By Manifesto Joe
"Weirdo tries to seize girls"
"Woman attacked by frozen turkey"
While I was in college in the mid-1970s, the San Antonio News, one of the last of the old p.m. newspapers, was among those on the stands. Above are examples of the headlines one would see on Page One. Inside, there were pictures of bloody wrecks, crime scenes, etc. (The "turkey" headline, run around Thanksgiving, topped a story about a woman who had a frozen turkey slip off a supermarket counter and break bones in her foot.)
The News was one of Rupert Murdoch's early newspaper ventures in the U.S., his journalism-debasing empire having already engulfed his native Australia. Who would have guessed, way back then, that Murdoch would eventually dominate U.S. "news" media with huge outlets such as Fox "News" and The Wall Street Journal?
The Murdoch approach to "journalism" -- sensationalism, wide-open reactionary political bias -- has proved very profitable, and has become so pervasive and popular that a whole generation of Americans may not even remember what real, principled journalism was like.
Now, in Britain, it's been said that we may just be seeing the tip of the iceberg. No sooner had Murdoch shut down News of the World in London that a couple more of Murdoch's British newspapers have been implicated in the spreading telephone-hacking scandal.
I, for one, hope this spreads so far that Murdoch's grimy "news" empire in other countries is affected as well. His philosophy goes far beyond "yellow journalism" -- one friend of mine described it as "purple journalism."
Cultural decadence from an army of one
Arguably, no one person has done more to contribute to the West's current cultural decadence than Rupert Murdoch.
He has taken many once-respectable newspapers and, under his ownership, transformed them into lurid right-wing tabloids. In Fox "News," he has created a popular cable TV news network that resembles a far-right version of the old Soviet newspaper Izvestia. To anyone who understands what real journalism is, this is propaganda, not news. As for The Wall Street Journal, I never took it very seriously, anyway. But under Murdoch's ownership, the bias will be much more open and will spread to Page One, if it hasn't already.
Now we may be seeing that the Murdoch approach to "journalism" may far exceed what we already knew about it. Not only is the content foul -- the methods may be toxic as well, and may be standard throughout this man's septic global empire.
To read the latest on the Murdoch telephone-hacking scandal, go to http://news.yahoo.com/british-government-lawyers-look-block-bskyb-bid-paper-011132041.html
Here's hoping that much more of this guttersnipe's enterprises will be forced to close as well. I just feel sorry for the various reporters and line editors who will lose their jobs -- but they should have known that they were working for pond scum, anyway.
Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.