties have been advancing grudgingly for at least a decade.
There is good evidence that the problems have been repeatedly damped down. British Prime Minister Tony Blair supposedly had a hand in repressing them during his term in office. The British police themselves have not pursued the charges, as the police are said to have been repeatedly bribed during the phone-tapping episodes.
The sudden, dramatic failure of Murdoch and his media group is surprising indeed. But in the larger context it is not such a shock. It is merely one more difficulty for an aging media mogul who has been struggling unsuccessfully to beat back the Internet media revolution – Internet Reformation, if you will. It has played havoc with his press properties and bottom line; we just wrote about it here: Rupert Murdochs Failing Attempts to Control the Internet Reformation.
At the time, we had no idea of the significance or fury of what was to come so suddenly. A long-running scandal was about to break wide open. According to the Bloomberg article, "The balance from fear to outrage shifted July 4, when the Guardian newspaper reported that a News of the World employee intercepted messages left on the phone of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler." The scandal has been quietly brewing, however, for nearly a decade.
Perhaps the most astonishing thing has been the lengths that Murdoch has been willing to go to stifle the affair. In shutting News of the World (NOTW), closed a tabloid that was selling up to SEVEN MILLION copies (for the last issue, anyway) and was a British media staple – having been published continuously for about 150 years.
All this to be able to say (literally) that the phone tapping is "yesterday's news." Being press buffs, even with the current state of the media, this strikes us as rather sad. But the REAL scandal is how certain British media and political elements have reacted to it.
We are given to believe that millions of Brits have risen up in fury to protest Murdoch's out-of-control snooping. In fact this is not the case. A recent blog-article posted at the UK Telegraph puts the larger issue in perspective. It points out the sudden outbreak of the long-running phone-tapping scandal now engulfing Rupert Murdoch and his media empire was generated – almost entirely – by the political and professorial chattering classes of the British under-elite.
Here's an except from the column by Brendan O'Neill, entitled, "The News of the World was killed off by a dictatorship of do-gooders, not 'people power':"
"It is clearly people power that has forced this decision." That was Ed Miliband's impressively otherworldly take on the shutting down of the News of the World. It takes doublespeak to dizzy new heights to describe the closure of this popular Sunday paper as a victory for "people power". On what kind of warped Orwellian planet can a crusade led by a few hundred Twitter activists and liberal journalists against a newspaper read by 7.5 million people be described as a democratic moment? It is the polar opposite of "people power" – it is chattering-class intolerance of mass tastes, resulting in the extinction of a tabloid which the cliquish great and good considered vulgar and offensive.
This is actually a refreshing take. Perhaps the coverage will turn now. For a week, the British press generally has been filled with nothing but articles and editorials reviling Murdoch's business practices and general morality. He is, it has been indicated, an unfit proprietor of British media properties. (He may be all this, but the attacks are entirely hypocritical.)
The Bloomberg article with which we began this column is of a more fact-based nature. However, in its own way it partakes of the wider celebration. It quotes Tim Bale, professor of politics at Sussex University and the author of "The Conservative Party From Thatcher to Cameron as saying: "The days of Rupert Murdoch as a man that people will fly halfway around the world to see, whose phone calls get taken, are over. All the party leaders have been distancing themselves." Here's some more from the article:
U.K. prime ministers have felt the need to curry favor with Murdoch since he was allowed by Margaret Thatcher's government in 1981 to add the Times and Sunday Times to his stable of newspapers, which already included the Sun and the News of the World. He was the only newspaper owner invited to a lunch to celebrate Thatcher's decade in power in 1989 and was more than once invited to spend Christmas with her family, according to John Campbell's biography of Thatcher ...
Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, also courted Murdoch and is now the victim of the latest twist of the phone-hacking scandal. He issued a statement late yesterday saying he was "shocked by the level of criminality and unethical means" by which News International reporters, according to the Guardian, accessed his family's legal and medical record, including details of his second son Fraser's cystic fibrosis diagnosis ...
[Current Prime Minister] David Cameron has been assiduous in courting Murdoch, hiring former News of the World editor Andy Coulson as his press adviser. Coulson took the fall for the original phone-hacking scandal, resigning in 2007 after one of his reporters was jailed for intercepting voicemails of members of the royal household. Coulson was arrested and questioned on July 8. While standing by Coulson, whom he said remains a friend and has yet to be charged or convicted, Cameron said he had been wrong to focus on 'courting support' from the press, turning a 'blind eye' to claims of wrongdoing.
