Former editor of the British newspaper ‘The Sun’ Kelvin MacKenzie has written a forceful defense in the Guardian of his former paymaster and perhaps the most reviled man in modern media history, Rupert Murdoch. He writes:
Sky is not Fox News and I have my doubts that in leftwing, socialist, clapped-out Britain, the latter would work commercially or audiencewise.
Thank God for the Rupert Murdochs of this world. I wish there were hundreds more in our country. Unemployment would be wiped out at a stroke. At a conference in London recently he used a quote I really love about the lack of business adventure in Britain. He said: “We’ve got to get rid of the fear of failure in this country. In America, people start things, fail and shake themselves down and start things again. The animal spirit of capitalism is stronger there.”
It is true that Murdoch has created many jobs and made lots and lots of money, but if you weigh it up against the massive damage to fairness and accuracy in journalism (just look at the Sun in the UK and Fox in America) and the complete destruction of independent media, I think it is fair to say that the world be a better place without him.
In recent years, the Murdoch press helped sell two illegal and disastrous wars in the Middle East, vilified millions of immigrants in both the US and UK, and has consistently failed to provide meaningful journalism on the banking industry (no Murdoch paper saw the financial meltdown coming – to the contrary, every outlet he owns cheerled as MacKenzie put it, the ‘animal spirit of capitalism’ that created the disaster in the first place).
Murdoch epitomizes the worst aspects of modern business culture – naked greed, and ruthless monopolization – two ingredients that have ruined the spirit of fairness and accuracy in news, and eliminated diversity in programming.
Not exactly a record to be proud of.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.