Media wars and political theater
News: Rupert Murdoch Tweets message: “Now Christie, while thanking O, must re- declare for Romney, or take blame for four dire years.” – Editorial: Rupert Murdoch in the spirit of media oligarchs such as Silvio Berlusconi or William Randolf Hearst infers use of his media power to threaten the governor of the State of New Jersey. Similar to historical abuse of such power in the examples of various ideological dictators and magnates using/abusing freedom of the press to manipulate politicians in an inordinate fashion.
Murdoch directly infers threat to Governor Christie.
by John P. Reisman – November 5, 2012
It’s well known that Murdoch uses his media power to influence politicians and pundits though. In fact it’s well known world-wide that Murdoch utilizes media influence to directly or indirectly infer threats pertaining to how well you might do in your next election based on your willingness to tow the line with what ‘Murdoch’ thinks.
However, veiled ties between entities and individuals are often exposed when stuff hits the fan (see BBC Report and UK Telegraph. Free speech is a wonderful and dangerous thing when considered in its potentials for positive and negative influence. Without it we would not enjoy the immense freedom and potential that is the United States of America. But freedom without responsibility resembles anarchy more than civilization. And irresponsible speech can be used to harm rather than help. What is considered personally responsible verses responsible to the community or the Republic are often two entirely different things. So what Rupert Murdoch ‘thinks’ is responsible (or right) is what Rupert Murdoch will act upon in accord with his own ideology. Is that really ‘good’ for America considering his apparent bias?
‘Hey Christie, I can use my media empire ‘Fox News’ to make sure you don’t get elected again’
This is where ‘critical thinking‘ comes in. When reason and critical thinking are applied together carefully in relation to our community, something wonderful can happen. Our community is where we live. Whether you see this as your home town, your state, or the community of the United States of America or even the world, one can see that being reasonable and responsible with free speech has generally led to a much more civilized society and great advancements in our standards of living.
Murdoch apparently, in word and deed, wants to use ‘his’ influence to control politicians though. That infers controlling our community, our democracy, our republic, our country. That should frighten Americans. What he is doing is about as anti-American as you can get. This idea of controlling politicians by effectively threatening them with ‘Hey Christie, I can use my media empire ‘Fox News’ to make sure you don’t get elected again’, is an exercise in manipulation and control, not a reasoned use of free speech. The reason is simple, Murdoch can influence how people think through his control of his media empire. Fox News is ‘not’ news. Like most news outlets these days it is more and more the nightmare of Edward R. Murrow. It’s opinion and editorialization with an ideological bent that favors more plutocracy and oligarchy than a ‘fair & balanced’ republican democracy.
“During the daily peak viewing periods, television in the main insulates us from the realities of the world in which we live. If this state of affairs continues, we may alter an advertising slogan to read: Look now, pay later.” – Edward R. Murrow
One of the biggest problems with ‘news’ outlets is that they need to compete with other media outlets for advertising dollars. This seems to certainly have a corrupting influence on how information is presented. And no it’s not just ‘Fox News’. Left leaning media is often just as bad as right leaning media in coloring the manner of information delivery. In fact media in general colors toward its target market base.
This inevitably erodes the integrity of the medium. It has been said that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The power of such large media conglomerates as that of Rupert Murdoch, and its potential to interfere with the healthy development and evolution of a free society and reasonably free market systems is expressed in his willingness to use said power to control by ‘influence and inference’ to the degree he wields such power.
This is un-American and contrary to the intentions of the founding fathers in so many ways…
This question remains, will Governor Christie cower to the threat with some sophist manner of political speech, or will he stand by his praise for President Obama during the crisis, or go both ways and say ‘what President Obama did for our state during the crisis was great but I still don’t want him as president’, or will he go independent, or switch sides…? “Only the Shadow knows”.
Edward R. Murrow, Radio-Television News Directors Association. October 15, 1958
“It is my desire, if not my duty, to try to talk to you journeymen with some candor about what is happening to radio and television.
“It is not necessary to remind you that the fact that your voice is amplified to the degree where it reaches from one end of the country to the other does not confer upon you greater wisdom or understanding than you possessed when your voice reached only from one end of the bar to the other.
“I am seized with an abiding fear regarding what these two instruments are doing to our society, our culture and our heritage.
“Our history will be what we make it. And if there are any historians about 50 or 100 years from now, and there should be preserved the kinescopes for one week of all three networks, they will there find recorded in black and white, or color, evidence of decadence, escapism and insulation from the realities of the world in which we live. I invite your attention to the television schedules of all networks between the hours of 8 and 11 p.m., Eastern Time. Here you will find only fleeting and spasmodic reference to the fact that this nation is in mortal danger. There are, it is true, occasional informative programs presented in that intellectual ghetto on Sunday afternoons. But during the daily peak viewing periods, television in the main insulates us from the realities of the world in which we live. If this state of affairs continues, we may alter an advertising slogan to read: LOOK NOW, PAY LATER
“For surely we shall pay for using this most powerful instrument of communication to insulate the citizenry from the hard and demanding realities which must be faced if we are to survive. I mean the word survive literally.
“I am entirely persuaded that the American public is more reasonable, restrained and more mature than most of our industry’s program planners believe. Their fear of controversy is not warranted by the evidence. I have reason to know, as do many of you, that when the evidence on a controversial subject is fairly and calmly presented, the public recognizes it for what it is – an effort to illuminate rather than to agitate.
“The oldest excuse of the networks for their timidity is their youth. Their spokesmen say, “We are young; we have not developed the traditions nor acquired the experience of the older media.” If they but knew it, they are building those traditions, creating those precedents every day. Each time they yield to a voice from Washington or any political pressure, each time they eliminate something that might offend some section of the community, they are creating their own body of precedent and tradition. They are, in fact, not content to be “half safe.””
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