What's Behind NY Post's Media Hazing of Mayor?
Will Billionaire Rupert Murdoch Profit from NY Post Attack Stories?
The NY Post's incredible barrage of attack stories on NYC Mayor de Blasio this past month led me to believe that something was amiss.
Is the NY Post Misinforming the Public?
After a month long barrage of attack (ads?) stories regarding the Mayor's campaign funding, someone reading the NY Post might come away believing that Mayor de Blasio had already been convicted on numerous counts of breaking the law. As you will see later in this story, this would not be the first time the Murdoch organization's audience was not just uninformed - but rather misinformed.
In America, we still have a choice of who provides us with our information, so that said, if one read a newspaper that generally conforms to the professional standards of American journalism, like the New York Times, they would know that,
"It is not clear how direct a role, if any, the mayor played in some of these matters." - NYT April 29, 2016
Infomercials Presented as News?
Murdoch's organization publishes and broadcasts 'news' accounts that appear to make significant departures from the professional standards of American journalism. I began thinking that Rupert Murdoch has found a way to skirt campaign finance laws, because many of Murdoch's organization's 'news reporting' seems more like long-winded political infomercials than anything resembling a 'fair and balanced' news report. This is especially disconcerting given that Murdoch's $60 billion plus in revenue media companies include the NY Post, Fox News, The Wall Street Journal and dozens more media properties in America and hundreds worldwide.
Just Because They Say it's So, Doesn't Mean it's So
The NYS Board of Elections says,
"Independent Expenditures Do Not Include Expenditures in Connection with... A written news story, commentary, or editorial or a news story, commentary, or editorial distributed through the facilities of any broadcasting station, cable or satellite, unless such publication or facilities are owned or controlled by any political party, political committee or candidate ..."
Has Murdoch's organization found a way to skirt campaign finance laws by making huge, undisclosed, payment-in-kind, independent media expenditures in support of their preferred candidates while attacking their political opponents in order to push a self-interested Murdoch agenda, by running infomercials and attack ads as news stories?
Does this practice enable The Murdoch to become a string-pulling unelected politician himself, and put him in a position to make Murdoch organization supported candidates, political puppets?
Rupert's NY Post Goes After Mayor like Rabid Dog
That's more than three stories per day - and not a single one was positive [a few were neutral]. The stories were authored by 20 reporters, some of whom shared the bylines. This is the equivalent of having the entire editorial staff of a medium-sized American daily newspaper, working full time on publishing stories about just one government official.
I'm pretty sure that the Washington Post didn't dedicate this kind of resource to covering the Nixon Watergate scandal in the early 1970's. It seems like overkill, which is generally indicative that something is not right.
I say "not right" because it has been my experience that this kind of overzealous attack oftentimes reflects more upon the prosecutor than the prosecuted. As Shakespeare said, "I think the Lady [Murdoch] doth protest too much."
Abusive, Power-Hungry Media Moguls in Film - 1941 & 1997
While working on this story I found some parallels to the 1997 James Bond movie, Tomorrow Never Dies. In the movie, Eliot Carver is an evil media mogul who uses his printing presses and television stations to hype a war between Britain and China so he can drive up the ratings of a new satellite network and other news properties, AND claim exclusive broadcasting rights in China in exchange for helping a General conspire to become Chinese President.
Just five years later, in 2002, the NYT published a piece which they entitled 'Mr. Murdoch's War' which was about how stridently Murdoch urged the U.S. and Britain to go to war in Iraq, which we'll discuss in more detail later in this story.
During my research a character profile of multi-billionaire Murdoch began to emerge that was something right out of the film Citizen Kane. Kane was portrayed by Orson Welles in the 1941 film as a self-involved, self-interested, power-hungry media mogul.
It's worth noting that 1941 was the same year that the FCC capped TV media ownership by a single person / entity at 35%. Some pundits allege that the FCC ownership limit rule was overturned in 2002, because of behind-the-scenes influence exerted by Rupert Murdoch. I'll provide some more detail about the FCC changes a bit later in this story.
The image to your right shows a listing of the barrage of NY Post stories, based on allegations and innuendo, attacking Mayor de Blasio in just three days of April of 2016. The barrage of attack coverage in the NY Post has more the character of a propaganda machine, than a real news outlet that conforms to the American standards of journalism.
Click this link for the rest of Story & Video About how Murdoch's NY Post appears to be used as propaganda machine working to oust the NYC Mayor.
What's Behind NY Post's Media Hazing of Mayor?
Murdoch History: Coincidental Events or Corruption?
