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← UPDATE: 3 days to stop Murdoch's media takeover

UPDATE: 3 days to stop Murdoch's media takeover - Comments

silverspirit2001's Avatar Comment 1 by silverspirit2001

Message sent.

Tue, 05 Jul 2011 16:17:42 UTC | #846474

sirmailbox's Avatar Comment 2 by sirmailbox

Grave news indeed. I can't speak for the UK, but in the US the spectrum of opinion represented in most media is extremely narrow, with what are essentially moderate Republicans being called the "left". Diversity of media ownership is no guarantee of better representation, but it's a step in the right direction. Let this example serve to disentangle unbridled capitalism from democracy.

Tue, 05 Jul 2011 16:29:08 UTC | #846482

reebus's Avatar Comment 3 by reebus

I can't help thinking that its what people want, otherwise why are Murdoch's media and newspapers so popular? If we watch Sky or Fox news, time and again they are seen to be biased and false, yet people tune in, pay subscriptions in the millions. The News of the World, gets accused of illegal and unethical hacking. No problem, sales continue regardless.

Government is there to serve the people, and the people have spoken by popular vote with their spending habit even after they've been shown they are being conned?

Tue, 05 Jul 2011 16:48:20 UTC | #846491

danconquer's Avatar Comment 4 by danconquer

The breadth and depth of criminal activity now being exposed as having been carried out by Murdoch newspapers in the UK over many years - some of it hampering murder investigations - are truly, extraordinarily shocking. It turns out that the same publications which harp on about 'Broken Britain', lamenting the supposed 'collapse' of law'n'order are infact implicated in the commission of hundreds - possibly thousands - of serious, imprisonable criminal offences.

This is the biggest media scandal in decades, and the headline story for every reputable outlet despite the fact dog does not, normally, eat dog. And how is Britain's biggest selling (oh, and Murdoch-owned) newspaper currently reporting it on their online edition? With silence! There's not a word about it! Despite a fanatical obsession with the trivial minutiae of the lives of Milly Dowler, Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman's families, along comes a bona fide story about them, and suddenly The Sun has nothing to say about it!

A clearer example of how dangerous media ownership in the hands of Murdoch really is. He and his publications are a menace to truth, reason and democracy.

Tue, 05 Jul 2011 16:53:38 UTC | #846493

reebus's Avatar Comment 5 by reebus

Comment 4 by danconquer :

A clearer example of how dangerous media ownership in the hands of Murdoch really is. He and his publications are a menace to truth, reason and democracy.

Yeah, but his products are popular, therefore isn't that the democratic voice manifest? Nobody is forced to buy his products? And since the products are popular, doesn't that reflect the popular attitude to truth and reason?

Tue, 05 Jul 2011 16:57:48 UTC | #846497

danconquer's Avatar Comment 6 by danconquer

Nobody is saying people shouldn't be allowed to buy whatever newspapers they want, or watch whatever tv channels they want. We all know that, left to their own devices, people will gorge themselves on rubbish... That's why McDonalds remains such a stubbornly popular food outlet.

But this is about one man who already owns close to half of some sections of the British media being allowed to further consolidate this ownership into something approaching a monopoly. Remember that many of his outlets were not started from scratch, but were acquisitions which were made long after those publications already had established reputations and circulations.

Quite aside from his objectionable ideological views, anti-competitive business practices and shameless political interventions, it is plainly dangerous to ever allow any one company or individual to purchase such a large slice of the media pie.

Tue, 05 Jul 2011 17:01:13 UTC | #846500

reebus's Avatar Comment 7 by reebus

@comment 6

Yeah, my problem is ethical objection will not sway the government more than the clear popular approval of his products by the populous if we are trying to appeal to the government to do the 'right thing'?

Tue, 05 Jul 2011 17:09:45 UTC | #846505

Anonymous's Avatar Comment 8 by Anonymous

Comment Removed by Moderator

Tue, 05 Jul 2011 17:11:54 UTC | #846506

Synapse's Avatar Comment 9 by Synapse

Dan Conquer, your two posts aren't rational and level-headed, they are downright hysterical. I say this even though my attitude toward the Murdoch press is generally one of contempt.