Tom Watson, the Labour party lawmaker who has pursued the phone-hacking scandal for two years ... offered his fellow lawmakers an assessment of why it was being ignored. 'In this House we are all, in our own way, scared ... ' he said. 'The barons of the media, with their red-topped assassins, are the biggest beasts in the modern jungle. Prime Ministers quail before them, and that is how they like it. We are afraid.'
Watson may have a point about politicians being scared but in a larger sense he is being fairly disingenuous. The entire affair revolves around "phone tapping" but there is ample evidence that the British are among the most snooped-upon and spied-upon people in the world. A 2007 article in the UK Independent informs us that"Britain is becoming a Big Brother Society." It concludes as follows:
Civil liberty campaigners have already warned that Britain's ... citizens are increasingly being watched. There are more than four million CCTV cameras in this country, one for every 14 people, and the national DNA database which was set up by police to combat crime now holds 3.5 million profiles.
Then there is this: an interview with Tony Farrell, who served as a high-level intelligent analyst for South Yorkshire Police in Britain from 1998 to July 2010. The interview took place at richplanet.net and a blurb on the website summarizes it as follows:
A Principal Intelligence Analyst for South Yorkshire Police has spoken out about the July 7th '05 London Bombings. Tony Farrell who has served for the police since 1998 is convinced as he can be that the bombings were a false flag attack carried out by intelligence agencies. In July 2010 he was asked to compile a threat assessment report for South Yorkshire Police.
His own research lead him to believe the major threat in the UK today is from an "internal tyranny" which the public are slowly finding out about. He believes the public's reaction to these facts may present a threat of public unrest. He was dismissed from his post last year because his views were considered untenable, but the police officers who sacked him did not disagree with his views! In fact they seemed to encourage him to appeal the decision. He is now awaiting a tribunal for unfair dismissal taking place in September 2011.
The British chattering classes have managed to shut down a newspaper based on its "disgusting" practices. But the real sickness, the irrevocable perversion has to do with the upper class silence on the authoritarian reality of what Britain is becoming. The real fear has little to do with Murdoch and much to do with those he represents: the impossibly wealthy banking families in the City of London who are driving Britain and the world toward global government.
These families apparently use the most chilling, mafia-like techniques in their quest for world power. They are in our view responsible for the big, Western wars of the 20th century and the current, phony, "war on terror" of the 21st. With absolute, cold-blooded precision they are trying to move ahead with their program as fast as possible before the Internet exposes it once and for all.
The fuss over Murdoch (who is an employee in good standing with this elite in our view) is inversely proportionate to the larger, horrifying sickness of the British upper classes themselves. They celebrate the fall of Murdoch and the end his regime of "fear," yet are so frightened by the larger Money Power in their midst that even now not a syllable is spared to describe it.
Of course, those who are not frightened by the Anglosphere's Money Power are likely the ones closest to it, enabling its ruinous reach and furthering its bestial ambitions. These are the same individuals, no doubt who are most loudly celebrating Murdoch's difficulties.
We have no special sympathy for Murdoch and wonder, if this affair continues, whether the elites with which he works won't at some point cast him overboard – as damaged goods. But in the meantime, the heinous spectacle of British social, cultural and media dysfunction is brought into sharp contrast by this "scandal."
The LARGER scandal is that the entire British society, and in fact the Western world, is bent to the genocidal purposes of globalism by the City of London. We are not surprised by the spectacle but it does illustrate more fully how ruined the British society and culture really is. They see the serpent and they stamp on it (perhaps with the idea of further limiting the press). They focus on it determinedly, in fact. Thus they ignore the terrible, rough beast looming behind them, Spiritus Mundi ... a gaze as pitiless as the sun, moving slow thighs as it "slouches toward Bethlehem to be born."
Conclusion: This is the spectacle. Not Murdoch's fall. Not the police silence on the matter. Not the NOTW's phone tapping. But the terrified corruption of entire class. An entity so helpless and afraid, it will celebrate any foolish distraction rather than confront the real Evil that has festered for centuries and now, like a suppurating boil, is oozing poisonous malevolence worldwide. A bigger story, yes? We await Fleet Street's coverage.