NewsCorp Influence on Elections Followed by Gov't Rulings in their Favor
We found three examples of Murdoch's news organization appearing to meddle in the electoral process. In a couple of these examples Murdoch seemed to use his media assets as propaganda machines, rather than as real news outlets. The political candidates Murdoch's organization supported that won, subsequently made changes to media regulations that were favorable to Murdoch's organization, or presided over regulatory review of proposed Murdoch changes, or offerred no-bid contract to a subsidiary of Murdoch's organization.
I. Quid Pro Quo?
A. Murdoch Supports Bush Victory & Subsequent FCC Expansion of TV Ownership Limits
Billionaire Media Mogul Murdoch appears to be treating the governments - and by extension the people - of America and Britain like banana republics.
On election night, November 7, 2000, all of the networks [ABC, CBS, NBC & FOX] had declared Al Gore the winner of Florida, based on exit polls. Murdoch's Fox News had hired John Prescott Ellis, a cousin of George W. Bush, as a consultant to announce the winners in each state. At around 2.16 am, the morning after the election, Ellis and Fox News declared Bush the winner of Florida, based on 85% of the voting returns from Florida, where George W. Bush's brother's [Jeb] was Governor.
The next morning the NY Post, one of the three daily papers in the nation's media capital New York City, came out with a definitive issue declaring "BUSH WINS" in big bold type. Murdoch's News Organization had reset the narrative of the election, and even though Bush had lost the popular vote by over a half million, he was sworn in as President in January 2001 having questionably won Florida's electoral votes.
Billionaire Media Mogul Keith Rupert Murdoch’s support of the presidency of George W. Bush proved to be highly beneficial to his organization. In 2001, shortly after assuming office, the Bush Administration FCC Chairman Michael Powell began reviewing the possibility of expanding TV ownership limits, which had been set at 35% in 1941, during the administration of FDR.
The Federal Communications Commission [FCC] states that the ownership limits were set to,
“… foster a vibrant marketplace of ideas, promote vigorous competition, and ensure that broadcasters continue to serve the needs and interests of their local communities.”
In September of 2003, in a rare and immediate bi-party Congressional response, both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives forwarded a resolution of disapproval and made plans to reset the ownership limits back to 35%.
But instead of staying the course and challenging President George W. Bush, Congressional leaders negotiated a deal to allow TV ownership coverage in the nation of 39%, grandfathering Vivendi and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, thus enabling them to keep all of their stations. This extension of TV station coverage ownership, provided Murdoch's organization with a competitive advantage.
B. Murdoch Supports British Prime Minister & Subsequent Regulatory Oversight of Murdoch's Proposed BSkyB Acquisition
According to the Guardian, Billionaire Media Mogul Keith Rupert Murdoch and his son, James, are reported to have met with Jeremy Hunt in 2009 in New York, during which time pundits opine that the Murdochs decided to make a bid to acquire the rest of British Sky Broadcasting, and to switch the Murdoch's organization's support from the Labour Party candidate, Gordon Brown [father of the phone hacking victim son with Cystic Fibrosis whose medical records were hacked by Murdoch hires] - to the Conservative Party candidate for Prime Minister, David Cameron.
British Sky Broadcasting is one of the top two internet and phone companies in Britain and the nation's largest pay TV provider. Cameron went on to become the British Prime Minister, and Coulson, a former Murdoch organization man, who was alleged [and convicted in 2014] to have played a role in the scandal, was appointed by Prime Minister Cameron to be his top press person. When things got hot, Prime Minister Cameron fired him, and apologized to the British public.
But the heat didn't deter Cameron from promoting another of questionable character, Jeremy Hunt.
The image at right shows two of Murdoch's publications telling their readers exactly who to vote for, and that they HAVE ONLY ONE CHOICE. Do you think that they're recommending billionaire media mogul Keith Rupert Murdoch's choice?
Quid Pro Quo: Why England Slept?
According to the BBC [British Broadcasting Company], one of the things that came out during the hacking inquiries, was that the same Jeremy Hunt who in 2009 met with the Billionaire Murdoch in New York prior to Cameron's bid for Prime Minister, was also entrusted by Cameron with the regulatory oversight of the Murdoch's British Sky Broadcasting acquisition.
A June 25, 2014 report by Bloomberg states,
“May 31, 2012: U.K. Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt testifies to the Leveson inquiry after criticism he was too close to News Corp. when he was in charge of regulatory scrutiny of the bid for BSkyB.”
