Sunday, July 24, 2011


from Richard Metzger at DangerousMinds:
With the entire world talking about Rupert Murdoch today—even Fox News got around to mentioning the News of the World phone-hacking scandal three days after everyone else covered it—BBC documentarian Adam Curtis had a dig through the Beeb’s archive to see what lurked there that might shed some new light on Murdoch’s career. He found some real gems:
Following the principle that you should know your enemy, the BBC has assiduously recorded the relentless rise of Rupert Murdoch and his assault on the old “decadent” elites of Britain.

And I thought it would be interesting to put up some of the high points.

It is also a good way to examine how far his populist rhetoric is genuine, and how far its is a smokescreen to disguise the interests of another elite.
Curtis has posted eight video clips of varying length and they are absolutely fascinating. I’ve not seen much footage of Murdoch in his 30s and 40s and 50s and some of it is revelatory, especially hearing Murdoch describe himself as some sort of moralist or populist crusader in the Panorama episode titled “Who’s Afraid of Rupert Murdoch?” It’s interesting to hear how he felt about himself when he was younger. I can’t embed the clips, but I highly recommend taking a look if you have any interest in Murdoch.

More on Murdoch from Curtis:
The British establishment decided Murdoch was not a gentleman. And then he did something much worse. He announced he was going to publish the memoirs of Christine Keeler in the News of the World. Keeler was a “model” whose liaison with a government minister John Profumo in 1963 had ruined Harold MacMillan’s government.

But since then Profumo had redeemed himself in the eyes of the establishment by going off to work for a charity in the east end of London. So when the News of the World published the sordid details of the affair, the whole of London society was scandalised. Murdoch was unearthing a scandal that should have been dead and buried, and destroying one of their own.

And, they said, he was doing it with the sole interest of lining his own pocket. Murdoch was seen as sleazy and destructive.

And this is where his monstrous image began. The man who had first taught Murdoch journalism on the Daily Express in the 1950s summed it up:

“The trouble is - Rupert was regarded as the Supreme Satan”
It’s worth noting that when you consider the general fear and mistrust of Murdoch that has clearly been on display since the late 1960s, he’s got a gazillion times more power, money and influence now. If these observations were true about him then, they are far truer today, that’s for sure

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