Rupert Murdoch and the Western Media
opinion / analysis
Monday October 19, 2009 19:05 by Rory Moore - WSM - personal capacity wsm_ireland at yahoo dot com
Murdoch's Empire is not simply just a commercial profit–fuelled industry, but a tool and psychological weapon that is used to cater for acceptance of a certain political agenda.If we, as a movement want people to support our ideas and begin to realise the true ills of capitalism, they have to become aware of people like Rupert Murdoch, and the power individuals it can have over influencing the way people think
Rupert Murdoch and the Western Media
Rupert Murdoch an Actor or Patsy?
Keith Rupert Murdoch, (born 11 March 1931), usually known as Rupert Murdoch, is an Australian-born global media mogul. He owns media outlets and is a major shareholder, chairman and managing director of News Corporation (News Corp). Beginning with one newspaper in Adelaide, Murdoch acquired and started other publications in his native Australia before expanding News Corp into the UK, US and Asian media markets. It was in the UK that he diversified into TV, creating Sky Television in 1989. In years after he has become a leading investor in satellite television, the film industry and the Internet. Murdoch is the 132nd-richest person in the world, with a net worth of $4 billion.
What he has done to Britain
In 1969 Rupert Murdoch purchased The Sun newspaper. He turned it into a trashy tabloid and it was not long before it had become the best-selling daily newspaper in Britain. Later that year he purchased the News of the World, Britain’s largest selling newspaper.
The two newspapers advocated extreme right-wing policies over the next ten years and played an important role in the election of Margaret Thatcher in 1979. He continued to support Thatcher in her decision to create mass unemployment by reducing spending on the public sector. This policy also undermined the power of the trade unions. This enabled the Tories to pass anti-trade union legislation that helped Murdoch win his fight with the print unions.
In 1981 Murdoch purchased The Times and the Sunday Times. He also created News Corporation that controlled all his media interests. This includes film and television companies such as Sky and Fox and a large number of newspapers and magazines in the United States and various other countries. It has been claimed that he is the most important political influence in the western world.
In the late 1990s it became clear that the British public had turned against the right-wing Tory government. So what happened next? In the 1997 general election, the Murdoch press supported the Labour Party. This would have come as no surprise to those that had watched Murdoch’s behaviour in Australia. He had supported their Labour Party in the past. However, when they gained power with his support, they turned into a right-wing dictator government.
The same thing happened in Britain. After he won the 1997 election, Tony Blair abandoned his left-wing agenda and showed himself to be a Thatcherite. According to Lance Price, who worked for the Labour government, Blair would always consult Murdoch before introducing any new policy.
Murdoch was also a great supporter of the illegal invasion of Iraq. Every one of his 179 newspapers also supported this policy. He claimed at the time that the invasion would result in lower oil prices and an increase in stock market shares. His newspapers also played an important role in persuading the public that Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction.
When Blair became unpopular with the British public he joined the plot to get Gordon Brown made the new prime minister without an election. Brown had been under the control of Murdoch for many years. However, after six months it became clear that Brown would lose the next election and so Murdoch’s newspapers began to support David Cameron.
Murdoch seemed untouchable. All leading politicians were too frightened to take him on. They knew he would use the whole of his media empire against them if they did that. Then something happened that might give the people the opportunity to remove this terrible influence on Western world life.
The story begins in 2006 when members of the royal household complained that they believed that their mobile phones had been hacked into. The anti-terror police investigated the case, as they feared it might be connected to a Muslim terrorist group. A few months later, Clive Goodman, a journalist working for the News of the World, and Glenn Mulcaire, a private detective, were arrested. Mulcaire confessed to hacking into the royal families mobile phones to listen to their voice-mail and that he had been paid to do this by Goodman.
In January 2007, Goodman was sentenced to four months in prison and Mulcaire got six months. Andy Coulson resigned as editor of the News of the World. He claimed that he knew nothing about this phone hacking. Anyone with any experience of newspapers knew that Coulson was lying. No editor would ever publish a potential libellous story without knowing the source of the story. Goodman was portrayed as a rogue of a reporter.