Emails were found which appeared to be from Jeremy Hunt [JH], to a Public Relations firm in the employ of billionaire media mogul Keith Rupert Murdoch. The emails reportedly sought "guidance". Hunt denied that there was any "back channel" with Murdoch's organization. The opposition party declared it was "collusion" by Cameron's Administration with Rupert Murdoch's company. Hunt was later appointed to become the Health Secretary for Cameron in 2013, even after a vote of no confidence.
Undeterred? Companies controlled by Rupert Murdoch now largely control British Sky Broadcasting [his son James is Chairman of Sky PLC which is BSkyB's primary shareholder]. So Murdoch's has control of it, even if his control is not entirely supported by majority share ownership. BSkyB recently expanded their licensing of European airwaves through the acquistion of Sky Italia [Italy] and Sky Deutschland [Germany] which essentially gave Murdoch's organization a lot of cash which they could use to purchase the shares of British Sky Broadcasting that they do not already own.
According to a September 19, 2014 report in the Guardian,
"Chase Carey, the president of 21st Century Fox, has hinted that a renewed bid to take full control of BSkyB remains on the cards"
Would you trust an organization, whose hires had been convicted of criminal hacking to obtain private information from citizens' phones? Would you trust an organization, which subsquently published & broadcast the private information to increase its ratings and newspaper sales, to be your nation's internet and phone service provider?
C. Murdoch's NY Post Endorses Cuomo & Subsequent NYS No-Bid Deal Negotiations with a Murdoch Subsidiary
Murdoch's NY Post endorsed Andrew Cuomo for New York State governor in 2010. About a year later, in the summer of 2011, Murdoch's organization was very close to closing a no-bid contract which would have made a Murdoch subsidiary, the service provider responsible for tracking students' performance.
Unfortunately for Murdoch, the criminal phone hacking scandal, wherein people from his company intercepted people's private communications and then publicized them, became big news just before the deal closed. And, thus the explosive scandal nixed the no-bid deal.
Given the multi-millionaire Hedge Fund efforts to privatize public education, I couldn't help but wonder if there wasn't more than one Murdoch misinformation agenda at play. And again the issue of trust arises, especially entrusting Murdoch with children's information, given his reckless disregard for adults' private information.
According to Wikipedia, in response to the phone hacking scandal,
"The week of 22 August 2011, Wireless Generation, a subsidiary of News Corporation, lost a no-bid contract with New York State to build an information system for tracking student performance as a direct consequence of the News International phone hacking scandal. Citing, ". . . vendor responsibility issues with the parent company of Wireless Generation," state comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said that the revelations surrounding News Corporation had made the final approval of the contract "untenable"."
Is Murdoch's Propaganda Post used to Pick Pliable Politicians?
This third coincidence leads us to consider the possibility of an NYC or NYS profit motive behind Murdoch's NY Post's barrage of attack stories on Mayor de Blasio. Maybe Mayor de Blasio just isn't doing what Rupert Murdoch wants, so Rupert Murdoch has decided to lay the groundwork to replace him. See quote above regarding Murdoch's preference for British versus European Union government officials, because "they do what I say".
Perhaps Mayor de Blasio hasn't been obedient to Master Media Mogul Keith Rupert Murdoch.
II. Propaganda Power & Setting Public Policy: "Mr. Murdoch’s War"
The Iraq War Cost U.S. Taxpayers $Trillion(s)
There was an April 2003 story in the NYT entitled 'Mr. Murdoch's War' which provides an account of Murdoch's purported public interest in convincing the U.S. and the U.K. to go to war with Iraq.
The NYT headline references a quote attributed to another Media Mogul of over a century ago - William Randolph Hearst. On January 28, 1898, press lord William Randolph Hearst was reported to have telegraphed a reporter,
"You furnish the pictures and I'll furnish the war."
In a 2003 interview with the Bulletin, an Australian magazine, multi-billionaire Murdoch was quoted as saying,
“… I think [President George W.] Bush is acting very morally, very correctly … [regarding the pursuit of a war in Iraq]“
In 2003, Fortune magazine quoted Murdoch as saying,
"The greatest thing to come out of this [the Iraq War] for the world economy ... would be $20 a barrel for oil. That's bigger than any tax cut in any country."
Was the Propagandist using Political Puppets to start Wars for Ratings?
Murdoch's interest in war appeared to follow in the footsteps of another well-known publisher of yellow journalism - William Randolph Hearst. RKO Radio Pictures released a movie in 1941 entitled Citizen Kane, that characterized the power-hungry, mega-millionaire of a century ago.
