A Real History of Rupert Murdoch » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names
Operationally, all this requires a grotesque machinery of bullying, conformity, manipulation and toadyism. Mainly, it is staffed by people who have no exit, as Murdoch service at senior level has always severely dented a resume. Now and then able people became involved: some find havens where they can work decently and inconspicuously, but most are ejected, or self-eject. (The latter option is disliked. When The Times caught tabloid fever and self-trashed its image, Simon Jenkins was hired to do cosmetic repairs but would only sign for two years. Murdoch said he preferred to fire editors himself, but had to accept: of course, he then beat Jenkins to the punch.)
When I wrote The Murdoch Archipelago with Elaine Potter, we justified our title by saying that the Murdochs had built a domain as close to personal tyranny as the legal framework of the liberal West will allow. Most observers agree on this, and so do ex-denizens unless they hope for renewed Newscorp favors.
Predictably, dad’s admiration involves that smelly old-class warhorse, the Establishment. The critter exists only to be abjured by ruling-class members, determined to escape whatever obligations of law or honor such status might yet attract. Then actions, which would be greedy and irresponsible in a confessed kingpin, become innocent rebellion, undertaken to toss off oppression by invisible elites. Murdoch’s acolytes routinely use such hocus-pocus to obscure the true nature of the boss ? often from themselves. If you can see Murdoch, power’s long-term toady, in that light, nothing’s beyond your belief, and envisioning the Post as a palladium of journalism presents no difficulty. And his long support of it, against disastrous market performance (and by now, surely, a thinned-out political value), indicates that Murdoch feels that way himself.
It is, after all, his own creation as nothing else is. Fox News was the work of Roger Ailes; the Sun ? of Larry Lamb and Kelvin McKenzie; the Newscorp (as against original) Sunday Times ? of Andrew Neil; the Sky satellite network ? of the ravening Sam Chisholm. To be sure, they all accepted him as overlord, with sad consequences for their products (and often their ambitions). But, Murdoch myth apart, all of them were hardened pros, doing the hands-on stuff themselves (and fending Rupert off wherever possible).