You perfectly illustrate the dangers of the smug and elitist self-righteousness of the modern liberal movement. You don't allow for the possibility that you are biased: if someone says Murdoch eats babies, and nuances it up a bit in time-honoured liberal-obscurantist tradition, then clearly it must be true that Murdoch eats babies.

The Murdoch press has interfered with murder investigations? They are implicated in hundreds, possibly thousands of serious, imprisonable criminal offenses? These are serious charges. Where is your evidence?

You have a whole paragraph gloating about the silence of the Murdoch press on the ongoing phone hacking saga. Well guess what: the Guardian, which is I guess your favourite UK newspaper, has nothing to say either.

As for ordinary people gorging themselves on rubbish...well what about all those ethnic minorities, gorging themselves on violent "gangsta hip-hop" culture? The concept is exactly the same in both cases, but like most of the liberal left, I doubt you'd touch the second with a barge poll. This shows that the liberal left is inconsistent: they're oh-so understanding of the circumstances which lead certain "ethnic minority" cultures to gorge on violence...but God help any of the poorly educated white people who happen to read the Sun.

It would be nice if we could differentiate the fatcats running the Sun, the greedy, shallow, self-serving, and Tory-voting middle class readers, and the hard-working coal-miner readers who were raised in a culture of hard-headedness and never had the means to educate themselves. Unfortunately that kind of thoughtfulness seems to fly well over the head of most the denizens of the modern liberal left.

You know what else isn't in fashion any more? McDonalds. Maybe it will impress some of the ladies if you take a swipe at McDonalds.

Tue, 05 Jul 2011 17:30:43 UTC | #846514

reebus's Avatar Comment 10 by reebus

@comment 9

Yes, but have you seen fox, sky news or followed the recent hacking scandal of the news of the world. That there is repetitive wrong doing here is surely not under question? I mean these things alone are surely enough to condemn Murdoch?

Tue, 05 Jul 2011 17:40:51 UTC | #846520

Atheist Mike's Avatar Comment 11 by Atheist Mike

Actions should certainly be taken, if things go on like that, the English speaking world will end up with the equivalent of a State-Press. And that's not mentioning television and the internet.

Tue, 05 Jul 2011 17:41:39 UTC | #846522

reebus's Avatar Comment 12 by reebus

@comment 11

Yeah, but if people are popularlily subscribing to Murdoch products, its more a state-press as voted for by the people? i.e it has a proper popular mandate?

My problem is, i don't understand why Murdoch products are popular even after they've been villified often?

Tue, 05 Jul 2011 17:49:11 UTC | #846525

danconquer's Avatar Comment 13 by danconquer

Hi Synapse! Congratulations on signing up to RDF and I'd like to thank you for making me the beneficiary of your first ever contribution here!

Comment 9 by Synapse :

You don't allow for the possibility that you are biased:

Not only do I allow for the possibility, I freely admit it! Am I biased against Rupert Murdoch? Yes, I am. That is how internet debate and discussions work! All of us putting forward our own personal take on the world. Bias only becomes problematic when people have an ethical or legal responsibility (if, say, they are a broadcaster) to refrain from showing bias.

The Murdoch press has interfered with murder investigations? They are implicated in hundreds, possibly thousands of serious, imprisonable criminal offenses? These are serious charges. Where is your evidence?

The Royal editor for the News Of The World has already served a prison sentence, and the outlet has already admitted liability in a number of recent test cases. Each and every time a phone is illegally hacked, that is a serious crime. The latest well-publicised allegations are that an agent working for the NotW not only hacked a murder victims phone, but actually deleted messages, thereby potentially hampering the police investigation.

You have a whole paragraph gloating about the silence of the Murdoch press on the ongoing phone hacking saga. Well guess what: the Guardian, which is I guess your favourite UK newspaper, has nothing to say either.

Hahaha! If you're going to condemn someone for their factual inaccuracy, you should get your own right. It was the bloody Guardian who today led with the story on the front page, and is currently their lead story on their online edition so I'm not sure what you're talking about. And, no, The Guardian is far from my favourite UK paper. The FT is.

As for ordinary people gorging themselves on rubbish...well what about all those ethnic minorities, gorging themselves on violent "gangsta hip-hop" culture? The concept is exactly the same in both cases, but like most of the liberal left, I doubt you'd touch the second with a barge poll.