Some believe that Murdoch was far more interested in pursuing the war because it would increase his broadcast properties ratings and newspaper circulation sales around the world. They also thought that his expressed interest in the cheap price of oil was merely a subterfuge to his real objective.
Value of News Rating(s) can be $Billion(s) Per Year
A war for ratings seems ridiculous, until you do the math. I did a very rough, back-of-the-envelope calculation, using a one point rating increase in the 18 - 54 demographic on daily national TV, which is the equivalent of adding 1.3 million viewers.
The cost per thousand [CPM] is between $25 - $45. So, for a half hour news show, airing 11 commercials, and running just six months, there's the potential to bring in somewhere in the neighborhood of an additional $100 million in the United States alone in 2015.
Now multiply by 48 because some media companies have 24 hour cable news channels, and then add in media properties around the world, including many newspapers, and an increase of ratings from war can add up to $billion(s) for a global media company, like the one controlled by Rupert Murdoch.
The trillion dollar plus COST of the Iraq war was SOCIALIZED because it was footed by the American [and British] taxpayers and their children. I say their children because the Iraq War was fought on borrowed money. But the Murdoch organization's PROFITS were PRIVATIZED.
It is the Iraq War, its attendant debt and other related costs to the English-speaking nations that participated in it, that will be one of Keith Rupert Murdoch's largest and longest lasting legacies. As it was, as the New York Times said, Mr. Murdoch's War.
Billionaire Media Mogul Abusing Power of the Press?
Media Mogul Murdoch isn't the only billionaire appearing to abuse the power of the press to determine which folks are placed in government controlled offices and what policies they should pursue. We witnessed billionaire media mogul Mortimer Zuckerman's NY Daily News, do what appeared to be a similar media hazing to the former Queens Library President in 2014.
Click here to read the story about the Role of Mortimer Zuckerman's Daily News coverage in the Takeover of the Queens Library.
III. Consider The Source: Murdoch Declared 'Unfit' & Criminal Acts
In 2012, only four short years ago, Billionaire Media Mogul Keith Rupert Murdoch was declared "Not a Fit Person" to lead his company. This pronouncement was made by a British public official who led a commission that investigated the criminal operations conducted by people working for the billionaire media mogul's organization.
Murdoch's Hires Convicted of Bribery & Hacking Crimes (911 Victims)
The image to your right shows a page out of The Guardian, one of Britain's most respected newspapers, about the corrupt culture of billionaire media mogul Keith Rupert Murdoch's organization.
The crimes they were convicted of, alleged to have committed, or were arrested for - included bribing government and law enforcement officials; and hacking the phones of relatives of murder victims, relatives of soldiers who died in Afghanistan and Iraq, relatives of the victims of the London terrorist attacks, relatives of 911 victims, a four year old's cystic fibrosis medical records, and the mother of a slain daughter.
It appears Murdoch's organization did this to build viewership for his media outlets. Investigation into similar hacking allegations of the 911 relatives of victims were dropped by the FBI, but reportedly to the dissatisfaction and without the consent of some of those believed to have been affected.
Dial M for Murdoch: Book About Corruption & Billionaire Media Mogul
There's a book sold in the United Kingdom that attempts to capture some of the sordid details about Murdoch's organization's corrupt behavior. The title plays upon a 1954 Alfred Hitchcock movie entitled Dial M for Murder.
This is a quote from Amazon.com in the U.K. where the book is sold.
'This book uncovers the inner workings of one of the most powerful companies in the world: how it came to exert a poisonous, secretive influence on public life in Britain, how it used its huge power to bully, intimidate and cover up, and how its exposure has changed the way we look at our politicians, our police service and our press.'
The Kindle version of the book is less than $10 and might be worthwhile reading for the English-speaking media consuming public.
There's also a website listed at the end of this story, by someone who documented some of Murdoch's organization's 'technical expertise [aka hacking]' in a 402 page online book.
A. Murdoch Org's Targeting of Public Officials? Crimes by Hires
People hired by Billionaire Murdoch's organization were charged with breaking the law while attempting to gather private information about former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. According to an account in the Guardian on July 11, 2011,
"The sheer scale of the data assault on Brown is unusual, with evidence of "attempts" to obtain his [Prime Minister Brown's] legal, financial, tax, and police records as well as to listen to his voicemail. All of these incidents are linked to media organisations. In many cases, there is evidence of a link to News International."
