Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Official Blog.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Faux Street Journal?

If you think the editorial section of the Wall Street Journal runs a little conservative for your tastes now, just imagine what might befall your liberal sensibilities if this deal takes place: Rupert Murdoch wants to buy it.

For those of you not keeping track of how information gets to your eyeballs: Media consolidation is bad news. It means fewer incredibly rich people controlling the way most of America gets its news (TV, radio, and newspapers).

Rupert Murdoch is one of the people who controls far too much of the media that delivers the message to people who are too busy to dig beneath the veneer of popular newscasts to get to the truth of a given issue. But lest you think I'm just making too much of this, and poor Rupert just wants to buy a li'l ol' newspaper, let's have a look at just some of his media holdings:
  • Fox Broadcasting (which includes Fox News Noise, Fox Sports Net, and FX, plus others)
  • National Geographic
  • Speed
  • DirecTV
  • News America Marketing (Smartsource, and those wads of coupons that regularly flood your mailbox)
  • The Weekly Standard
  • TV Guide
  • The New York Post
  • The Times of London, United Kingdom (and a total of 175 papers in Australasia, Europe, and the United States)
  • The book publisher Harper Collins
Oh, and last year he picked up MySpace. Sorry, kids. (He's got American Idol, too). There's more listed on his web site; I just picked the U.S.-related holdings (with the exception of the Times, of course). And that's just one guy. Clearly, it's not about money. It's about power.

Fox News is Murdoch's reeking, glowing monument to media consolidation and newstainment. Sean Hannity. Bill O'Reilly. Ann Coulter. There is no news here. There really is no opinion here; there is little more than thinly veiled, dysfunctional hate. You can't scrape hard enough to get to the bottom of this barrel. Fair and balanced? Right.

Thing is, Fox News is Murdoch's gift to America. Murdoch himself is an avowed conservative and isn't shy about pushing his agenda. People who watch Fox News tend not to think critically about what they're seeing or analyze their news too deeply (remember the PIPA study about perceptions of the Iraq occupation versus how people got their news?).

Now, if he ends up buying the Wall Street Journal, we can expect that same sort of integrity distorting reality for generations to come.

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