Woe is the top 10 percent!

I don’t begrudge people making a lot more money that I make, but why is it that when papers like Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal illustrate the impact of the recent tax change on certain income groups exceeding mine, the people look so miserable?

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I mean, really! If I were making as much as anyone in this chart, I’d have a pretty big smile on my face. Wouldn’t you? Or am I really that out of touch?

These people look like Bob Cratchit and family waiting for Scrooge to deliver the Christmas goose. Even the people paying no extra taxes look miserable.

As Brad DeLong says:

Just how many female-headed single-parent families with two children under 10 are there in the United States making $260K/year, anyway?

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So, any new News Corp. atrocities, recently?

Lots of news this week related to Rupert Murdoch’s media giant, News Corp. This part, though, isn’t an atrocity:

Robert Thomson, former editor of The Times and currently managing editor of the Wall Street Journal, is to become chief executive of a new publishing arm of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. …

The announcement is part of a major restructuring of News Corp, which is being split into two businesses: a dominant TV and film arm, called Fox Group, and a newspaper and book publishing division, which will retain the News Corporation moniker. It is this company which Thomson will head.

According to The Guardian, the main assets of News Corporation will be News International’s UK titles The Times, The Sun and The Sunday Times, the WSJ, the New York Post, the Australian and other News Ltd papers and the HarperCollins book publishing business.

And despite the hand-wringing by Russia Television in the following video clip, what appears to be the foundation for an atrocity doesn’t quite meet the mark:

The argument is that a company can’t control a newspaper and a television station in the same market (which, by the way, Rupert already does with the WSJ, the New York Post and the Fox station WNYW in New York).

But under the restructuring of News Corp., the publishing arm is being separated from the TV and film arm. FCC approval to buy the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, both now struggling, is irrelevant. The publishing company, called News Corp., doesn’t have television stations. The TV and film arm, called Fox Group, doesn’t have newspapers. With the creation of two corporate entities that trade separate stock (which Wall Street has demanded for years), it doesn’t matter if Murdoch serves as chairman of both companies.

It sucks, but it’s all legal.

BUT!!!

The thought of Rupert owning three major newspapers in three major media markets has to give one pause. Especially after this was reported by Bob Woodward in the Washington Post:

Roger Ailes, the longtime Republican media guru, founder of Fox News and its current chairman, had some advice last year for then-Gen. David H. Petraeus.

So in spring 2011, Ailes asked a Fox News analyst headed to Afghanistan to pass on his thoughts to Petraeus, who was then the commander of U.S. and coalition forces there. Petraeus, Ailes advised, should turn down an expected offer from President Obama to become CIA director and accept nothing less than the chairmanship of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the top military post. If Obama did not offer the Joint Chiefs post, Petraeus should resign from the military and run for president, Ailes suggested.

The Fox News chairman’s message was delivered to Petraeus by Kathleen T. McFarland, a Fox News national security analyst and former national security and Pentagon aide in three Republican administrations. …

McFarland also said that Ailes — who had a decades-long career as a Republican political consultant, advising Richard M. Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush — might resign as head of Fox to run a Petraeus presidential campaign. At one point, McFarland and Petraeus spoke about the possibility that Rupert Murdoch, the head of News Corp., which owns Fox News, would “bankroll” the campaign.

And therein lies the atrocity. Rupert is using his media empire to put himself in a position to decide who the president of the United States is going to be. No big secret there. He’s already done it in the U.K. It’s common knowledge that anyone hoping to be the British prime minister has to seek an audience with, and get the blessing of, Rupert. That’s how Margaret Thatcher became PM. That’s why Tony Blair won. And that’s why David Cameron is in office now.

So let’s say Petraeus didn’t get caught in a sex scandal and that Murdoch did have control of the Los Angeles and Chicago papers: You’d have glowing reports about Petraeus being the man to run the country from Fox News and the local Fox affiliates across the country. Favorable editorials and major print coverage for Petraeus by the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times. The country is blanketed.

And if all had gone Fox’s/News Corp.’s way?

Rupert Murdoch would be the puppet master of the president of the United States. Making Rupert the most powerful man in the world.

Not the kind of thing you want to read while eating your oatmeal in the morning, right?

Oh, and while I’m at it, this is the front page of Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post today:

04subway1-cityroom-blog480Yes. Murdoch’s paper ran this. And yes, the man in the photo was killed by the train.

