Burning Down His House

C. Montgomery Burns & a defensive Asian Smithers - not the work of the author

I hear the clichéd phrase ‘oh, how the mighty have fallen’ being uttered here, there and everywhere – often of late with regards to an individual I consider to be perhaps one of our society’s greatest evils. His name is Rupert. His wife’s name is Wendy. He’s Australian. And he’s turned deceit, fraud and manipulation – on an epic scale – to create the world’s premier bullshit machine. I don’t necessarily agree with the aforementioned phrase; frankly, he’s not falling quickly enough.

And as capitalism falls, so too do the most egregious examples of our laissez-faire complacency, and I can’t personally imagine a more sinister product of market-driven capitalism than corporate-friendly mass-delusion media. Some in power would look on the success of Fox News, News Corp etc as a great testament to an individual’s business savvy. I look on it’s success as nothing more than applying Goebbel’s methods as a ‘necessary balance’ to an assumedly liberal media. The evil is palpable.

The embattled chairman says he is humble.
And then he falls asleep during the proceedings.
He has the gall to claim humility, but acts with utmost hubris.
He apologizes – not for the crime, but for not being a better boss.

He indicates in open session of a parliamentary inquiry that he will make those responsible pay for their crimes.

Just who the fuck is this asshole anyways?

Does he honestly believe to be beyond the reach of the law?

From the looks of things – yes, I would bet my bottom dollar that Murdoch honestly believes at this point in his 80-year old mind that he has ascended to a position beyond the reach of any law enforcement. This may legitimately be the case. If Murdoch can plausibly deny direct knowledge of the goings-on of his subordinates, and let’s face it, he probably can unless new documents prove otherwise, then he’ll likely not be held responsible. No jail time, perhaps a fine, maybe an expedited retirement and the appointment of a sufficiently ‘Murdochian’ heir – perhaps even his son. And at that point, in corporate parlance, we’re now dealing with a ‘media dynasty’ with Rupert as elder statesman. In Murdoch’s mind, the corporate giant and the country are on an even playing field, with Chairman and Prime Minister of seemingly equitable stature. His presence at these meetings is nothing more than an attempt at public relations. It’s damage control, the danger being that he’ll likely be left in the driver’s seat.

The News of the World Scandal has considerable implications, but only if the current inquiry balloons into an investigation of the entirety of News Corp’s operations, past and present, across the globe, with Murdoch toppled like Saddam and the corporation broken up into a million tiny pieces. Unless the people demand this from their elected officials, the implications are merely within the realm of possibility. While the Brits have been doing a decent, typically balls-out aggressive, job hammering the Murdochs, Brooks, Coulson and Cameron, I have a hard time believing Americans will demand the same degree of open hostility from their elected representatives when questioning News Corp operatives this side of the Atlantic. I find it ironic that News Corp, by stoking the flames of sensationalism, jingoism and scandal, were able to coax once genteel British politicians (and the People too for that matter) out of the closet of decorum and passive, almost academic politics and (somehow) into a new role as righteously indignant investigative reporters. Watching footage from the parliamentary committee and, subsequently, the grilling of David Cameron by the Opposition, I wondered what makes us so passive, so unwilling to hold evil accountable? Why aren’t our elected officials prosecuting those who harm the people with a self-appointed righteous conviction?

Writing this article has left me feeling somewhat impotent; there’s a lot going on here which is going to take some time to work itself out, and its difficult to say where this will all eventually lead. I would like to see this scandal take down Cameron, Murdoch and the entirety of News Corp. I would like, one-day, for their to be a new compound word ‘newscorp’ which will be a synonym for the People’s revenge, a figurative head on a pike, reminding future generations that the media must serve the People, inasmuch as the State must do the same.

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