Headline Of The Year: Rupert Murdoch Is Deviant Scum (Rolling Stone)

Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi has penned a thought provoking article that examines the fading glory of one of the world’s most prominent media barons, Rupert Murdoch. He begins above the fold with a no-holds-barred headline declaring that Rupert Murdoch Is Deviant Scum.” And he has the reasoned analysis to back it up.

Murdoch Trump

Taibbi carefully constructs a case for how Murdoch is losing either his empire or his mind, or both. At the outset is the observation that his crown jewel, Fox News, is at risk of being strangled by its own monstrous creation, Donald Trump. He notes that Murdoch “must be petrified at the prospect of losing his hard-won viewership at the end of his life.” The public feuding that has been ongoing between Fox and Trump threatens to sap the network of its previously loyal viewer base. Trump’s followers are incensed by what they feel is unfair treatment of their superhero and have pledged to boycott the network. Or as Taibbi deliciously puts it…

“Donald Trump is the fallen angel in the Fox story, a traitor who’s trying to tempt away Murdoch’s lovingly nurtured stable of idiot viewers by denouncing their favorite ‘news’ network as a false conservative God.”

Taibbi proposes that Murdoch’s fear of mogul emasculation is the impetus for his ludicrous tweet extolling Ben Carson, another former Fox News contributor, as potentially “a real black President who can properly address the racial divide?” And who could be a better gauge of real blackness that old Rupert? [For the record, along with Trump and Carson, the current GOP field of candidates includes three more ex-Fox employees, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, and John Kasich.] But it’s Obama’s suspect blackness, in Murdoch’s view, that Taibbi focuses on. He notes that Fox’s standard profile of Obama is one of “a mongrel, a kind of Manchurian President, raised in madrassas and weaned on socialism, who hates white people and yearns to euthanize them.” Or when race was a part of the discussion, Obama was reduced to being a “secret street hood,” or a “skinny, ghetto crackhead.” Taibbi summarizes saying that…

“Rupert Murdoch has spent seven to eight years finding every conceivable way to say that Barack Obama isn’t one of us. The president is forever described as a kind of malevolent animal, unable to control his irrepressible urge to take and redistribute the white man’s property.”

The whole article is well worth the read. It contains rational insight, pertinent facts, and luminous prose. And I find it particularly relevant in light of an article I wrote three years ago positing that Murdoch was even then showing signs of losing it. On several pressing issues there were emerging stark difference between the powerful Murdoch of the past and the more impotent version of the present. On gun control, immigration, and climate change mitigation, all of which he viewed favorably, Murdoch’s views were contradicted by his Fox News subordinates. He was also being supplanted as the GOP kingmaker by his lieutenant Roger Ailes, CEO of Fox News. As I wrote at the time…

Politicians around the world were once obliged to pay their respects to the “Dirty Digger” if they hoped to succeed electorally. […] However, in recent months the Murdochian monarchy seems to have been sapped of its power. There has been none of the reverential genuflecting to the man whose anointment was once compulsory. There has been scant evidence of his presence in the political backrooms where influence is administered.

The usurpation of the Fox News agenda is obvious and disturbing. Roger Ailes is installing himself at the top of the pile in opposition to his boss on some of the most important issues of the day. This can only lead to trouble. Visceral, personal, gut-wrenching, back-stabbing, explosive trouble. In other words: FUN!

Suffice to say that it hasn’t gotten better for Murdoch since then. And Taibbi’s profile illustrates just how much his situation has deteriorated. He notes that Murdoch “senses his beloved audience of idiots drifting away.” It becomes a question of whether Murdoch is willing to sink as low as Trump in order to get them back. It’s a tough call, but if anyone can descend to the most putrid levels of human indecency it’s Rupert Murdoch – the man whose British newspaper hacked the phone of a murdered schoolgirl. Let Trump top that.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.


10 thoughts on “Headline Of The Year: Rupert Murdoch Is Deviant Scum (Rolling Stone)

  1. To know how good Murdoch is at choosing leaders of nations, we only have to look at Tony Abbott. When Abbott won the Australian election a few years ago, Murdoch was all over social media praising him. Well, Abbott didn’t last a full four years as Australia’s leader because he was not fit to serve in the position. In fact, he was so incompetent and divisive that his own party members voted him out last month. I haven’t read anything about Murdoch’s reaction to this, and I don’t expect to because he’ll never admit that he’s lousy when it comes to choosing leaders. What he wants in a leader is someone who looks out for the interests of himself and the other one and two percenters. He got it in Abbott, but it didn’t take long for his party members and Australia’ s citizens to realize that he was an “emperor” with no clothes.

