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02 August 2007

Why Murdoch's Takeover of the WSJ Matters

Video segment here; for other options, click this post's title.

But first: is anyone else tickled (if that's the right word; "nauseated" might be better, considering the hypocrisy) by WSJ journalists fighting through their union for fair treatment? I guess some workers are more deserving than others of such protection.

And, I might point out, for the WSJ to complain about how they got bought out in a nasty, Wall-Street-driven deal is pretty much a paradigmatic example of "being hoisted by your own petard."

I've been driving a lot for work recently. Thus, I've heard a lot of coverage on NPR about the Murdoch takeover. The "far-left" NPR has barely scratched the surface of the problem: more like they've bent over -- I hesitate to add "backwards"; "bent over," full stop, is a more apt image, I think -- to find a way to present "the other side." Not one mention of how Wall Street is driving even profitable papers into the ground in over 6 hours of coverage I've heard in my car, while trying not to drive 100 mph in outrage.

Here's a good explanation of Murdoch's move, as well as that all-important context usually missing from American elite media. Of course, the Independent gives the space required, while also hiring real journalists such as Robert Fisk.

The hell with these people. Get your info from foreign or non-elite papers, Democracy Now!, Truthdig, The Real News, and other alternatives to the in-bed-ed presstitutes.

Finally, before we get all weepy-eyed for "family-owned papers," as though they are somehow innately or even significantly better than corporate-owned papers, recall how well the Times and the Post (to say nothing of the WSJ) have served the public interest recently. There's been no real change, as Robert Parry points out.

Meanwhile, the FCC has decided to auction off a huge chunk of the public-owned airwaves. So much for democracy and its lifeblood, the free flow of information. This move, no doubt, is another example of "the free market." When will people realize that "free market" means monopolistic state capitalism (or state socialism) for the rich and powerful, and for large corporations, and harsh, dog-eat-dog hypercapitalist competition for everyone else? There's a shorter way to describe what people mean by "free market" nowadays: fascism, or something very much like it.

As FDR put it (click on the image below to see a larger version):


Umberto Eco sums up the major tenets of "Ur-fascism" quite well here (PDF).

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