Posts Tagged ‘Rupert Murdoch’

The Times They Are a-Changin’

April 7, 2019

News stories contribute to history, and history sometimes forms patterns. These patterns, in turn, may or may not be recognizable or even sensible. Interpretation of these patterns comprise much of analysis. Interpretation can come in many forms. Some of the news of the recent past forming a pattern, of sorts, would include, but not be limited to, the social interrogation of the behavioral interactions of Joe Biden, the recent heart surgery of Mick Jagger, the firing of SPLC founder Morris Dees, and lest we forget, the family reunion of Rupert Murdoch. A pattern? Other than being a bunch of hyper successful white guys from roughly the same generation there doesn’t seem to be much else they have in common. Biden is under the scope for having a squeaky clean reputation of going home to his family on the train to Delaware every evening from the senate. Though not being accused of philandering, his touchy feely mode of “pressing the flesh” is considered discomforting today, a violation of personal space. Mick has been strutting his personal brand of sexuality on stage for over a half century. Prepping for more of the same, reportedly up to twelve miles of walking around on stage per performance, his heart gave out. He is projected to continue performing after heart surgery. “Dees, 82, was fired last month for unspecified misconduct, igniting a rush of speculation about what had come between him and the organization he built into a legal and fundraising behemoth. The nonprofit said that Dees had acted in ways that did not reflect “the mission of the organization.” Internal documents reviewed by The Post, along with interviews with current and former employees, suggest that the celebrated civil rights organization had been bitterly at odds with its founder for several years. Those battles have centered on his refusal to retire, his behavior toward women and his comments regarding race, according to the documents, the employees and Dees himself.” (Years of turmoil and complaints led the Southern Poverty Law Center to fire its founder Morris Dees, Washington Post, Neena Satija, Wesley Lowery, Beth Reinhard, 4-5-19). And Rupert? Big family reunion celebrating the recent partial sale of Fox to Disney amidst his global media empire, etc. (closed to the press, of course). OK, his fourth wife was one of Mick Jagger’s lady friends but that wouldn’t involve Dees or Biden. Not much in common with these geezers, other than being geezers. A teleplay by Rod Serling would indicate otherwise. Like most of Serling’s work, it says more about the viewer than the viewed. The 1956 award winning teleplay (later made into a movie) was entitled Requiem for a Heavyweight. In a nutshell it was about a heavyweight boxer, not exactly a contender, who was presented with an alternate possibility but in the end returns to contention as a wrestler (fall guy). Of course there is more to it than that, but getting beat up before a crowd is all that Harlan “Mountain” McClintock knows. The similarity to our four candidates is that they, in turn, continue with the pursuit which is “all that they know.” It is hard to imagine, especially in this age of click bait “how to retire early,” that any of our hyper successful four didn’t entertain alternate possibilities after achieving success. But the crowds love ‘em. What is it that the crowds love? That’s not readily apparent in the disparity of our four. Maybe to the critical reader, but to the crowd it is akin to the old Willie Sutton quote about bank robbing –“because that’s where the money is.” Biden, Jagger, Dees, Murdoch, and others are the producers of success, the mega million lottery winners. Like with Harlan McClintock, the crowds pay for admission to follow the action in the ring, win or lose. But “the times, they are a-changin’” (Bob Dylan, another old curmudgeon who actually chooses alternate possibilities). Is the crowd changing?

