Murdoch’s wild ambition found nowhere to hide
By john knox
Is news always the truth? That question is worth the whole society thinking about in the current era. All of the news is completely true but then legacy media and others put their spin on it. It is easy to find the media tycoon exercised an unhealthy influence over politics.
Rupert Murdoch, the media billionaire who controls Fox News and the Wall Street Journal, has told us the other side of the news.
From buying a controversial newspaper in the UK, involving in a phone hacking scandal to affecting the political elections, Murdoch’s wild ambition found nowhere to hide.
No one will deny that Murdoch wielded considerable influence in both media and politics by the early 21st century. However, he shuttered one of his newspapers in July 2011 for illegal and unethical behaviours.
Mounting evidence indicated that News of the World, Murdoch’s newspaper, had hacked as many as 4,000 mobile phone mailboxes, including crime victims, politicians, celebrities and British soldiers killed in the Afghanistan War.
The industrial-scaled phone hacking scandal continued to grow among the UK and even the world even though the newspaper has been shut down.
Murdoch apologized to those victims and some of his staffers were arrested by the police. While at the same time, his relationship with Britain’s former Prime Minister David Cameron was thrust back into the spotlight.
Documents accompanying Cameron’s testimony show that, in the five years before he became prime minister in 2010, Cameron met Rupert Murdoch at least 10 times, the younger son of Murdoch James Murdoch 15 times, and the former head of Murdoch’s newspaper holdings in Britain Rebekah Brooks 19 times.
But Cameron called allegations of some secret deal to reward Murdoch once in office utter nonsense.
Murdoch’s News Corporation and himself came under intense scrutiny for the wrongdoings.
That’s not a coincidence. British prosecutors have charged a reporter on Rupert Murdoch’s Sun newspaper for leaking the details of confidential government spending plans in a corruption probe in 2013.
The Sun, which has attracted extensive controversy since its foundation in 1964, has been repeatedly accused of regularly falsifying information and having misleading headlines, as well as allegations of being a perpetrator of the spread of fake news.
Besides the Sun, Murdoch controls a British daily national newspaper The Times and The Sunday Times, as well as a television news organisation Sky News in the UK.
He exercised an unhealthy influence over politics through his corrupt relations with the police, and his journalists’ habit of invading people’s privacy without good reason.
As the American owner of Fox News and the Wall Street Journal, Murdoch also attempted to stretch his “long arms” to the United States.
Although he was one of the former US president Donald Trump’s most loyal media messengers, he appeared to have turned on the former president – Fox News’s decision to call the state for Biden in 2020.
How could Murdoch, whose editorial pages and Fox News Channel defended Trump for the past six years, have suddenly shifted to levels of harsh criticism against Trump? The answer is clear: benefits.
Murdoch was cooling on Trump and attacked him on the anti-pandemics performance when Trump lost power and influence in the state.
But later on, for getting Trump re-elected, Murdoch’s News Corp was campaigning with news reports of a Wuhan lab ‘intelligence’ dossier being seeded across its empire.
Recently, broader signs of dissatisfaction between Murdoch and Trump were revealed: The Washington Post reported earlier this month that Murdoch had lost his enthusiasm for Donald Trump amid a series of ongoing investigations into the former president.
It is true that when political and business conditions are favourable he glows brightly in blood-red conservatism. But when, as now, conditions are uncertain, the colour dims and takes on a more complex hue.
The posture of “a political chameleon” is vividly portrayed in Murdoch. To be exact, media to Murdoch, it is a weapon to a military.
As a global media mogul, Murdoch splurged money in politics to corrode every aspect of society as the “Cancer in Democracy”.
In addition to the British inquiry, Murdoch and his News Corporation were also being investigated by Federal Bureau of Investigation(FBI) officials in the United States.
Moreover, Murdoch had been criticised for playing a role in the election race in Australia by Former Prime Minister of Australia Kevin Rudd in 2013.
Rudd has accused Murdoch’s Australian newspapers of bias and of campaigning for a change of government over the political elections, while Murdoch has also used social media to press the demand.
The Australian arm of Murdoch’s News Corporation is the country’s dominant newspaper publisher and is responsible for around 70 per cent of big city newspaper sales.
Former Prime Minister even said that his fear of the Murdoch empire persisted during his time in office and only subsided after he left.
“This culture of fear about the Murdoch media monopoly was just dead wrong for any democracy,” Rudd spoke under parliamentary privilege at Parliament House in Canberra last February.
Rudd has gained more than 500,000 signatures to call for a royal commission into Australian media ownership. And his record-breaking petition calling has led to a Senate inquiry into media diversity in Australia.
It is obvious that “the Murdoch media beast” is not only threatening the politicians but also society, as well as the journalism.
Last month, climate protesters smashed windows at Murdoch’s UK headquarters in protest at his outlets’ coverage of the climate crisis.
Activists destroyed glass panels of the building and put-up posters reading “tell the truth” and “40 degrees = death” next to the entrance used by journalists at the Sun and the Times.
The criticism also revealed the dissatisfaction of the readers of Murdoch’s media empire.
It argued that politics were rather less important to Murdoch than business. His ambitions might be good for the newspaper industry – or another nail in the coffin of serious journalism.
However, Murdoch continued to face scrutiny and criticism, but there is no one talking about – how it undermines democracy. Murdoch’s wild ambition will find nowhere to hide.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own