"Brown joins a long list of Labour politicians who are known to have been targeted by private investigators working for News International [Murdoch's organization] ... Confidential health information for Brown's family have reached the media on two different occasions. In October 2006, the then editor of the Sun [owned by Murdoch's organization], Rebekah Brooks, contacted the Browns to tell them that the paper had learned that their four-month-old son Fraser had been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. [Releasing this information to the public] appears to have been a clear breach of the Data Protection Act, which would allow such a disclosure only if it were in the public interest. Friends of the Browns say the call caused them immense distress, since they were only coming to terms with the diagnosis, which had not been confirmed. The Sun [owned by Murdoch's organization] published the story."
News International was owned by Murdoch's organization before they shut it down, which pundits believe was to stifle the chatter about their organization's hires' illegal exploits. They re-opened a newspaper just like it about six months later.
Scotland Yard: Murdoch Organization Hires Illegally Hacked Thousands of Phones
“November 3, 2011 Scotland Yard says that 5,795 people likely had their phones hacked by News of the World [owned & run by Murdoch's organization].”
The Week.com reported that the targets list allegedly included victims of the July 7, 2005, terrorist attack in London.
The BBC reported that Coulson, one of the high ranking hired hands at Murdoch’s News of the World, had apparently signed off on police payments. I believe this charge didn't stick, but the phone hacking charges did, and another hire was found guilty of bribing according to a 2014 story by Crikey, an Australian web magazine.
“July 6, 2011, The Daily Telegraph reports that News of the World had hacked the phones of families of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
"July 14, 2011, the FBI opens an investigation as to whether News Corp hacked the phones of the 911 terrorist attack victims."
This investigation was closed in February of 2015, wherein the representative of the victims called the FBI decision "disappointing".
Apparently the hackings were intended to gather private information to publish as headlines in Murdoch's News of the World and other owned media outlets [like the Sun].
B. Murdoch Org Hires Arrested for Bribes & Hacks
Murdoch Maintains Complete Deniability, Blames Others Beneath Him & Appears to Use His Influence to Clean Up
In an April 4, 2012 update on the Murdoch organization scandal, TheWeek.com reports,
"March 2003 Wade tells a committee of the lower house of Parliament that News of the World [Murdoch's organization] has paid police officers for information; parent company News International says that is not common practice."
According to TheWeek.com's timeline, in December of 2007 James Murdoch [Rupert's son] is appointed Chief Executive of Murdoch's News Corp's European operations.
In July 2009 the Guardian reports that,
“several News of the World journalists had intercepted the voicemails of celebrities and politicians, with the knowledge of senior staff, and that its parent company had paid more than $1.6 million to settle phone-hacking cases that could have unearthed evidence of broader hacking at the paper.”
According to a June 24, 2014 story in Bloomberg,
“July 21, 2009: Under questioning before Parliament’s Culture Committee, News of the World Editor Colin Myler says James Murdoch [Rupert’s son] agreed to the payment to Taylor.”
C. Murdoch Org Criminal Hacking on ‘Near Industrial Scale’
In February 2010 a member of a House of Commons Committee reports that it’s inconceivable that management of the News of the World didn’t know about the “near industrial scale” of the phone-hacking by their organization.
Law Enforcement – Police Refused to Re-open Investigation
Nonetheless, in spite of the facts, British investigators and British law enforcement authorities refused to reopen the case.
Dial M for Murdoch. Remember, law enforcement officials ultimately report to government officials, and some pundits believe that too many government officials report to the billionaire media moguls operating in their jurisdictions.
Much of what follows in this section was sourced from the April 4, 2012 update in TheWeek.com's story entitled Rupert Murdoch's Phone Hacking Scandal: A Timeline.
TheWeek.com states, "September 2010 The New York Times publishes a report ... [which] is also critical of Scotland Yard's efforts to investigate the hacking."
According to Bloomberg story, "Dec. 10, 2010: Prosecutors say they lack evidence to file new hacking charges following New York Times article."
January 26, 2011 Scotland Yard opens a new investigation of News of the World phone hacking, citing new evidence [and Coulson, a top Murdoch organization man, steps down]. Editor's Note - Coulson then lands a top communications post working for British Prime Minister David Cameron, but later is eventually convicted and sentenced.
In April 2011 three employees of Murdoch’s organization are arrested. Murdoch’s company “acknowledges its role”, after previously claiming that there was “no evidence” that management knew of the illegal activities. The company sets up a fund for victims.
In July of 2011, Media Mogul Murdoch and his son James, deny any knowledge of the phone hacking events prior to publication of them by a newspaper not owned by them. Billionaire Keith Rupert Murdoch closes the newspaper caught doing the phone hacking, but opens a new paper with son Lachlan, the Sunday Sun, in February 2012 to replace the News of the World.