So maybe I shouldn’t have posted this photo with this item? But this posting is about News Corp. atrocities. You do need to see them to understand what this media company, and its chairman, stand for.

Mr. Murdoch explains

I just remembered I haven’t said anything about Rupert Murdoch in a while. Then I saw this in the New York Times:

On Nov. 3, [New Jersey Gov. Chris] Christie called Rupert Murdoch, the influential News Corporation chief and would-be kingmaker, who had warned in a biting post on Twitter that the governor might be responsible for Mr. Obama’s re-election.

Mr. Christie told Mr. Murdoch that amid the devastation, New Jersey needed friends, no matter their political party, according to people briefed on the discussion. But Mr. Murdoch was blunt: Mr. Christie risked looking like a spoiler unless he publicly affirmed his support for Mitt Romney, something the governor did the next day.

Because, really, what’s more important: doing all you can to help your state recover from a natural disaster, or getting your butt in line to show unconditional support for the guy who believes that the agency dealing with disaster recovery should be abolished?

Then I saw this on Twitter:Because you know who runs the media? Not Rupert, no sir.

Apologies ensue on that last item. I guess since Rupert (through his “news” network) already insults blacks and Hispanics and gays and women and the poor and young people and liberals, he doesn’t want to go overboard and be called anti-Semitic.

Let’s see where Fox News goes next.

Quality journalism from the U.K.

Given that the U.K. Parliament has said that media baron Rupert Murdoch isn’t fit to run an international corporation, let alone run a newspaper, let’s take a look at what people who are fit to run a corporation are putting in British newspapers:

“It was hell, I can’t walk!” Man found
sobbing in street after 36-hour sex ordeal
with German nymphomaniac

The woman was arrested last month
after another exhausted lover escaped
onto a balcony and cried for help

C’mon, admit it. You really want to read this story, right? And that’s why people like Murdoch succeed in the newspaper business.

Rupert Murdoch: Any new News Corp. atrocities, recently?

Rupert Murdoch pimps the news

Rupert Murdoch pimps the news

From the New York Times:

A damning report on the hacking scandal at Rupert Murdoch’s British newspapers concluding that Mr. Murdoch is “not a fit person” to run a huge international company has convulsed Britain’s political and media worlds and threatened a core asset of Mr. Murdoch’s American-based News Corporation….

It said the use of illegal reporting methods and the efforts to thwart inquiries into the practice came from a culture that “permeated from the top throughout the organization and speaks volumes about the lack of effective corporate governance at News Corporation and News International,” its British newspaper subsidiary.

“We conclude, therefore, that Rupert Murdoch is not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company,” the report said.

OK. But like I said in the headline, any new News Corp. atrocities, recently?

Rupert haters have been saying this forever. That it took hacking the phone of a dead girl to bring this about shows how corrupt the company is. Yes, the fact that a government body comes out and says it shows it’s a big deal, but look at how the decision came about. When the members of Parliament voted on the language of the report, all of the Conservatives voted against the wording “is not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company,” and all the members of Labour and the Liberal Democrats voted for it. It’s a purely partisan vote. Labour wants the Tories to say that Rupert is a fit person to run a company. It’s a political hammer to use in the next round of elections. The Conservatives can’t say anything different because they’re in power because of Murdoch. And the Lib Dems, who have no credibility anymore since they shacked up with the Tories, are trying to get back into the good graces of their liberal constituencies by attacking an obvious target.

Bottom line, it the Brits really felt Murdoch was unfit to run an international company, they’d start taking apart his empire in the U.K. Keep track of how they deal BSkyB, the U.K. television network that News Corp. has a minority stake in. If they don’t take that away, they aren’t going to do anything.

And honestly, why should Rupert even care about what the Brits think? He already owns that country, and he’s got his sights set on bigger fish. His goal is to take over the political system in America, and he already owns one of the two major parties in the U.S. (When at one time you have most of a party’s potential major candidates for the presidency on your payroll, you own that party. Meanwhile, the people who make up the one he doesn’t own don’t have the balls to say he’s “unfit” because they’re terrified of him. If his fitness as a boss ever came to a vote in Congress, Rupert would win.

With overwhelming bipartisan support.

It’s fun to watch the New York Times fall over itself in its rapture over this development. Rupert has made it clear since he took over the Wall Street Journal that he wants to destroy America’s best newspaper. The sniping on both sides has been entertaining (remember the WSJ piece about feminine-looking men that used as part of an illustration the mouth of the New York Times’ publisher? That’s classic Rupert. Don’t think the Times was going to let that slide). After that, it seems, the publication hated by the right went into full “destroy that Aussie bastard” mode. So a couple of the world’s biggest elitists are busy bitch slapping each other. The Times is getting its shot now. Wait a few weeks and Rupert will come up with something better.