I'm not sure what you're getting at here, or why you think it is applicable to me. I hate "gangsta hip-hop" and the entire mysogynistic, homophobic culture that goes with it and I don't hesitate to say so. You appear to be making all sorts of wildly erroneous leaps about a whole range of political and cultural opinions I hold based purely on the fact that I am opposed to Murdoch acquiring a disproportionately large ownership of the UK media. If you wanted to know my views on gangsta-rap, you could just have asked me y'know.

Tue, 05 Jul 2011 17:51:51 UTC | #846526

Synapse's Avatar Comment 14 by Synapse

Comment Removed by Author

Tue, 05 Jul 2011 17:51:54 UTC | #846527

theOperative's Avatar Comment 15 by theOperative

@Comment 3 by reebus: I can't help thinking that its what people want ..

No they don't, what we have is a pretend media saturated by Faux News type of reporting so as to displace any kind of real news. Instant analysis and endless sound bytes signifying nothing.The BBC news even got its own scrolling marquee now. The pretense of an independent BBC was finally laid to rest in the aftermath of the bogus WMD dossier. Witness the "reporting" from Iraq, lots of happy feel good stories about our squaddies muddling through. No questions or analysis as to what we are even doing over their.

Tue, 05 Jul 2011 17:57:46 UTC | #846530

reebus's Avatar Comment 16 by reebus

@Comment 15

Yes, but why can't people see this undermining of news happening? As you indicate its downright obvious. Thus i am forced to conclude its what people really want. Murdoch to be crowned emperor of the land by popular consent?

Tue, 05 Jul 2011 18:01:50 UTC | #846533

flamenco's Avatar Comment 17 by flamenco

Danconquer, I completely agree with both of your posts.

Just had a look at the Sun online - to see what they're saying about their sister paper's scandal...

ASH SHOPS FOR CHEZZA WEDDING RING

Says it all. What a shitty rag.

Dave

Tue, 05 Jul 2011 18:07:46 UTC | #846540

Atheist Mike's Avatar Comment 18 by Atheist Mike

Comment 12 by reebus

People are stupid, pure and simple. I don't want to sound condescending or anything (I'm myself being quite stupid sometimes) but the general population in a consumerist democracy simply isn't making well-thought decisions, it's consumerism, and the consumers choose what is most appealing to them. So if a product is well advertised, eye candy and such and the newspaper tells them what they want to hear, or something they'll appreciate because it seems to make sense and doesn't require them to make too much mental efforts to understand it, they'll just go with it. And a more intellectual, truth-based paper might just be ignored because it's not as attractive to the masses. Adolf Hitler and most other republican dictators gained popular support that way.

Tue, 05 Jul 2011 18:14:55 UTC | #846544

reebus's Avatar Comment 19 by reebus

@ comment 18

Yes, so doesn't that mean the government hasn't a leg to stand on in denying Murdoch since people are buying en masse? Afterall, the government is about serving the people and thus they spake?

Tue, 05 Jul 2011 18:20:37 UTC | #846550

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 20 by Neodarwinian

How could anyone not trust that face!!

Will send message.

Tue, 05 Jul 2011 18:33:28 UTC | #846554

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 21 by Schrodinger's Cat

Personally I'm tired of the whole damned lot of them....trying to impress upon me what is 'news' and what isn't. If I had my way, the wedding of two overprivileged royal leeches would be page 21, while the numerous scientific discoveries that are made every day would feature in the front pages.

Tue, 05 Jul 2011 18:35:39 UTC | #846556

Atheist Mike's Avatar Comment 22 by Atheist Mike

@comment 19

It could, and should restrict Murdoch's Empire because it goes against free speech, whatever the people may say or want. The thing is Murdoch and his media empire have been supporting most winning post-war UK political parties (both before and after their election) from Thatcher's to Cameron's. So my guess is that it's in the interest of the PM and his government to support Murdoch because it boosts their popularity and chances of re election, especially so because Murdoch's news outlets are rather popular. It seems to me to be a kind of vicious circle. Even if Murdoch's intentions were good (and they don't seem to be), he should be opposed on grounds of principle, it's always much more reassuring and appropriate in a democracy when you have more than one view to choose from.

