Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Murdoch Implosion

Rupert Murdoch's goin' down!
Doo-dah! Doo dah!

I'm giddy. Forgive me.

I have been desperately trying to write a poem about the train wreck that Rupert Murdoch's life has become but I've run into a bit of a brick wall. Please, could somebody give me a word that rhymes with schadenfreude?

Witnessing the implosion of the Murdoch media empire has me reduced to a state that I am hard-pressed to describe. People a lot smarter than I are cautioning that we shouldn't be too quick to deliver our giddy eulogies; that the massive News Corp behemoth is too powerful an entity to come crashing down in complete and utter destruction anytime soon. What is abundantly clear however is that our boy Rupert has suffered a blow from which he may never recover. That's good enough for me. Hip! Hip!

As if this news wasn't good enough. We may very well be merely at the tip of an extremely nasty iceberg. There is some informed speculation that this scandal might not be limited to Murdoch's holdings in merrie olde England, that it might yet slither 'cross the pond, engulfing some of his American properties - Fox Noise and the New York Post Toasties immediately come to mind. That would be too good to be true. My contempt for the Post goes back to the day in December 1980 when they splashed on their front page a closeup photograph of John Lennon's dead face - distorted by three day's rigor mortis. Class act that Post.

If you want to understand how America's national political conversation has gone from the gutter to the sewer in the last thirty years, look no further than Rupert Murdoch for the answer. He bares much of the responsibility for the murder of good journalism in this country
. I'm trying to convince myself that this is the beginning of the end of Murdoch's hold on the "news of the world". A planet without Fox News? Oh, please, fate!

From The Rant, 5 November 2007:

"Every once in a while, I'll tape an entire, two hour segment of the morning 'news' program, FOX and Friends. It is the modern equivalent of watching the old, 1965 movie, Hold On! starring the deservedly forgotten British pop group, Herman's Hermits: so mind-numbingly awful that it's actually fun to watch! The very fact that this lame assemblage of info-taining, trivial nonsense is the highest rated morning cable program is instructive when trying to get to the bottom of the question as to why the American people are the dumbest, least informed, unenlightened people in the entire western world and why we are - no doubt about it - the laughingstock of the planet. It's three hosts are totally lacking in any real journalistic credentials. Indeed one of them, an amiable twit named Steve Doocy (whose last name will one day become a verb, I promise you), is a former TV weatherman. He now has the job of commenting daily on important matters of national and international concern - that is, when he's able to find the time to pry himself away from the latest Brittany or Paris scandal du jour. FOX and Friends is embarrassing any way you analyze it. It is nothing more than a propaganda arm of the Republican National Committee. It's message is as simplistic as it is unbalanced: Conservative: GOOD. Liberal: BAD. Think of it as Mallard Fillmore in real time."

As is my habit once or twice every month, I taped the entire Fox and Friends program on Tuesday morning (Know Your Enemy!). I finally got around to viewing it last night. I was curious what their take would be on the scandal that is engulfing their strange little world - the scandal that every other broadcast news outlet is engrossed in. They never even mentioned it. It hasn't been getting much space in the New York Post either. You're not surprised by any of this, are you. I didn't think so.

The whole purpose of the Murdoch syndicate is to keep people stupid, and they have succeeded beyond anyone's wildest dreams. In the months leading up to America's illegal invasion of Iraq in March of 2003, a survey showed that over seventy percent of the people polled believed that Saddam Hussein was complicit in the attacks of September 11, 2001. The overwhelming majority of them listed Fox as their major source of information. These are the same folks who thought that sending a corrupt, half-witted frat boy like George W. Bush to the White House in 2000 would be a really cool idea. If the rest of the planet earth is laughing at us Rupert Murdoch deserves a lot of the credit for that.