What tops it all off: News Corp. stock rose today after the report came out. How is this possible?

Investors think this is good news because they’re hoping it will force Murdoch to dump some unnecessary properties to focus on the core business and drive the stock price up.

Here’s what the Wall Street Journal said about that:

News Corp. shares rose 19 cents to $19.79 in Nasdaq Stock Market trading Tuesday. “To the extent the Murdochs are forced to run the company in a more investor-friendly manner,” investors are upbeat, said Maxim Group analyst John Tinker. He cited the potential to shift some power to Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey, who is popular with investors.

So what the Brits just did is literally add about a million dollars/pounds/euros to Rupert’s already fat bank account. Yeah, I’m sure he’s going to lose sleep over this.

(And by the way, just so I make myself clear: Rupert Murdoch is not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company.)

The latest Fox News fakeout

I guess you’ve seen gas prices have gone up, again? And I guess you’ve seen Fox News’s take on it. Right now, the narrative from the Ministry of Propaganda for the Republican/Tea Party is that high gas prices are President Obama’s fault.

But gas prices were just as high when George Bush the Dumber was president. I wonder what Fox News said then?

I hate these guys.

By the way, when I was in Belgium and England, gas prices were more than $8 a gallon. People dealt with it. In the U.S., prices are about $4 a gallon. We’re having a meltdown. But I forget, Europeans are wimps as the GOP loves to say.

Oh, and since we’re on the subject of Rupert Murdoch’s news operations, have there been any other News Corp. atrocities recently?

Rebekah Brooks, the former chief executive of News International, the British newspaper division of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, was arrested early Tuesday on suspicion of obstruction of justice, according to a person with knowledge of the arrest. Her husband, Charlie, a friend of Prime Minister David Cameron from their days at Eton three decades ago, was also arrested, the person said.

The police said in a statement that six people in and outside of London had been arrested on Tuesday as part of Operation Weeting, the criminal investigation into phone hacking and other illegal activities at The News of the World and other newspapers. None have yet been formally charged with crimes; in the British system, charges can be filed months after an arrest, and sometimes not at all.

I’m sure Fox News is on top of this story.

So, what’s the latest News Corp. atrocity?

Well, there’s this:

Fox Sports is apologizing for an “inappropriate” video filmed on the University of Southern California campus that critics say mocks Asian students — most of whom appear to know little about college football — by singling them out and prompting them to welcome Colorado and Utah to the Pac-12.

The video has since been removed from Fox’s website. But a University of Colorado ethnic studies professor said Tuesday that he finds it troubling, saying it perpetuates racist myths about Asians being “un-American.”

This is the video in question:

Fox today announced that it cancelled the show, “The College Experiment,” that aired the “report,” because  the segment was “clearly offensive and inconsistent with the standards FOX Sports believes in, and we sincerely regret that it appeared.”

And then there’s this:

“Americans who most trust Fox News to provide news about politics and current events have much more negative attitudes about American Muslims [PDF] and their motivations than Americans who trust other sources,” according to a study released Wednesday by the Brookings Institution.

“Among the general public, only 3-in-10 (30 percent) believe that American Muslims ultimately want to establish Shari’a law or Islamic law as law of the land.

“Less than 3-in-10 Americans who most trust any other media sources besides Fox News agree with this statement, including those who most trust the broadcast news networks (28 percent), MSNBC (29 percent), public television (23 percent) and CNN (20 percent). Among Americans who most trust Fox News, however, a slim majority (52 percent) agree that Americans Muslims want to establish Shari’a law in the U.S.,” said the study, by Robert P. Jones, Daniel Cox, E.J. Dionne Jr. and William A. Galston.

And, to round it out, there’s this:

Two-thirds of viewers who say Fox News is the news source they trust most believe discrimination against whites is as big a problem as discrimination against minority groups, according to a study released Tuesday by the Brookings Institution and the Public Religion Research Institute. The number, 68 percent, is an exact reversal of the percentage of black people in the same poll who say that discrimination against whites is not as big a problem as discrimination against minorities. The study was based on polling conducted by PRRI.*

It’s good to see that News Corp. is leading the way to promote racial tolerance.