July 2011 - Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson, the highest-ranking U.K. police official, steps down, following the police-bribery allegations and revelations that he had hired Neil Wallis [former Murdoch organization employee] as a communications consultant. Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner John Yates, who made the decision not to reopen the phone-hacking investigation in 2009, resigns.
By August of 2011 twelve News Corp employees have been arrested in connection with the phone-hacking scandal. And Hinton, a 52 year veteran of Murdoch's organization and the Publisher of the Wall Street Journal, steps down because he had previously been the CEO of the phone hacking News of the World.
“November 3, 2011 Scotland Yard says that 5,795 people likely had their phones hacked by News of the World.”
According to Bloomberg,
"Jan. 19, 2012: News Corp. settles 36 lawsuits filed by phone-hacking victims including Jude Law and soccer player Ashley Cole. Settlement amounts range from 5,000 pounds to about 100,000 pounds. For the 18 settlements outlined in court, payouts total at least 642,000 pounds plus legal fees."
"February 11, 2012: Five more staff at The Sun and three public officials are arrested as the police probe widens to include bribes by journalists to public servants outside the police force. The investigation, known as Operation Elveden, leads to more than 80 arrests."
The NY Daily News June 30, 2014 reported that some Murdoch employees and hires were convicted of criminal charges for which they had to do a couple years time. This was the second time they were taken to trial. The NY Daily News also stated,
"But a recently surfaced secret letter confirms that police suspect the wrongdoing ran all the way to the top of Murdoch’s media empire.
In the May 18, 2012, letter to Murdoch’s lawyer, Scotland Yard informed the
billionaire and his henchmen that police were probing whether they were in cahoots with the corruption."
Henchmen? Yes, after doing the research that seems an apt description.
D. Lies & Excuses? Murdoch is "Not a Fit Person"
TheWeek.com April 4, 2012 timeline reports,
“July 13, 2011 Rupert Murdoch withdraws his long-sought bid for TV powerhouse British Sky Broadcasting, which days earlier was widely considered a done deal. News Corp retains its 39 percent stake in the company. “
According to a June 25, 2014 Bloomberg report,
“April 26, 2012: Rupert Murdoch testifies to Leveson Inquiry. He blames employees and lawyers for covering up the crimes.”
"On May 1, 2012 the Culture Committee [which had conducted a study investigating Murdoch's organization in the wake of the phone hacking scandal] says Murdoch is “not a fit person” to lead a major international company because he “exhibited willful blindness” to the extent of hacking at the News of the World."
“June 25, 2014: Jury discharged after failing to reach verdicts on remaining bribery charges against Coulson and Goodman.”
As noted above, there were many arrests and some convictions, but like justice in America [remember OJ], never enough and never the people who appear to be pulling the strings behind the curtain.
Innocent Until Proven Guilty - How Much Proof is Needed?
This following account was secretly recorded while Billionaire Rupert Murdoch was talking to his staff at the Sun - one of multiple Murdoch organizations that were implicated in the phone hacking and bribery scandals.
I found this reported by the Independent.co.uk website in a story entitled Caught on Tape: News Corp Boss Rupert Murdoch reveals what he really thinks about bribing public officials. I believe the original source was the investigative website Exaro.
"The idea that the cops then started coming after you, kick you out of bed, and your families, at six in the morning, is unbelievable. But why are the police behaving in this way? It’s the biggest inquiry ever, over next to nothing… I mean, it’s a disgrace. Here we are, two years later, and the cops are totally incompetent.”
“I will do everything in my power to give you total support, even if you’re convicted and get six months or whatever. You’re all innocent until proven guilty. What you’re asking is: what happens if some of you are proven guilty? What afterwards? I’m not allowed to promise you – I will promise you continued health support – but your jobs. I’ve got to be careful what comes out – but frankly, I won’t say it, but just trust me.”
Asked what would happen if he was not around to support them [Murdoch is 85 years old] he said the decision would lie with his son, Lachlan, or Robert Thomson, chief executive of News Corp and former editor of The Times. And you don’t have any worries about either of them.”
The question you, the reader, need to ask yourself is - would you support a staff member who was found guilty of criminally hacking phones and / or bribing officials, if you weren't somehow culpable yourself?
