Russ Baker offers a reminder amid the surprised murmurs and horrified gasps:
Rupert Murdoch has had a profound influence on the state of journalism today. It’s a kind of tribute, in some sense, that the general coverage of his current troubles has reflected the detrimental effect of his influence over the years. Right now, the media, by and large, are focusing on tawdry “police blotter” acts of the very sort that have historically informed Murdoch’s own tabloid sensibility, while the bigger picture gets short shrift.
To be sure, the activities and actions of Murdoch’s that dominate the public conversation at the moment are deeply troubling, leaving aside their alleged criminality. Still, what is really pernicious about Murdoch is not his subordinates’ reported hacking of phones, payments of hush money, etc., or the possibility that Murdoch may have known about, tolerated, enabled, or even encouraged such acts.
It is, instead, the very essence of the man and his empire, and their long-term impact on our world and our lives.
And let’s be honest: What, really, is so shocking about the phone-hacking scandal?
Is it callous? Is it terrible? Is the scale of it so great as to boggle the imagination?
Well, this is Rupert Murdoch, after all.
Earlier this week, I had occasion to remind an associate that Rupert Murdoch is the epitome of what so many leftists denounce about capitalism. This kind of low, desperate conduct, and these stupid, unbelievable and, ultimately, insulting excuses are exactly what we ought to expect from an outlook that makes money the most important consideration.
We ought not be surprised: It’s Rupert freakin’ Murdoch. What did anybody think? That he has a genuine conscience? That he regrets anything other than potential negative impacts on his financial outlook?
Just … y’know. It’s called capitalism.