Posted by Bluebird on 07/14/11 04:40 PM
Oops, scratch that. The comments are back. They had been missing for two days. There is no doubt he is facing the heat. Of course we will never know for sure what is going on with this uproar, only what we are allowed to hear.
Posted by Bluebird on 07/14/11 04:03 PM
I noticed an interesting thing about Fox this week. I always check the world news there. It has always had the worst feedback as anywhere I have seen, but I always check it to see what the clueless think about the events as they unfold. (I have never commented there.) The other day I read a horrid comment there about Obama-I don't know how it got past the monitors. I cannot repeat it, but all of a sudden, there are no comments on Fox. They apparently are no longer allowed. The comment had some very serious charges in which I would fear for my life if I had spoken them! Just thought I would give the elves an update, as I doubt you make a habit of checking Fox feedback. Ha.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Murdoch is under a great deal of pressure. Whose toes did he step on?
Posted by MetaCynic on 07/12/11 10:38 PM
Other than the ruination of Murdoch, there might be a silver lining to these gathering storm clouds. Although the hysterical moral indignation over the Murdoch empire's illegal hacking and tapping might be largely manufactured, I suspect that it will impel more than a few thinking individuals caught up in the frenzy to also question the morality of the out of control legal kind. Isn't the government's indiscriminate surveillance of the citizenry just as much an invasion of privacy as Murdoch's minions' private kind? Are we to believe that government's surveillance really serves a nobler purpose than Murdoch's? Why should government sanctioned surveillance be ignored or even applauded and the private kind demonized? The hypocrisy is simply too glaring to not acknowledge.
J. Edgar Hoover used his FBI to gather dirt on generations of politicians in his successful bid to hold on to power. Perhaps Murdoch too has enough dirt on the British power elite to bury their temple should they move against him.
It's heartening that elements within the ranks of the British police believe that 07/07 was a false flag operation. The clues for this possibility aren't any harder to come by than they are for the events of 09/11 in America. It might be dawning on British law enforcement that in a square mile in the City is concentrated much of the evil which has for centuries tormented tens of millions of square miles of earth. The British upper classes are cringing in fear. No courageous action can be expected of them. It could be time for some of the arbitrary power handed to the police to be used by them to suddenly take into "protective custody" a number of individuals from the devil's square mile. Can the British police muster the courage and resolve to mount the 21st century's Operation Valkyrie?
Posted by WorkingClass on 07/12/11 08:24 PM
Murdoch has been an able propagandist and class warrior. But he is in his 80's and is expendable. It's a pity he could not bring himself to retire.
Posted by johnblenkins on 07/12/11 04:57 PM
Should be interesting to see how this plays out.
The politicians have finally found the balls to turn on Murdoch.
Yet he knows better than anybody where the bodies are buried.
Posted by retakingdemocracy on 07/12/11 04:04 PM
Check out the whistleblower's take on the scandal: Click to view link
Posted by DickFitz on 07/12/11 12:14 PM
"Turning and turning in the widening gyre..."
That is one of my favorite poems, DB. And it grows more prophetic and apt each day.
Posted by tjdetmers on 07/12/11 11:46 AM
Thank you for a refreshing article. Murdoch will become a false flag operation. It has all the attributes that the masses go for. Meanwhile.....no one notices that all our civil liberties are disappearing under the guise of regulation and protection. Our savings for old age are disappearing and we pretend we do not understand...because the true horror of what is going on is too terrible to comprehend. We have been groomed to acqueisce to the "paternalistic powers that be" to look after our interests. Surely the takedown of a multi billionaire because of his nonrespect for our feelings and privacy confirms how well "daddy" is looking after our interests...and anyone would be a fool to question that......a conspiracy guy probably.
Deception is Satan's signature. We may discuss about the color of the ink or the caligraphy.....but Satan's signature is all over this. Thank you for the article!
Posted by scousekraut on 07/12/11 10:52 AM
This seven million sales figure is not right. According to this article they sold a bumoer 3.8 million on Sunday but the average is 2.66m. Seven million for a population of 62 million would be astonishing.
Click to view link
Reply from The Daily Bell
Was final issue ...