Think about this: When the revelations came to light that Murdoch's minions in England had been hacking the voice mails of soldiers killed in Iraq - and even those of a thirteen-year-old girl named Milly Dowler who had been abducted and murdered - how did he react? A little extremely, I think. He immediately shut down the News of the World, a paper that had been in existence since 1843 - eighty-nine years before Rupert Murdoch was even born. What's up with that??? That paper was one of his most profitable enterprises. It's not inconceivable that it might have weathered the public relations storm. He could have sent out a heartfelt (assuming he has a heart) apology to the people of England and fired those responsible for what happened. It might only have taken months, a year at the most, for News of the World to regain its footing - and yet he felt it more expedient to close down a one-hundred and sixty-eight year old newspaper. WHY???

Here's why:

It's a tad difficult to "investigate" an organization that no longer exists. What we have here is a cover up, plain and simple. The feds in Britain ought to move in before all the evidence is completely destroyed. As I said, we've only seen the tip of the iceberg. This is big, folks. Really, really big.

I'm counting on - praying for - the destruction of the entire Murdoch enterprise. I don't care how many people are thrown out of work as a result. The world of journalism would only benefit from not having to compete with these jackasses any longer. Society as a whole would be the ultimate beneficiary. They're not a "news" organization. They never have been. They're just a megaphone for the plutocracy and the Republican party. But I'm preaching to the choir here, aren't I.

Rupert Murdoch is running for his professional life. His house of marked cards is crashing down all around him. He and his so-called "media empire" are being consumed by the flames of public outrage. The proverbial shit has hit the fan and he is covered with it. I am a very happy man today.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism

Although it's about five-years-old, this insightful, extremely disturbing film is as good an illustration of the havoc wrecked upon America by Rupert Murdoch as anything you'll ever find. You can pick it up at for under twenty bucks. Highly recommended.


by Amy and Mark Goodman


At 8:24 AM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

Gee Tom, I didn't get this news from FOX, does that mean white people should be scared?

Federal tax dollars still rolling in for ACORN
By: Ralph Smith | Special to the Examiner | 07/13/11 5:43 PM

President Obama has said that both parties must take on their “sacred cows” in order to reach a debt-ceiling compromise. He could start by taking on ACORN, a cow so sacred to the Democratic Party that it is still receiving federal funding despite a 2009 vote by Congress to stop giving the controversial group any more tax dollars.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded two separate grants of $79,819 and $461,086 to ACORN this year, according to

But you might not know that unless you know the organization receiving the money - the Affordable Housing Centers of America – is the same group that was formerly ACORN Housing.

Although the group changed its name, it still uses the same tax identification number and still appears on the government website as ACORN Housing Corporation, Inc.

This funding has been provided despite the “Defund ACORN Act,” which Obama signed in 2009.

The $79,819 grant was part of a program to “educate the public and housing providers about their rights and obligations under federal, state, and local fair housing laws.“

So not only is the federal government still funding ACORN, but it is employing its operatives to educate landlords and building owners about their “obligations.”

The second, larger grant was part of the HUD Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program, which supports projects that require eventual homeowners to participate in the construction of their homes.

Why does the federal government need to fund such projects through ACORN in what seems like a clear violation of the law? Well, as then-Sen. Barack Obama said, “Even before I was an elected official, when I ran Project Vote voter registration drive in Illinois, ACORN was smack dab in the middle of it, and we appreciate your work."

Today, even though giving federal funding to ACORN has been banned, ACORN is smack dab in the middle of HUD projects. Taxpayers deserve to know why."

At 8:49 AM, Blogger Nance said...

Schadenfreude....blah-blah avoid. Or devoid. Maybe "principle devoid."

There have been some real tasty nuggets in the news lately. Sarah P. got off the bus mid-tour. Newt tripped over his appendage again and fell out of the frame. And now, this with Murdoch.

With you, I'm trying to rein in my giddiness and contain my fantasies, but they just keep bubbling up. And you can tell by the way the rest of the media world jumps on all this that they feel much the same way.

You've put my thoughts into words well today: "He bares much of the responsibility for the murder of good journalism in this country."

At 10:29 AM, Blogger Leslie Parsley said...