Les Hinton, the chairman of News International, appeared before a parliamentary committee and told MPs he had carried out a full investigation into the case and he was convinced that Goodman had been acting alone. The Press Complaints Commission also claimed they could find no evidence that Coulson knew anything about these illegal activities. Although he was strangely not interviewed by the PCC.
On July 9, 2007, David Cameron appointed Andy Coulson as Conservative Party Director of Communications on a salary of £450,000 a year. Why? Maybe because he is the man who knows all the secrets of the politicians.
The police supported this view that Coulson did not know anything by not bringing any more prosecutions against News of the World reporters. However, we now know that the police did have a great deal of information about large-scale phone hacking by Murdoch’s journalists. For example, Glenn Mulcaire had been paid £2,000 a month as a retainer fee for News Corporation. Evidence suggests he had been working for 37 different journalists. Mulcaire’s work had resulted in several scoops including those against the socialist politician, Tommy Sheridan.
Why did the police not follow up cases against these 37 journalists? You must wonder how much did Murdoch pay to the police to stop these prosecutions?
The problem is that some policemen earn extra money by selling information to the press and other interested parties. One of them tipped off Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballer’s Association, that his phone had been hacked by Glenn Mulcaire. He therefore decided to sue News Corporation. In September 2007, News Corporation paid Taylor and two of his football contacts, over a £1 million in a case that was held in secret. The people involved promised not to reveal details of the case. The High Court then joined in the conspiracy by sealing the evidence obtained from the police.
Someone tipped off Nick Davies, a reporter, about what had happened and the story appeared in Guardian. Rupert Murdoch immediately announced he knew nothing about this £1 million payout. This surely can be proved to be a lie.
The Guardian also provided a list of some of the people whose phones were hacked by Mulcaire. This included several cabinet ministers, including John Prescott, the former deputy prime minister. This obviously has implications for national security. However, Prescott insists the police never told him that attempts had been made to hack his phone.
The most amazing response was from the police. Assistant Commissioner John Yates quickly issued a statement that the police were unwilling to reopen the investigation into the case. Yates was of course the man who led the investigation into the corruption of Tony Blair and decided that he should not be prosecuted for any offences. I wonder how much money he was paid to reach this conclusion? How much was he paid for the statement?
Other than the Guardian and the BBC, the rest of the media are doing what they can to ignore this story. One former editor of the Sun claimed that the whole story is a “socialist conspiracy”. The reason that even non-Murdoch papers are ignoring the story, it is that they have also relied on illegal phone hacking to get their stories and are worried where all this will lead. How many journalists will end up in prison for these offences?
News Corporation has at last replied to the allegations made in the Guardian. They have now admitted that they did pay Gordon Taylor and two other men, over £1 million over the hacking into mobile phones. This seems very generous of them, as they have also said that journalists working for the organization have not hacked into anybody’s phones other than that involving Clive Goodman and the royal family.
This admission also shows that Les Hinton, the chairman of News International, lied when he told a parliamentary committee that he had carried out a full investigation into the case and he was convinced that Goodman had been acting alone. The same goes for Sir Christopher Meyer, chairman of the Press Complaints Commission, when he claimed that his investigation showed that other News of the World journalists were not involved in phone hacking.
It has also been revealed that Stuart Kuttner, the managing editor of the News of the World, approved all payments to Glenn Mulcaire, the private detective used in phone hacking. He resigned, however, News Corporation is claiming that the resignation had nothing to do with phone hacking.
The real struggle will be to get the High Court to the unsealing of the documents that were used to establish that the News of the World did illegally hack into Gordon Taylor’s phone. Even when the sealing of documents that prove illegal activity has taken place, courts are reluctant to act in these cases. It seems that police cover-ups have to be protected at all costs. After all, we cannot be allowed to know that we have a corrupt police force.
The House of Commons Select Committee are trying to get the police to release all the evidence they have on, how News Corporation journalists obtained information by hacking into people’s phones. Apparently, parliament does not have the power to do this and as it will reveal police corruption, they are unlikely to approve this request.
