Murdoch, like Napoleon, is a great bad man By Conrad Black

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by tmarket, Jul 13, 2011.

  1. Murdoch, like Napoleon, is a great bad man
    By Conrad Black

    Rupert Murdoch is probably the most successful media proprietor and operator in history. There is no possible argument about his boldness, vision and skill of execution in conquering the British tabloid market, leading vertical media integration by uniting film studios and television stations, cracking the US television triopoly, being one of the great pioneers of satellite television and founding a conservative-populist American news network. (It was to reduce News Corp’s dependence on Roger Ailes’ Tea Party Fox News Network that he was so eager to spend £8.3bn ($13.3bn) buying all the shares in BSkyB and laying hands on all its income.) It must also be admitted that the Wall St Journal is the only quality product Mr Murdoch has ever bought and actually improved.
    He was sometimes very fortunate, especially when Margaret Thatcher exempted his satellite telecasting from regulation (though she was just repaying the favours of The Sun); that his bid for MGM was unsuccessful just before his near-mortal financial crisis in 1990; and that British Satellite Broadcasting was so ineptly managed by Granada and others that it collapsed into his arms 20 years ago. But luck is a small part of the explanation for his success.


    Although his personality is generally quite agreeable, Mr Murdoch has no loyalty to anyone or anything except his company. He has difficulty keeping friendships; rarely keeps his word for long; is an exploiter of the discomfort of others; and has betrayed every political leader who ever helped him in any country, except Ronald Reagan and perhaps Tony Blair. All his instincts are downmarket; he is not only a tabloid sensationalist; he is a malicious myth-maker, an assassin of the dignity of others and of respected institutions, all in the guise of anti-elitism. He masquerades as a pillar of contemporary, enlightened populism in Britain and sensible conservatism in the US, though he has been assiduously kissing the undercarriage of the rulers of Beijing for years. His notions of public entertainment and civic values are enshrined in the cartoon television series The Simpsons: all public officials are crooks and the public is an ignorant lumpenproletariat. There is nothing illegal in this, and it has amusing aspects, but it is unbecoming someone who has been the subject of such widespread deference and official preferments.

    What matters is the recovery of the integrity of Britain’s governing elites, and they won’t make it on Alastair Campbell’s feeble rationalisations published in the FT on Monday, or even Ed Miliband’s half-convincing call to principle. There must be a reckoning with decades of establishment cowardice towards someone whose nature has been well known throughout that time. The fault is the British establishment’s and it must not be seduced and intimidated, so profoundly and durably, again.

    The writer, Conrad Black, is the former chairman of the Telegraph Newspapers and of many other newspapers. He was convicted on four counts of fraud and obstruction of justice in 2007. He served 29 months in prison until the Supreme Court vacated the convictions. A lower court ordered to assess its errors restored two counts. He will return to prison for 7½ months. He continues to assert his innocence. He is a biographer and weekly columnist for the National Review
  2. My old man used to be a good friend with Conrad Black from his days in politics.

    It is somewhat surprising that Conrad Black would attack someone elses journalistic integrity. Though when i talk to my dad and he explains the story, he also proclaims conrads innocence.