The endless reign of Rupert Murdoch
July 12, 2018 6:40 PM   Subscribe

Together, his aptitude and his tastes combine into something one of his editors called “crassmanship”. “When it comes to headlines, as well as the play of stories, Rupert sheds with ease, if not relief, his Oxford prejudices, intellectual pretensions and the mannerisms of his wealth.” The proprietor’s talent is “uniquely geared to attract the lowest common denominator of reader.”

Richard Cooke writes for The Monthly magazine, July 2018
Within the Murdoch companies, plans for his succession are made on the assumptions of something like immortality. “Don’t you know my dad’s never going to die?” his son Lachlan said once. When a Wall Street Journal editor asked his boss, Robert Thomson, about pre-preparing an obituary for Murdoch (a standard newspaper practice), he was told, “Rupert is not going to die.” “In the event he does?” the editor asked. “Rupert is not going to die,” he was told again.
The secretary for culture and media, Jeremy Hunt (note: current UK foreign minister, succeeding Boris Johnson), had once been nicknamed “The Minister for Murdoch”.
“I have never met Mr Murdoch,” the former Tony Blair communications deputy Lance Price wrote for The Guardian, “but at times when I worked at Downing Street he seemed like the 24th member of the cabinet. His voice was rarely heard … but his presence was always felt. No big decision could ever be made inside No 10 without taking account of the likely reaction of three men – Gordon Brown, John Prescott and Rupert Murdoch.”
In other news, Rupert Murdoch wins government clearance for Sky takeover. (The Guardian)
posted by runcifex (19 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
“Rupert is not going to die.” “In the event he does?” the editor asked. “Rupert is not going to die,” he was told again.

Well sure, not until we track down all the damn horcruxes.
posted by Celsius1414 at 6:44 PM on July 12, 2018 [49 favorites]

I've often thought that the most likely candidate for the subject of the They Might Be Giants song "When Will You Die?" has to be Rupert Murdoch.
posted by Caduceus at 7:08 PM on July 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

Australia Day is January 26th, and a lot of people want to change it. The date of Rupert Murdoch's death would be a solid alternative, when it comes.
posted by nnethercote at 7:33 PM on July 12, 2018 [12 favorites]

The more I read, the more I was thinking "holy crap, he's Grima Wormtongue."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:40 PM on July 12, 2018 [6 favorites]

I registered the domain during the whole Milly Dowler travesty. I think I registered it for like seven years (cheaper). I've been renewing it annually ever since, even though it costs more, because I am eternally an optimist.

I have a passport now. I hope they bury him in a country worth visiting, because I plan to piss on the man's grave. I'm assured there will be an orderly queue.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:00 PM on July 12, 2018 [25 favorites]

"He also has an uncanny eye for detail. Proofreading his wife Anna’s novel, a rural romance, he clocked that she had the Murrumbidgee River flowing the wrong way."

(I do like this as an anecdote about his sharpness. The Murrumbidgee flows in an anticlockwise spiral - south at the source, then east to Cooma, north past Canberra, west past Gundegai and Wagga, and finally south-west to the Murray.)
posted by other barry at 8:24 PM on July 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

I remember nodding with some level of appreciation upon news of him taking a not so wee tumble on the steps of his yacht. More news of this nature would not displease me.
posted by chainlinkspiral at 8:26 PM on July 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

Obligatory (low quality, SLTY) It's a Soaraway Life.
posted by kewb at 4:02 AM on July 13, 2018

It's interesting that there seems to be so little contingency made for his death. Everyone dies. If his vile empire descends into a ruin of chaos and infighting after its ruler's inevitable end, that would be pretty great. Perhaps no other living person has done more damage to democracy, reason, and the truth itself than Murdoch. The world is a demonstrably worse place because of him, in so very many ways. Without Murdoch, would we (the US) have a government full of climate change deniers? Would we have a society whose foundations are crumbling from anti-intellectualism, xenophobia, and fear? Would we have Trump? His crimes against society are global in scope, I'm just throwing stuff out off the top of my American head. A full enumeration of the damage he's done would fill books. I'm gonna go do something else now before I start ranting. I just hope he dies soon, and that when he does it causes maximum chaos. I don't wish suffering upon him, I just want him gone.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 6:32 AM on July 13, 2018 [13 favorites]

It's interesting that there seems to be so little contingency made for his death.

Maybe he's already dead, and the powers behind the scenes have concealed that fact because he's a useful figurehead. Fast forward a couple of years and we've always been at war with Eastasia and Big Murdoch is always watching.
posted by tobascodagama at 7:44 AM on July 13, 2018 [2 favorites]

When the son says his father will never die, I somehow get the sense this is a thing learned through experiment.
posted by Typhoon Jim at 8:33 AM on July 13, 2018 [5 favorites]

Reminds me a lot of Sumner Redstone and National Amusements/Viacom/CBS. From a recent interview on Marketplace:
We're talking about him a lot because he made kind of a mess of his succession planning frankly. Its incredible. Sumner Redstone always claimed that he was never going to die. And seems like it might be true. He would proudly say that, kind of as a joke, to reporters for years. "I'm never going to die, I'm going to control this even from beyond the grave. I don't have to do any succession planning because I'm never going to die. Ha ha." Except that, he kind of meant it and he thought that he was going to lawyer his way beyond the afterlife and decide how his companies were going to be run. And he did a really bad job of that, in part because he probably didn't give it all directly to his family in the way he should have. And that mess of the last three years that we've seen is the result of that.
posted by HiddenInput at 8:57 AM on July 13, 2018 [5 favorites]

Thank God for this one weakness of the haughty.
posted by Typhoon Jim at 9:34 AM on July 13, 2018 [2 favorites]

His outlets do have a genius for the salacious headline though. Right now my news sidebar says "FOX NEWS: Mom Split 'Like a Banana' after Horror Jet Ski Accident, Report Says." I never open them, but that kind of headline is a constant presence in my Apple News widget. That's a pretty mild one, even—normally they manage to work in a racist or sexist dogwhistle within the span of seven or eight words.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 2:38 PM on July 13, 2018 [2 favorites]

Farage, Trump and Johnson: grist to the Murdoch mill (The Guardian)
For Murdoch, such troublemaking in the face of elected politicians is meat and drink. A weak prime minister (who is far closer to the Daily Mail) and Brexit in jeopardy, present the perfect opportunity to display power and buy up or unearth more news stories.

Rumours are now swirling that Murdoch would like to sign up Johnson, who is close to the Sun editor, Tony Gallagher, as a columnist. An editorial in the paper on Friday morning concludes that something has to give: “Our future is in the balance here … only one thing is making progress … Tory poll numbers slowly heading south.”
posted by runcifex at 5:53 AM on July 14, 2018

I often feel as a Melburnian that I need to apologise for Murdoch and the uber-transphobe, Germaine Greer. I'm sorry world that my little city unleashed such horrors on the world.
posted by daybeforetheday at 7:54 PM on July 14, 2018

As much as I loath and regret transphobia, I don't think Germaine Greer is a "horror" in the way the Murdochs are. The Murdoch propaganda empire has much, much, much wider consequences for much more people.
posted by runcifex at 10:41 PM on July 14, 2018

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