One suggestion is the police were blackmailed into restricting their investigation into phone hacking. It would not be surprising to discover that journalists working for News Corporation hold on senior figures at the Metropolitan Police.
Moving into the United States
Bill Casey was one of the key men in the acquisition of media after WW2. It was one of his young German immigrants who were sent back to Germany after the war to take over Bertelsmann and build it up. Rupert Murdoch was very tight with Shackley, which is how he got launched on his global acquisitions and has now taken over the WSJ, which is the World Street Journal. Murdoch was running a failed national newspaper in Australia while Shackley was station chief in Australia. Then suddenly he becomes a US citizen literally overnight and goes on an endless buying spree. Shackley's was getting richer by the second. At the time, Murdoch was facing the likely closure of his newspaper THE AUSTRALIAN. His ticket out was Shackley. This also explains why Murdoch was allowed to break all the rules in taking over of all the media in America.
In the run-up to the 1972 election, Murdoch's paper The Australian was a keen Whitlam supporter, donating some $75,000 in free advertising. By 1975, with Peer de Silva, John Denley Walker and Milton Wonus CIA station chiefs, Murdoch had turned savagely against the Labour government, to the extent there were demonstrations outside The Australian's Sydney offices. Murdoch's role was part of a longer-term CIA operation to destroy Labour’s powerful leftwing and install Bob Hawke and his CIA-affiliated cronies in the New South Wales Right faction, who hosted Bernie Houghton and the merry band called Nugan Hand. Shackley and Walker particularly despised Whitlam who had tolerated the left and believed in Australia's dictatorship!
Murdoch did the same in Britain switching his support from the Conservative Party to the Labour Party in 1997. As we now know, the Labour Party followed a right-wing agenda after they came to power. A senior Blair secretary, Lance Price, reported in his memoirs that Blair always consulted with Murdoch before announcing any major policy decision. Blair is rumoured had been recruited by MI5 in the 1970s to spy on CND Campaign of Nuclear Disarmament activists in the Labour Party. He also took CIA funded trips to the United States in the 1980s. Gordon Brown also went on those trips so don't expect any change since he became prime minister.
William Kristol is an American conservative political analyst and a regular commentator on the Fox News Channel. He wrote the pnac book The Project of a New American Century which is a neo-con manifesto right wing think thank which is to take over the world globally and take control of all the economy.
Murdoch right wing media helped get their war against Afghanistan. They got their war against Iraq. After Iraq, they plan to get their wars against Syria, Lebanon, Iran and Saudi Arabia. They are getting themselves prepared for the big one, which will be us.
Murdoch with the control he has over the mainstream media has an extraordinary amount of power over public opinion and even the way some people act and think. All his media shares a common agenda, which gives only one perspective, which is promoted as the right perspective. Any groups that appear subversive or are attempting to bring about a real radical social change, like ourselves, we would be described as jokers and even terrorists as a method of turning people away from alternative ideas.
Murdoch's Empire is not simply just a commercial profit–fuelled industry, but a tool and psychological weapon that is used to cater for acceptance of a certain political agenda.If we, as a movement want people to support our ideas and begin to realise the true ills of capitalism, they have to become aware of people like Rupert Murdoch, and the power individuals it can have over influencing the way people think.
How are people ever going to begin thinking for themselves if they believe that by reading both the Sunday times, and the daily mirror that they are reading two sides to a story? How can we expect for their radical change where people refuse to acknowledge that journalists do lie, media is organised and that it is a major propaganda tool, to help maintain the ruling order and current capitalist consumerist way of life.
People need to become aware of this fact. With this realisation of how their lives, minds, hobbies, interests, personal opinions are being manipulated to serve the interests of greedy co-operations, profit fuelled individuals and corrupt systems of government, people will become aware of the true reality of this corrupt capitalist world, and start looking towards the building of another world and begin to organise for radical social change.
This is an educational on Rupert Murdoch and the Western Media, given to the Cork WSM branch in August 2009.