Increasingly Unbearable

August 24, 2018

8-22-18 Dear Leader tweeted “I have asked Secretary of State @SecPompeo to closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large scale killing of farmers. “South African Government is now seizing land from white farmers.” @TuckerCarlson @FoxNews”. What is this all about? “Large scale killings of farmers”?? Analysis is not alone. Many news sources have pondered this as there is no indication of mass killings in this part of the world. Corruption in government, yes. Mass killings, no. The South African government was outraged by this reference to something that is not (remember the illegal voters and the president’s electoral commission which, along with the claims for the biggest inauguration crowd in history, just got replaced by other newer non events?). But asking the Secretary of State to closely study a non event is quite another matter (especially when you’ve recalled him from continued talks with North Korea after signaling that the breakthrough merited a Nobel Prize for the POTUS). The Washington Post gave some background to a very prickly situation in Zimbabwe and South Africa: “stretches back to the early 20th century, when South Africa’s Natives Land Act of 1913 stripped black people of the right to own land outside specific plots set aside for them. The restriction tightened during the apartheid era, as the governing National Party created desolate ‘homelands’ for black people.” Although a legal framework for land restitution emerged with the end of apartheid in 1994, the process has been “slow and riddled with bureaucratic uncertainty.”” Salon’s Chauncy Devega cites “In the Huffington Post, Jessica Schulberg and Akbar Shahid Ahmed explain that 25 years after the end of apartheid, South African whites (about 8 percent of the population) still own 72 percent of privately-held farmland, while about 10 percent of the total population — overwhelmingly but not exclusively white — control 90 percent of South Africa’s wealth.” (Trump goes full white supremacy with South Africa tweet: Does he want a “race war”? 8-24-18). Devega goes on to reference that “Meanwhile the Guardian’s Jason Burke debunks the claim that white farmers are being singled out for racist violence, writing that murders of farmers are at a 20-year low, and have declined consistently since the late 1990s. These lower numbers “contradict recent reports in Australian and other western media describing white farmers in South Africa facing ‘a surge in violence,’” he writes, adding that dozens of nonwhite farmers have also been killed in recent years.” Devega, being interested in the white supremacy motivation of the POTUS policy, disregards the global implication. Burke’s colleague at The Gaurdian takes up where Devega fails to go. The banner line of Jason Wilson’s in depth study reveals the story – White farmers: how a far-right idea was planted in Donald Trump’s mind. The far right: The idea that there is a ‘genocide’ of white farmers in South Africa was once the province of conspiracy theorists but, thanks to News Corp’s media promotion, it has moved into the policy realm (8-24-18). The incestuous relationship between News Corp, white supremacist groups and Donald Trump becomes apparent. “The Charleston shooter Dylann Roof was obsessed, like many other white supremacists, with “Rhodesia”, as Zimbabwe was known under white minority rule. As the Christian Science Monitor reported in the wake of his massacre, the fates of the two countries are “held up as proof of the racial inferiority of blacks; and the diminished stature of whites is presented as an ongoing genocide that must be fought”.” The POTUS connection lies with the former Australian immigrant, now American citizen, and loyal friend of the prez, Rupert Murdoch (founder/owner of News Corp, Wall Street Journal, Fox News, etc.). “In March, the alleged plight of the farmers became the subject of a campaign by News Corp tabloids in Australia. In a preview of Trump’s response, the News Corp intervention led the then home affairs minister, Peter Dutton, to float a short-lived proposal to give preferential immigration treatment to farmers. The move was praised by white nationalists on forums like Stormfront, and cited by rightwingers of all kinds as evidence of the issue’s importance.” “But, as in Australia, the crucial step in creating a policy proposal issue appears to have been advocacy by a News Corp outlet, in this case Tucker Carlson’s program. Indeed, News Corp now appears to be a crucial conduit for far-right ideas to reach governments. This development has been celebrated overnight by the racist far right, but so too has the whole process by which “white genocide” has become a matter of broader public debate. Earlier this year, an anonymous podcaster on the white genocide-focused “White Rabbit Radio” said: “This was the province of Stormfront five, 10 years ago, white genocide in South Africa. Now it is mainstream.”” The human toll of this collaboration of manufactured non-existent issues and episodes, and their strong armed dissemination can be evidenced by an unrelated report of the same day. Salon’s Rachel Leah headlines: Why are Fox News reporters fleeing the network? Two reporters reportedly cited objections to the direction of the network since Donald Trump became president (8-24-18). “Two Fox News reporters in the last three weeks have departed from the network, reportedly after feeling frustrated with the cable news giant’s direction and tone in the Trump era. Adam Housley, a Los Angeles-based reporter who had been a part of the network since 2001, plans to depart the network soon. Two former Fox News employees told Politico that Housley complained of a decline in opportunity for non-pundit personalities.” “Conor Powell, who served as Middle East correspondent at Fox News for nine years, reportedly left Fox News for similar reasons. Powell’s former colleague and friend told Politico that the reporter felt like network had moved away from news in favor of opinion. Both Powell and Housley’s reasons for leaving the network after years of working there, signal frustration over a network that seemed to marginalize the news and those who were reporting it, a problem that has become increasingly unbearable with President Donald Trump in office.”