Tue, 05 Jul 2011 18:39:33 UTC | #846557

MadEd's Avatar Comment 23 by MadEd

Glad to see this here, I signed this morning. Best possible result; Murdoch doesn't fulfill the 'fit and proper' clause for the share he already holds and loses the lot. Won't happen with evil Rebekah's neighbour in number 10, though. Lying journos, lying politicians and lying police all in bed together (in Chipping Norton).

Tue, 05 Jul 2011 18:45:46 UTC | #846563

reebus's Avatar Comment 24 by reebus

@ comment 22

Why do the people demonstrate disagreement with what you are saying by keeping Murdoch in business with their patronage?

Tue, 05 Jul 2011 18:49:34 UTC | #846565

God fearing Atheist's Avatar Comment 25 by God fearing Atheist

Tue, 05 Jul 2011 18:55:48 UTC | #846569

Synapse's Avatar Comment 26 by Synapse

Comment 13 by danconquer :

The Royal editor for the News Of The World has already served a prison sentence, and the outlet has already admitted liability in a number of recent test cases. Each and every time a phone is illegally hacked, that is a serious crime. The latest well-publicised allegations are that an agent working for the NotW not only hacked a murder victims phone, but actually deleted messages, thereby potentially hampering the police investigation.

A single agent in one case potentially hampering a murder investigation is not the same as the Murdoch press "hampering murder investigations" (plural). Your language was hyperbolic.

Hahaha! If you're going to condemn someone for their factual inaccuracy, you should get your own right. It was the bloody Guardian who today led with the story on the front page, and is currently their lead story on their online edition so I'm not sure what you're talking about. And, no, The Guardian is far from my favourite UK paper. The FT is.

Sorry about that. I read the Guardian website earlier, as I do every day...and somehow didn't notice today's leading article. Very odd.

I owe you an apology, as even if your first post was hyperbolic, my response was all over the place, and I was wrong with most of my accusations.

Tue, 05 Jul 2011 19:00:53 UTC | #846571

MadEd's Avatar Comment 27 by MadEd

Watching the BBC tonight (05/07) it's as if I'm seeing a huge, hated dam, stopping the flow of truth and rationalism, with water gushing round all the keystones at the base (sorry for the purple prose, but I'm really enjoying this.)

Tue, 05 Jul 2011 19:04:54 UTC | #846574

Atheist Mike's Avatar Comment 28 by Atheist Mike

@comment 24

See comment 18.

Tue, 05 Jul 2011 19:11:30 UTC | #846579

danconquer's Avatar Comment 29 by danconquer

Comment 26 by Synapse :

A single agent in one case potentially hampering a murder investigation is not the same as the Murdoch press "hampering murder investigations" (plural). Your language was hyperbolic.

I believe that the plural is warranted. As well as destroying what could well have been crucial evidence in a murder trial in the Milly Dowler case, it is reported that the phones of key individuals in the murder of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman were also hacked. And tonight Channel4 news reported that the News Of The World targetted a detective working on a murder case: http://www.channel4.com/news/news-of-the-world-targets-met-police-detective. Although the extent to which these latter cases were potentially disrupted by the NotW's actions is not clear, it seems fair to use the plural rather than singular given that there are now several murder investigations in which the NotW is alleged to have improperly and illegally intervened.

Anyway, apart from that, thanks for the apology which you graciously made and I gratefully acknowledge.

Tue, 05 Jul 2011 19:20:57 UTC | #846583

Synapse's Avatar Comment 30 by Synapse

Comment 18 by Atheist Mike :

People are stupid, pure and simple... And a more intellectual, truth-based paper might just be ignored because it's not as attractive to the masses.

There's danger of elitism here. Some people happily accept the charge of elitism provided that it's restricted to intellectual elitism.

I would mention, though, that there's an abundance of evidence that the so-called intelligensia can be just as stupid as everyone else. How else can we explain post-modernism, cultural relativism, obscurantism, and all the other nonsense that has occupied supposedly intellectual circles since, well, forever?

When you realize that academia is descended from the monasteries, and in most cultures priests and witch doctors are the resident "intellectuals", it becomes clear that intellectual elitism is something we should view with just as much suspicion as most other kinds of elitism.

Now scientific elitism...there might be a worthy elitism. Unfortunately, this does not equate to "intellectual elitism", or "liberal left elitism". The truth of a scientific claim is independent of the intelligence, sophistication and political orientation of its proponents.

Tue, 05 Jul 2011 19:23:01 UTC | #846584