It seems the Murdoch trail of dirty tricks is legendary, as I found plenty more allegations regarding what seemed to be a pattern of unethical and illicit activity by people in the hire of the Murdoch organization. I didn't have the time nor inclination to pursue allegations that Murdoch's organization had tried to intercept information, to cover up their misdeeds, and hacked a competitor's system to make their pay service free [putting the competitor out of business], and so on. I think we have seen enough of the Murdoch's organizational culture to get a sense of who they are, so let's move on.
IV. Is the NY Post a Billionaire Media Mogul's Propagandist Paper?
"State Sponsored News" versus for-profit Propaganda?
James Murdoch Talked about Propaganda in a 2009 public speech:
What's interesting is that the billionaire media mogul Keith Rupert Murdoch and one or more of his heirs, appear to have had the dark art of propaganda on their minds at least as early as seven years ago.
Media Mogul Murdoch's son, James, a top ranking executive in Murdoch's organization, was quoted in an August 28, 2009 Taggart Lecture accusing the BBC, which has long been a standard of news excellence like our own PBS, with the following statement,
"He [James Murdoch] added that the BBC was "dumping free, state-sponsored news on the market".
Murdoch's NY Post Appears to Foam at the Mouth
There are days when Media Mogul Murdoch’s NY Post appears to foam at the mouth with their infective venom.
On Sunday, April 24th there were FIVE negative stories about the Mayor, on Friday, April 15th there were SIX negative stories about the Mayor, on Sunday / Monday / Tuesday the following week there were a total of FIFTEEN negative stories about the Mayor, and on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of April 5th through 7th there were a total of EIGHTEEN negative stories about the Mayor.
Not a single day in April of 2016 has gone by without Billionaire Chairman Keith Rupert Murdoch’s NY Post publishing a negative story about the Mayor. In the newspaper business they call this keeping the story alive, so that like a virus, it infects the minds of the public who see it.
It seems again that billionaire Keith Rupert Murdoch is borrowing from Propagandist Adolph Hitler's playbook. People forget that Hitler was a skillful propagandist before he became an evil dictator, and the use of propaganda is how he acquired and solidified his grip on power.
"If you tell a big enough lie, and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed."
There were 80 stories published by the NY Post in the first 24 days of April. That's eighty stories – more than three per day - and not a single one was positive [a few were neutral]. And in looking back on the Murdoch's NY Post's headlines since the Mayor took office, I didn’t really find any headlines that I would classify as positive. This appears to be what I'd call the billionaire media mogul's propaganda outlet, where they treat and repeat allegations as if they were facts.
Murdoch Has History of Editorial Meddling
In an April 7, 2003 NYT story entitled Mr. Murdoch’s War, the New York Times reported,
“Mr. Murdoch, however, plays down his personal role in the unanimous views of his papers, explaining that he no longer has the time to dispense day-to-day instructions to his editors or producers” [Murdoch says] “ that is not me calling the editors.''
The British and American journalists covering Murdoch and the Iraq War were skeptical of that claim. And implicit in his statement is an admission that he has meddled in the editorial content of his papers in the past.
Eight years later, in a July 19, 2011 report by Reuters the story includes in its headlines that Billionaire Mogul Keith Rupert Murdoch is a "hands-on newspaperman”, who it seems, makes sure that the people who work for him know what he expects. The story ended with the following quote,
"He [Murdoch] is not necessarily a bloke who wants to discuss ethics in journalism."
Remember as you read the NY Post, the Wall Street Journal and watch Fox News that all of these media outlets are controlled by the same multi-billionaire, and when he wants them to - he can make them speak with 'THE ONLY ONE' voice that really matters - the voice of Billionaire Media Mogul Keith Rupert Murdoch.
* Is Fox News an FCC Licensed Propaganda News Source? *
Billionaire Media Moguls know that if they keep repeating something often enough on the TV and in the press - regardless of whether it's true - some people will start believing it [see Hitler quote above]. And that over time repeated lies can become the [false] truth for a sizeable segment of the not well informed people in the population.
In the PBS series, The Kennedys, patriarch Joe Kennedy was reported to have told his children that,
"It's not who you are. It's who they think you are."
This comment has me contemplating that all of life is but a stage.
Abraham Lincoln said,
"You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time."
Is Billionaire Keith Rupert Murdoch trying to fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, to gain a competitive advantage for his organization and continue enriching himself at the expense of the democratic republic?
In the free world we still call deceptive reporting propaganda. Murdoch appears to have updated many of the techniques Hitler used to accumulate power by borrowing from the propagandist's playbook. Murdoch appears to use propaganda to promote pliable pols and punish pols who oppose him, so that he can free his company from nationalist and local government regulations. In doing so he has increased market share, obtained greater economies of scale, and increased revenue and profits.
