[Marxism] Sympathy for the Devil: Oz op-ed gives the Murdoch line

Stuart Munckton stuartmunckton at gmail.com
Wed Jul 20 20:06:24 MDT 2011

Pathetic, desperate and kinda fascinating in its way.... Mark Day in
Murdoch-owned Australian -- Sympathy for Murdoch, blame that *woman* for
destroying a proud man with great achievments who "cocked a snoot at the
establishment and produced newspapers that appealed directly to the


...And, for good measure, the whole hearing had the air of a great sporting
day out for those who had axes to grind against Murdoch and News and wanted
to see him get his comeuppance.

Everyone watching would have seen the hearing through the prism of their own

As someone who worked with Murdoch for many years and has been a close
observer for more than a half century, my reaction was a cross between being
appalled and sympathetic.

I have been appalled that it has come to this; appalled that members of my
profession have stooped so low that they routinely broke the law and
inhumanly intruded on the grief of murder and terror victims; appalled that
Murdoch's life work and reputation was in danger of imploding in a two-week
tsunami of crises.

My sympathy was for an 80- year-old man who has given so many chances to so
many people to shine and do their best, being held responsible for the
actions of a few, and the spectre of his enemies dancing on his grave


To suggest Murdoch would be consulted or even know about the origins of a
celebrity gossip item on the showbiz page is laughable.

Part of the Murdoch myth is that he is omnipresent in every News Corporation
newsroom, sitting at the shoulder of every editor, telling them what to do.
It's pure nonsense. He is routinely criticised for involving himself too
deeply in news operations, yet when he says he didn't have a clue what was
going on he is again criticised. That's pure hypocrisy


A more nuanced answer [of who was responsible] probably lies with Brooks,
the titian-haired former journalist who was editor of the News of the World
when the hacking occurred and was chief executive of the company when the
story behind the hacking blew wide open...

Brooks was strong and to the point, although there were questions in my mind
about her believability. As editor of the News of the World she must have
known that phone hacking was going on.


Rupert Murdoch built his empire from one small daily newspaper in Adelaide
into a multi-billion-dollar juggernaut across all popular media platforms by
being an outsider. His venture into Britain began in 1968 when he cocked his
snoot at the establishment and produced newspapers that appealed directly to
the public.

This is how the media should operate. It should not be party to deals with
governments. The media and governments should be, if not enemies, at least
at arm's length of each other. They should not be partners in spin and cosy
backs-scratching arrangements.

As the various inquiries progress, I suspect it will be shown that the seeds
to this disaster for News were sown by a woman who got too close to her
enemies. We shall see ...

At times Murdoch Sr looked rattled, an old man dragged unwillingly into a
spotlight that left him blinded and befuddled. It was impossible not to feel
sympathy for him and to ask: is this the man who built such an empire; a man
described as a business and media genius? He certainly didn't look it. His
facial expression was glum and he appeared to be emotionally on the edge as
he declared: "This is the most humble day of my life."

“Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is humanity’s
original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made,
through disobedience and through rebellion.” — Oscar Wilde, Soul of Man
Under Socialism

“The free market is perfectly natural... do you think I am some kind of
dummy?” — Jarvis Cocker

More information about the Marxism mailing list