"Just the Facts!" must be an oxymoron and should have done some further checking:

ACORN was nothing compared to ALEC, a highly funded conservative group responsible for writing many of the legislative bills being passed by the states, such as the voter disenfranchisement bills and many, many other draconian and unconstitutional bills.

Just speaking of myths and people who believe them.

Anyway, I hope you're right Tom. It just stands to reason if Murdoch's empire is engaged in such illegal activities in England, they're bound to be doing likewise here. Here's a story in propublica featuring the Bancroft family's regrets at having sold the WSJ to Murdoch.

I'm hoping we're seeing the beginning of the end to a media empire that is responsible for so many lies and misinformation and for the destruction of ethical journalism.

At 11:49 AM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

"ALEC, a highly funded conservative group"
Funded by who? BY Federal taxpayers like ACORN/Affordable Housing Center of America? Which is using the same tax id numbers and still appears on govt website as ACORN Housing Corp.
This story is not from FOX but
Leslie Parsley tries to dis it any way. Is it safe to say that in the liberal/progressive mind set any news source that exposes the truth about liberalism, must be bad and shut down?

At 1:55 PM, Blogger De_Bill said...

"Just the Facts" (there's an oxymoron with the emphasis on the 'moron' part), is a prime example of the manipulation of the simpleminded and uninformed that Fixed Noise specializes in.

The ACORN story was manufactured phony outrage generated in the vapid, self centered, morally vacant world of a 'news' organization that served the plutocrats by misinforming and directing the resulting anger of the people dumb enough to believe them at targets of their choosing.

I find it funny that the very first post on this topic isn't a defense of Faux News, but a rehashing of one of their stories that has already proven to be false, unfortunately too late to be of help to one of their targets.

At 2:03 PM, Blogger Catharine said...

I worked for the man for 13 years. I am not convinced he won't bounce back from this totally unscathed. Vampire zombies are really, really hard to kill.


At 3:10 PM, Blogger Catharine said...

This is interesting... while this story barely rates a blip on the US version of HuffPost (what with our government about to shut down and all), it seems to be all the UK HuffPost can talk about.


At 4:18 PM, Blogger charles moore said...

Catherine, maybe not too much is being said on US HuffPost, but it is gaining steam in other news medias. This story is growing by the day.

De Bill, you really shouldn't be surprised. Most of the detracting posters here have attention deficit problems and can't focus on the subject of Tom's original post. Anything to divert attention for the original subject.

At 10:18 AM, Anonymous LiberalUnderYourBed said...

I tried to post this on HuffPo but their site is giving me fits.

Anyway, let me help finish that song...

Rupert Murdoch's going down
Doo-dah! Doo-dah!

Rupert's nose is five miles long
Oh Doo-day Day!

Gwine to lie all night
Gwine to lie all day

Writes it up in his stinkin' rag
Now he's going away.


At 10:21 AM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Good one!

This really is a lot of fun to watch, is it not? One of those stories that keeps giving and giving!

At 2:36 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

Nice to see an ice planter harvesting his deserved wind. May he be one in a long line of establishment scum bags to bite the dust !!

At 3:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes Ellis hopefully the first of many CORRUPT POWER BROKERS TO FALL... now we can watch Murdoch's Stooges fall one by one.

At 3:53 PM, Blogger Catharine said...

I meant what I said, folks.... don't get your hopes about this harming News Corp in anyway. Short of destroying all of his horcruxes (and there are many, I believe), he will live on and on and on, and so will Roger Ailes and Fox.

At 4:14 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

Catharine....we are well aware that the fox guards the hen-house in Amerika. However sometimes even when someone as powerful as Murdoch gets caught with his pants down such a person gets brought to justice. First step is to freeze his wealth so he no longer has power and no longer has the awe of the establishment, as well as no longer having the ability to bribe his way out of trouble. I hear your concerns.....let's see how it plays out.

At 5:09 PM, Anonymous The Common Progressive said...

