Sunday, May 20, 2007

If You Don't Want Murdoch, Don't Sell WSJ To Him

Whenever I get a call from a real estate agent, I hang up on him or her without saying a word. I find this very satisfying, because I then don't have to listen to all the claptrap offers and sales pitches they come up with. (It's also more than justified, a long New York Times article on elderly fraud made clear Sunday, to hang up on telephone marketers seeking personal information. This is often used to clean out private banking accounts. One man cited lost $100,000).

I'd put Rupert Murdoch's offer for the Wall Street Journal in the same hang up category. No matter what he is offering, why should the Bancroft family entertain even for a moment such a distasteful exemplar of crude and wanton greed as a prospect for ruining a great newspaper? One that the Bancroft family has controlled since 1902.

Murdoch's tendency to shade coverage in his newspapers to please the dictators in the People's Republic of China, where he has business interests, is alone a sufficient reason not to so much as listen for one moment to his offer.

His ownership of the Fox News network has been an attempt to subvert the American democratic system and turn the country over to right wing ideologues. It is already a disgrace that that biased network has obtained so many watchers, although, of course, people in this country are free to watch whatever they like. Some like biased, low brow reporting. Murdoch already owns enough outlets to give it to them.

Some attention should certainly be paid to the 76-year-old Murdoch. Since he is from Australia, just how is he living in this country? Is he even an American citizen? Perhaps there are irregularities in his status here that would justify steps to eject him.

When you think about it, Murdoch is a much a predator as someone who preys on small children on the Internet, or one of these scam artists which the New York Times reports today are emptying the accounts of elderly people who foolishly give them personal information on the telephone. The world is filled with evil people, and there aren't enugh jails to put them into.

In the meantime, I find intolerable, at this moment of crisis in print journalism, to contemplate Murdoch getting control over the Wall Street Journal, where he would wreak havoc on the staff, and destroy many careers the way they have been destroyed by the Tribune Co. at its Los Angeles Times and other papers. He is a small type of man, better qualified to buy a chain of garbage dumps or Nevada bordellos than any institution worth so much to a free society.

So I hope against hope we will hear no more of his obscene offer.

Let him devote himself to writing more such diverting headlines as "Headless Body Found In Topless Bar," such as ran in his New York Post.

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