black and white plane hanger, attacks on freedom of the press, peace heart tattoo

Continental Can hangar, Morristown Airport, New Jersey

Continental Can hangar, Morristown Airport, New Jersey. 1952. Gottscho-Schleisner, Inc., photographer.

Continental Can hangar, Morristown Airport, New Jersey

Continental Can hangar, Morristown Airport, New Jersey.1952. I just liked the contrasts and the pattern of the hangar ceiling.

 The Demi-God of Conservatism, Internationalist Rupert Murdoch: Journalism’s Jack the Ripper

The scenario that should truly alarm and depress the rest of us is the one that many have posed as the salvation of these papers: a Tribune Company takeover by Rupert Murdoch. While one group of Los Angeles businessmen is interested in buying the LA Times, they have no interest in the package of eight. That leaves Murdoch. And while resistance to a Koch purchase among editors and reporters is strong enough to convince the new owners that they might be buying an empty shell, the attitude toward a Murdoch takeover is quite the opposite. When, during a meeting of the entire staff, LA Times columnist Steve Lopez asked those assembled to “raise your hand if you would quit if the paper was bought by Rupert Murdoch,” only a handful reportedly did so (compared with about half of the staff when the Koch purchase was proposed). Similarly, one member of the Baltimore Sun staff wrote Jim Romenesko that “Murdoch, at least, is a newsman,” a view that was echoed nearly word for word by a Chicago Tribune journalist: “Murdoch, for all his flaws, is a newspaper man.”

True, but by the same logic, Jack the Ripper was a lover of the ladies. Murdoch may be a “newspaper man,” but he is surely not a man who respects honest journalism or even the laws of society as they apply to it (or much else, for that matter). Just in the past few weeks, Murdoch has been making news in the following ways:

He paid out $139 million to settle a class-action suit by News Corp. shareholders, who accused the board of directors of putting the Murdoch family’s interests above those of the company with regard to both the British phone-hacking episode—one of the most egregious criminal scandals in the history of journalism—and News Corp.’s sweetheart acquisition of his daughter Elizabeth’s television production company. The lawsuit alleged that the board “disregarded its fiduciary duties” and allowed Murdoch to run News Corp. as his “own personal fiefdom.”

Eric Alterman’s larger point was that while the wacky Koch brothers may buy eight newspapers as outlets for their radical propaganda, and many journalists at those newspapers are upset at the idea, they feel less objection to Rupert. Wealthy plutocrats using the media to push their agenda is not new – see William R. Hearst (1863-1951). Though more than ever they are not just ruining the media, they’re smearing the basic concept of journalism. Journalist as unbiased watchdog for the people. We don’t have time to hang around Congress and report on what they do. We don’t have the resources to fly out to a mine disaster, or oil rig explosion to report on how, who and why. Many people have turned to the internet – one of the reasons newspapers print readership is down. Though bills sponsored by corporate interests keep coming up in Congress. How long before the gates of the internet are rigged to point people in certain directions for their news. Or in the worse case scenario, any site that questions the status quo and corporate power, is gated off completely. Even if the Kochs or Murdoch lose money they don’t care ( Eric says the Kochs will care). They make enough money in simple interests to pay for the loses. In the mean time, while conservative media has only limited success, mostly preaching to the choir, they can muck up the truth enough to eck out those tiny electoral victories and advance their legislative agenda.

peace heart tattoo

peace heart tattoo. i added the dust and scratches.