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The Murdoch Rule

I’m just sayin’…one or the other, Entertainment or News…a couple media outlets, a few…but not newspapers, TV News, cable news, Fox News, Fox Business, Fox Sports, Fox Deportes, Harper Collins book publishers, The New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, 20th Century Fox movies, and on and on across Asia, Europe, the Americas, Australia, the Earth.

Should we as a planet allow one man to dominate the discussion on planet Earth? “No,” to use Murdoch’s answer to wave away responsibility for his employees at the recently deceased newspaper, News of the World, hacking cellphones and bribing police. The 168-year-old newspaper, News of the World, employed former editors Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks, who were arrested in the last few weeks by British police in connection with the phone hacking scandal.  Andy Coulson left News of the World to become an aide to the British Prime Minister, David Cameron. Rebekah Brooks was promoted from editor at News of the World to CEO of News International, the European arm of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, which is also the parent company of Fox News. Point: News of the World was a powerful force within News International if one could jump from editor of the newspaper to running the whole show in Europe.

Before Brooks’ ascent, the Chairman of News International was Les Hinton, who became the head of The Wall Street Journal when Rupert Murdoch bought the newspaper in 2007. Last week, Hinton resigned from running The Wall Street Journal because of his tenure overseeing News of the World when reporters were hacking the cellphone messages of a murder victim, and allegedly hacking the cellphones of 9-11 victims as well as family members of soldiers who died in Afghanistan.

Oh yeah, and the two top cops at Scotland Yard – Sir Paul Stephenson and John Yates – quit over the News of the World phone hacking scandal. And Sean Hoare, a reporter from News of the World who confessed to hacking cellphones and admitted that it was done with editors’ approval…he was found dead this week.

Basically, everybody is jumping ship and swimming to shore to grab a martini once they change out of their wet things. Rupert Murdoch has way too much power to corrupt information and public officials. If Fox News wasn’t around would we have had 8 years of George W. Bush? Fox News was the first channel to call the 2000 Florida election results for Bush, which prompted all the other channels to follow Fox News’ prediction that George W. Bush was the next president, even though it took a few more weeks for the Supreme Court to decide on the matter.

Reminder: Fox News is the channel that brought us the propaganda puppet theatre of Glenn Beck and Company. Coincidentally, Fox News host Tony Snow became White House Press Secretary for President George W. Bush in 2006 – just when we were all finding out that there really were no Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq.

Ironically, Fox also brought us The Simpsons and Family Guy – obvious apostates of the Murdoch modus operandi and tormentors of the channel that broadcasts them.

So here it is…the Murdoch Rule: One or the other…News or Entertainment. Not both. Or some news and some entertainment, but not too much. Because right now Rupert Murdoch has way too much power to corrupt. What happened at News of the World is a violation of the Free Press and an affront to Democracy. The parent company is responsible, as is the CEO.


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