The allegedly “fair and balanced” Fox News Channel’s patriarch, Rupert Murdoch, has revealed his preference in the presidential contest, as if it was ever in doubt. Yesterday, however, he made it clear that he favors Mitt Romney, even though he’s concerned that Romney isn’t being sufficiently dickish. Murdoch Tweeted:
“Easy for Romney to spell out restoration of the American Dream and bash incompetent administration. But not a word.”
There is so much wrong with that brief belch of bluster that it’s hard to know where to begin. Let’s start with the fact that the man who runs the company that hacked into the phones of thousands of people, including politicians, celebrities, and a murdered schoolgirl, has no business calling anyone else incompetent. Especially when that horrific and criminal activity, which has already resulted in dozens of arrests and resignations, was deliberately covered up at the highest levels of the company’s management.
Secondly, Murdoch doesn’t bother to define his notion of the American Dream. Presumably it involves being made a citizen by an act of Congress so that you can buy a television network, rather than having any affinity for the values of the country you are merely exploiting for profit. It certainly does not involve the patriotic principles of shared sacrifice, equality, and justice for all.
Thirdly, It is thoroughly inappropriate for the head of a so-called “news” enterprise to advocate “bashing” a political candidate. Murdoch is, in effect, offering campaign advice to the candidate he supports. But his advice is purely style over substance. He is not helping to shape policy or strategy. Rather he’s pushing the candidate toward more hardball tactics. And for anyone who thinks this is reaching too far, note that this morning on Fox & Friends the cast of cartoon characters who host the show took exactly the same position in a segment that promoted White House critics goading Romney into taking a more aggressive posture against the President. That coordination of themes was just a coincidence, right?
Finally, Murdoch complained that Romney has said “not a word” with respect to the American Dream or bashing the President. Is Murdoch in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s? That’s pretty much all that Romney has talked about. Can anyone forget his dreamy exaltation of America that nearly made the wrod lose all meaning?
Romney: I believe in an America where millions of Americans believe in an America that’s the America millions of Americans believe in. That’s the America I believe in.
Romney has perfected a sort robotic America worship that can only appeal to an emotionally stunted Tea Partier. His campaign slogan is Believe in America (well, that and We’re not Stupid) And when he isn’t salivating over America, he is berating Obama. Romney has hardly been gentle in his assaults. He routinely castigates the President as a failure, in over his head, and a hater of free enterprise.
All of this makes you wonder how Murdoch would have Romney alter his approach. Romney already avoids substantive policies like the plague – at least those he isn’t flip-flopping around. Does Murdoch want Romney to adopt the dementia of birthers, or the paranoia of those convinced that Obama is a Manchurian Muslim bent on delivering America to the communists? Romney’s entire campaign is already composed of nothing but obsequious pseudo-patriotism and pummeling Obama. Yet somehow Murdoch doesn’t see any of it – or enough of it. That should be a troubling sign to his doctors, his family, and his colleagues at Fox News.