Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Murdoch and the Media of Propaganda

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Rupert Murdoch has just bought the Wall Street Journal publisher Dow Jones and Co. The purchase of this media long-stay will cost Murdoch nearly $6 billion. The takeover ends a century of family ownership by the Bancroft family, and adds a new resource to his global media empire, News Corp.

Rupert & Homer

Murdoch has grown his mammoth media company, "News" Corp. into one of the largest and most influential media groups in the world from a small town newspaper in Australia.

Murdoch wields considerable power with his global media company and is often wooed by politicians to persuade him to favorably cover their campaigns. His empire covers television, filmed entertainment, cable network programming, book publishing, direct broadcast satellite television, magazines and newspapers operating in the United States, Australia, Europe, the United Kingdom, Asia and the Pacific.

As Murdoch acquired many widely read newspapers in Australia, the United Kingdom and the U.S. he brought much controversy with his ruthless and aggressive management style. Murdoch once remarked “I’m a catalyst for change, You can’t be an outsider and be successful for more than 30 years without leaving a certain amount of scar tissue around the place.”

Murdoch developed Fox News channel, with red, white and blue colors flowing throughout the set. He hired anchors from rival news channels, many being attractive women who always wore short skirts to attract male viewers.

He hired Roger Ailes to run his cable news venture, who like Murdoch has always had leanings of being ultra conservative. The slogan “Fair and Balanced” was used throughout each Fox News interview and segment.

As Murdoch and Fox News now had the appeal factor ready for viewers, they often twist conservative views into each news broadcast and interview. A daily log of conservative guests gave Fox anchors hourly opportunities to spread the conservative message, and attack the “Liberal” views of the opposition.

Murdoch and his media outlets worked tirelessly trying to destroy Bill Clinton. They often shattered the truth to spread their propaganda against Presidential candidates Al Gore and John Kerry during their run for the White House.

Murdoch used Fox News to promote Bush’s twisted reasons for war. They tend to twist the mounting toll of deaths in Iraq, into attacking the “liberal media” for not covering the truth.

Murdoch and the Fox propaganda helped bring the Republicans and George W Bush into power, and now they feverishly try to spin the war, although their propaganda message has turned the public away, due to the increasing costs of war.

Since Rupert Murdoch’s offer was made public, volumes have been written on what this historic deal might mean to journalism in America. A fair bit of the criticism and concern surrounding News Corp.’s bid for Dow Jones has focused on Murdoch himself and his well-documented penchant for employing his media outlets to advance his political and business interests.

Maybe we ought to be most concerned with the health of our media system. Media consolidation, by its nature, diminishes the variey of voices represented in our media. With fewer points of view available, those select few with an outlet increase their capacity to shape public opinion, politics and daily life.

Today’s media system isn’t simply the evolving result of capitalism at it’s best,
it is the result of policies created by Congress and enforced by the FCC. Without those policies, Murdoch couldn't have built his media empire. Only by restoring public input in the policymaking process, can we reverse this trend and make America’s media a healthier place where a variety of ideas and the free market can co-exist.

When Adolph Hitler took power in Germany he also took over the media, and he used it to shape a modern, civilized country to his ends. With full control of the national press his propaganda minister Paul Josef Goebbels developed sophisticated and very effective tools of propaganda to control public opinion in Germany, and even in other countries. He proved that if you repeat a lie often enough in mass media, most people will accept it as the truth.

This is very powerful, and propaganda may be the most dangerous weapon developed in the Second World War. The atom bomb scared so many people that we had mass movements trying to control it, but the general public seems to have missed the significance of the power of propaganda.

As media conglomerates like Murdoch and News Corp continue to be allowed to buy up every means of information resources, the propaganda of conservatism will continue to give the public a pre-arranged slant of reality.

Hitler took over the media and he used it to further his own goals of hate and power, while the current spread of conservative propaganda in the media is being used to place political parties into power, start wars and silence the critics.

The conservatives with their media conglomerates like News Corp and others, are practicing the same philosophy used by Hitler during his reign of terror. If we the public sit idly by while media giants control our flow of information, then we will fare worse than Hitler's Germany.