Murdoch deserves all that comes his way. After decades of building media brands that each in their own way have led to an overwhelming distrust of mass media, let him be thrown to wolves. I am lacking any sympathy whatsoever for him or his cronies. I am anxiously awaiting the results of the ongoing investigation into NewsCorp here in the U.S.

At 6:22 PM, Anonymous Bisham said...

Fox news makes me so annoyed
doo dah doo dah

Come join me in my shadenfreude
Oh doo dah day

Gonna laugh all night
Gonna laugh all day

Ruperts one big hemhorroid
Oh doo dah day

At 10:16 AM, Blogger Leslie Parsley said...

The News Corp scandal is getting plenty of coverage in the US by the MSM. Congressmen are calling for an investigation here and apparently the DOJ is listening because they have begun an investigation. Don't know if anything major will come of all this but it sure is fun to watch all those people scramble.

At 10:20 AM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Yes, Leslie, it is getting a lot of coverage in the main stream media - with the exception of FOX Noise, of course. When the NY Times had the Jason Blair scandal a number of years ago, they at least had the decency to cover the story completely. Not so with FOX. The NY Post isn't covering it either. Wonder Why?

At 3:19 PM, Blogger Peter Fegan said...

I'm with Catharine here. I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for the Murdoch empire to collapse. For one thing, old Rupert owns the actual Fox network, which makes far more money running "Family Guy" and "The Simpsons" than anything on its "News" channel, even Bill O'Reilly.

But I would love to see the coverage a DOJ investigation would get on the "fair and balanced" network.

As far as Just the Facts! is concerned, so nice of you to stay current with your Acorn conspiracy. You must share again.

At 7:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 8:52 PM, Blogger Suzan said...

Have you heard the latest?

That he hacked the royal family and the results were unmentionable, thus Rupert goes down for the count. (And then arises later as the Dracula he is.)

There's a lot more to this story than we know yet.

Like who leaked it, etc.

Much fun will be had until the MSM stops covering it, and the public forgets it next week.

Love ya, Tom!


At 8:56 AM, Anonymous Brad said...

Good rant.

I feel the same way. If Murdoch was a baby I would kick it down the street.

At 10:32 AM, Anonymous james said...

The way Conservatives stick together I doubt Murdoch will go down for the count. There are plenty of Republican politicians still in office with huge scandals and sexual offenses committed, it didn't bother them at all.

Unlike the Democrats who resign or get thrown out of office even when nothing happened! Look at Shirley Sherrod, she was fired at the speed of light over a phony video made by Breitbart, the same thing happened with Acorn. Too bad the Democrats are totally subservient to the Repubs.

On a brighter note the Repubs are starting to run around like their hair is on fire! They have to either crash the economy or look like fools for their idiotic stand on the deficit. Even die hard Conservatives will have to put the blame on them because Obama already made the unprecedented and unforgivable offer to cut three trillion dollars from social services.

At 4:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 2:23 PM, Blogger Avram Mirsky said...

G'day Tom, from beautiful Cairns, Australia. Let's hope the empire collapses before I get home in 3 weeks.

At 2:33 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Such a wonderful thought, Avram. Let's keep our fingers crossed and our hands folded.

At 5:55 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Well, well, well,
You can never tell.

look who might turn out to be an "illegal alien" after all.

At 6:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wake me up when something interesting happens. This is so very weak and boring.

At 8:33 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

"So weak and boring"?

It's obvious you get your news exclusively from Fox and the New York Toast. Wake up.

At 4:48 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Tom, have you noticed how Boltok is uncommonly silent since this all came to light? You don't suppose he was a hired troll for News of the World, do you? ;-)

At 6:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a jokester you are, just a laugh a minute, how do you do it, my sides hurt from laughing at your humor. Wow, Bill Maher must be looking over his shoulder to see if you will be replacing him you're so funny and witty.
Keep it up JG, some day soon you might get your big break and end up as guest on the "highly" rated Ed Schultz Show on MSNBC.
OMG how my sides hurt from laughing, I have to stop.