Murdoch is a Libertarian who believes he should be free to do whatever he wants. So he continues working hard to enrich himself - albeit at what appears to be a huge price paid by the unsuspecting public in a number of different nations.
Frequent Fox Viewers Are More Likely to be Misinformed
Media Matters, a non-profit media watchdog group, cited seven different, independent studies by a multitude of respectable non-profit and for profit organizations [including Murdoch's own Wall Street Journal] showing that frequent viewers of Fox News are also frequently misinformed about key subjects.
According to Media Matters the studies were conducted by:
- Kaiser Health
- Ohio State University researchers
- Program on International Policy Attitudes
- Stanford University and the National Science Foundation
- University of Maryland's Program on International Policy Attitudes
- Farleigh Dickinson University
- NBC / Wall Street Journal poll
Suggestion for New Fox News Slogan: 'We Decide by Misinforming You'
As previously stated, Billionaire Murdoch's News Corp once used the slogan - We Report. You Decide. While working on this story I came up with what seemed to me to be a better fitting slogan for them - We Decide by Misinforming You.
V. Is 'Citizen Murdoch' Single-Handedly Trying to Oust the NYC Mayor?
It appears that Billionaire Media Mogul Keith Rupert Murdoch's organization doesn't respect laws, and by association, the citizenry of the nation
One need not look far to find evidence supporting this statement given the Murdoch organization’s history of hiring people who break laws, as well as the string of 'coincidences' wherein following the election of Murdoch supported candidates - laws are changed, negotiations on no-bid deals are begun, and regulatory approvals are overseen by Murdoch supported administrations.
Billionaire K. Rupert Murdoch's NY Post's coverage of the NYC Mayor smells like propaganda. Murdoch's NY Post coverage of the Mayor appears to be repetition of opinions, allegations and innuendo. The NY Post has resorted to name-calling, reposting and replaying 'hot button' amateur video, and has been providing the public with one-sided, out-of-context, negatively biased headlines disproportional to the facts. This sort of behavior by a powerful Billionaire Publisher is reminiscent of the sad, pathetic, character portrayed in the movie Citizen Kane.
Murdoch's NY Post's targeting of the NYC Mayor, has the appearance of Murdoch's organization's pattern of using their media assets to convince voters to 'elect' government officials friendly to the Murdoch organization's objectives - and to punish those elected officials who are not. Murdoch's organization seems to use the same headline to announce their choices on different continents - THE ONLY ONE / OUR ONLY HOPE - even though Murdoch insists he no longer has time to interfere with editorial content. What a verbal coincidence.
I don't know if the Mayor has done anything wrong or not, but I believe in the American tenet of due process. So far, it seems that what the NY Post has done, is to keep repeating their opinions, along with allegations & innuendo.
It's worth reminding readers that absent in most - if not all - of the NY Post reporting on the matter, is the following statement published in a real newspaper.
"It is not clear how direct a role, if any, the mayor played in some of these matters." NYT April 29, 2016
Is Murdoch's Org Skirting Campaign Finance Laws?
Is Murdoch Disguising Advocacy & Attack Infomercials as News Reports?
Isn't this sort of apparent relentless barrage of advocacy or attack reports - really infomercials disguised as news? Don't these 'reports' deviate significantly from the professional ethics and standards of American journalism? And thus isn't the Murdoch organization making huge, undisclosed, independent expenditures to promote or punish candidates seeking public office, and hence skirting campaign finance laws?
Billionaire Mogul Murdoch was adamant about due process when the authorities were hunting down the criminals who worked for his organization in Britain, but Murdoch's organization dismisses due process when it comes to the NY Post's reporting of recent allegations regarding the Mayor's fundraising.
For Mr. Murdoch & Rosebud
I spent my time working on this story to inform the public about an important issue ... and for Rosebud, Mr. Murdoch.
Thanks to all of you for reading this.
Thomas Jefferson said that,
"Eternal vigilance is the price of democracy."
There will always be greedy people who no matter how much money and power they have, will always want more. They behave like drug addicts who can never get enough, and whose unbridled greed and lust for power, can be harmful to numerous other humans in a free functioning society.
Additional Reading - Books & Websites
For further reading about Billionaire Media Mogul Keith Rupert Murdoch, you might find this site of interest - http://thwaites.com.au/wp/murdochs-private-spies/ and the Dial M for Murdoch book is available on Amazon.uk.
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