  2. Matt Taibbi is clearly writing for a left wing audience with this quote provided by Mark:

    ““Donald Trump is the fallen angel in the Fox story, a traitor who’s trying to tempt away Murdoch’s lovingly nurtured stable of idiot viewers by denouncing their favorite ‘news’ network as a false conservative God.”

    Donald Trump is correct in calling Fox News a false conservative God – but to refer to the fox viewers as Mr. Taibbi does will not help in improving political discourse or help bring anyone who watches that channel out of the darkness. Hatred like that doesn’t serve to improve anything. I know a few fervent Fox News watchers and I can’t even talk to them because of their Fox corrupted view of things. If you want true change for the positive, you and anyone who pushes the views like the ones on this blog will need to choose a better way to get the point across. And you will only get through when those who follow Fox religiously are ready to hear something contradictory to what they’ve been sold – and conservatism isn’t what they’ve been sold.

  3. Aside from all the nonsense in this piece, all I see is a lot of wishful thinking on the part of Mr. Taibbi. It’s a shame he has to get into the gutter to make a point. And News Corpse needs to clean up its’ gutter as well.

    • There is a consistency in how these people refer to Fox news viewers – they must be passing notes. Idiot seems to be the preferred word. It must make them feel better about themselves – although it doesn’t really support their own belief that they are so much more thoughtful and reasoned.

    • Taibbi and Mark clean up their acts? When pigs fly.

      Rolling Stone keeps forgetting they have no credibility. That was made clear with that fake rape story. It really is just a magazine that reviews crappy music and still thinks it’s cool to do drugs.

  4. Matt Taibbi said in reference to the Trump issue:

    “Neither Ailes nor Murdoch are too dense to know what this means. They know they’ve spent a generation building an audience of morons. Their business model depends on morons; morons are the raw materials of their industry, the way Budweiser is in the hops business.”

    Truth isn’t something that should have to be sold to the masses. It simply has to be recognized. The cliche’ “the truth hurts” doesn’t apply to everyone, just those who don’t recognize it. If you have to “sell” your version of the truth, there’s something wrong with it. That’s why Murdoch and Ailes need a moronic audience.

  5. I think it’s more likely the formula that works is as follows: people want to hear what they want to hear. From real world experience – people (in general) don’t really want to hear the truth, they want someone to tell them what they want to hear. You work in the federal government – you’ve got to see that all the time. I see it out in the real world and it’s frustrating to those of us who don’t generally have a filter and tell it like it is. We’re not very popular – hence the popularity of Fox News. It’s just human nature – for good or for bad. Government operates totally based on that – how popular are people in politics running for president who tell it exactly how it is? I’m not talking about the Donald Trump type of talking, I’m talking about realities of social security, debt, etc. If you talk straight and say what really needs done, you won’t get elected.

  6. Matt Taibbi is a fine writer. I’ve read a couple of his books and they were entertaining page-turners in an updated “gonzo journalism” style. Like Hunter Thompson, he leans more toward opinion than straight-up reporting, but only gullible, too-literal folks have trouble parsing that out. He may be the best writer in Rolling Stone these days, but I wouldn’t know, since I haven’t read it since it turned into “People Magazine for hipsters” decades ago. But I did read RS “back in the day”… yeah, back when H.S. Thompson and Lester Bangs were alive & kicking; transforming fanzine writing into an ever-evolving Counterculture Literature. And yeah, I am that old, but I was reading that kinda stuff in my early teens. But this mean old Devil is holding up alot better than many of my feeble, sickly, cobwebby peers… just turned 57 and still hard as nails!

  7. I am confident, if not too naive, that Donald Trump will never have 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on his return address, but if his pathetic campaign, whorish and juvenile does nothing else but sink Fox News then it’s been effective. And NBC, who broke with Trump now fearful of reprisals, inviting him to host an SNL airing, has prompted petitions to stop that bit of tomfoolery. Trump could host and be the brunt of scathing parody but he’s too thin-skinned to allow that and likely wouldn’t subject himself to the razor wit of SNL’s writers and performers.

Comments are closed.