At 3:48 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Anonymous, I'm the jokester...and you're the joke -- the ass end of all jokes.

We all play roles in our life here on earth. Yours is that of the pathetic nobody, who nobody listens to, and nobody wants. As the old 1950s television show was titled...

This Is Your Life.

At 8:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I didn't believe you could top your self, but you did it! What a quipster you are, such a refined sense of humor, cutting edge I'd say.
Tell me, which Funny Bone Comedy club will you be performing in this weekend, I must make an effort to see your live show?
Do you have a fan club? Who writes your material or is all your own?
Has Special Ed Schultz contacted you yet to be on his highly rated liberal talk show or his highly rated cable show? How can a fan get your autographed picture? Is it free or are you all about making money, like those evil Corporations?
(please say it's not so, that you give most of your income to worthy shovel ready Green Jobs!)
Keep us all in the loop, the numbers of your comedy fans is growing daily!

At 12:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You Lefties really have lost touch with reality. You're only incensed because you do not have complete control of the media to manufacture news like Hugo Chavez. How dare Rupert Murdoch own news outlets that challenge the Left! He must be destroyed! How utterly transparent and pathetic.

The Murdochs will rise from the ashes with higher ratings!

At 1:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Give a man a fish and he will eat today.

Give him a fish every day and he will vote democratic forever!

At 2:50 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Give him a fish every day...

...and he'll surely die from either trematode infection, Salmonellosis, Erysipelothrix insidiosa, Listeria monocytogenes, tularensis, or toxins such as histamine poisoning, Ciguatera, Paralytic shellfish poisoning, Pufferfish poisoning, Diarrhetic shellfish poisoning, or Amnestic shellfish poisoning.

If these don't get him, inorganic pollutants from under- or non-regulated "evil corporations" certainly will. These include acidity caused by industrial discharges, ammonia from food processing waste, chemical waste as industrial by-products, fertilizers containing nutrients (nitrates and phosphates), heavy metals, and/or acid mine drainage. Last, but not least, there's radioactive isotopes from the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

I bet Fox News never reports any of these...

At 4:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You cant fix stupid,
but you can vote it out of office.
Of course JG isn't in office, that might mean having to work for something.

So JG, WTF does Fox News have to do with all the bad chemicals you just listed, your blaming them for spilling them? Now you are blaming FOX/Murdoch for the earth quake? God like that Murdoch,huh?

Here's the deal JG, I bet you don't have a clue what FOX Cable news reports or doesn't report because you never watch it.
Tell me JG who of the FOX NEW reporters do you like and dislike the most?

At 6:39 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Anonymous, I love getting under your skin. It's so easy! Must be because you're such a simpleton.

In answer to your question, there are no reporters at Fox "New" (as your simple mind referred to it).

Why don't you go watch cartoons, or go play your Wii? This is an adult site...for adult minds. You don't qualify. Sorry! Grow up first, then you can come back.

At 7:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

JG,, really no reporters at Fox News?

BTW, which reporter on MSNBC do you most like and lest like?

At 7:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, Jefferson's Guardian, your horse manure posts are sure getting deep. I do believe I'll have to wear my chest waders the next time I wade into reading one of them. Your last post today almost crested my hip boots.

At 7:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


why doesn't Tom Degan post much anymore? Do you know what a sock puppet is?

At 3:45 PM, Anonymous ML Squier said...

I read your comment in the NYT today on Charles Blow's essay called "In Honor of Teachers", so I went to your blog. I liked the quote you gave:

"Education is the answer to everything. World leadership hinges on education." (Lenny Bruce)

I teach high school English (but "minored" in philosophy and science).

Nice to meet you!

ML Squier

At 4:20 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Nice to meet you as well, ML! And please keep coming back, Teacher. We could use a lot more like you.


Tom Degan

At 4:22 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Here's a link to ML's blog, folks:

Have a look. Very Cool!



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