TagRupert Murdoch

The U.S. Media Ignored Murdoch’s Brazen Bid To Hijack The Presidency

Carl Bernstein writes:

Thus in the spring of 2011 – less than 10 weeks before Murdoch’s centrality to the hacking and politician-buying scandal enveloping his British newspapers was definitively revealed – Fox News’ inventor and president, Roger Ailes, dispatched an emissary to Afghanistan to urge Petraeus to turn down President Obama’s expected offer to become CIA director and, instead, run for the Republican nomination for president, with promises of being bankrolled by Murdoch. Ailes himself would resign as president of Fox News and run the campaign, according to the conversation between Petraeus and the emissary, K T McFarland, a Fox News on-air defense “analyst” and former spear carrier for national security principals in three Republican administrations.

All this was revealed in a tape recording of Petraeus’s meeting with McFarland obtained by Bob Woodward, whose account of their discussion, accompanied online by audio of the tape, was published in the Washington Post – distressingly, in its style section, and not on page one, where it belonged – and, under the style logo, online on December 3.

Indeed, almost as dismaying as Ailes’ and Murdoch’s disdain for an independent and truly free and honest press, and as remarkable as the obsequious eagerness of their messenger to convey their extraordinary presidential draft and promise of on-air Fox support to Petraeus, has been the ho-hum response to the story by the American press and the country’s political establishment, whether out of fear of Murdoch, Ailes and Fox – or, perhaps, lack of surprise at Murdoch’s, Ailes’ and Fox’s contempt for decent journalistic values or a transparent electoral process.

Full Story: The Guardian: Why the US media ignored Murdoch’s brazen bid to hijack the presidency

Here’s the Washington Post story Berstein is referring to.

This is part of an ongoing inversion of the relationship between News Corp and the GOP. As a former speech writer for George W. Bush, David Frum, put it: “Republicans originally thought that Fox worked for us, and now we are discovering we work for Fox.”

Fox News Trying to Confuse Viewers Into Thinking News of the World Was the Victim of Hacking

I haven’t had much to say about the News International hacking scandal. But I’m really interested in how other News Corp owned media are covering it. The Wall Street Journal is burying it, for example.

But Fox News is taking a more aggressive approach. Boing Boing’s Rob Beschizza points out a Fox and Friends appearance by PR rep (though as far as I can tell, not a PR rep for News Corp?) Bob Dilenschneider. Dilenschneider’s spin is unbelievable (emphasis mine):

Bob: The NOTW is a hacking scandal, it can’t be denied. But the real issue is, why are so many people piling on at this point? We know it’s a hacking scandal, shouldn’t we get beyond it and deal with the issue of hacking? Citicorp has been hacked into, Bank of America has been hacked into, American Express has been hacked into, insurance companies have been hacked into, we’ve got a serious hacking problem in this country, and the government’s obviously been hacked into, 24,000 files. So we’ve got to figure out a way to deal with this hacking problem.
Host: The company has come forward to say that it happened a long time ago, at a tabloid, in London, someone did something really bad and the company reacted. They closed the newspaper, all those people got fired, even though 99 percent of them didn’t do anything.

Bob: And if I’m not mistaken. Murdoch, who owns it, has apologized, but for some reason, the public and the media going over this, again and again.

Host: The piling on!

Bob: It’s a little bit too much. The bigger issue is really hacking and how we as the public going to protect our privacy and deal with it. I would also say, by the way, Citigroup, great bank. Bank of America, great bank. Are they getting the same attention for hacking that took place less than a year ago, that News Corp is getting today.

[They recap other news; China, martians, debt default, etc.]

Host: … We’re teetering on default, and what to they do? They’re talking about this.

Bob: … and we’re dealing with something that happened in London over a decade ago. I don’t quite understand it.

What Dilenschneider seems to be doing is trying to confuse the issue in the minds of Fox’s viewership, many of whom may not be familiar with what the scandal actually entails. Dilenschneider seems to be trying to trick the viewers into thinking that News of the World was the victim of hacking instead of the perpetrator.

Lost William S. Burroughs and Malcolm McNeil Comic to be Reprinted

Ah Pook Is Here / The Unspeakable Mr. Hart

Oh. My. Fuck:

Fantagraphics Books is proud to announce the acquisition of the only graphic novel written by — and possibly the last unseen work of his to be published — the innovative Beat writer and Naked Lunch author, William S. Burroughs. This lost masterpiece, Ah Pook Is Here, created in collaboration with artist Malcolm McNeill in the 1970s, will be published in the summer of 2011 as a spectacularly packaged two-volume, hinged set, along with Observed While Falling, McNeill’s memoir documenting his collaboration with one of America’s most iconic authors.

Ah Pook Is Here first appeared in 1970 under the title The Unspeakable Mr. Hart as a monthly comic strip written by Burroughs and drawn by the British cartoonist and painter Malcolm McNeil in the English magazine Cyclops. When the publication folded, Burroughs and McNeill decided to develop the project into a full-length, Word/Image novel (the term “graphic novel” had not yet been coined). Burroughs was 56 at the time, McNeill 23. [...]

John Stanley Hart is the “Ugly American” or “Instrument of Control” – a billionaire newspaper tycoon obsessed with discovering the means for achieving immortality. Based on the formulae contained in rediscovered Mayan books he attempts to create a Media Control Machine using the images of Fear and Death. By increasing Control, however, he devalues time and invokes an implacable enemy: Ah Pook, the Mayan Death God. Young mutant heroes using the same Mayan formulae travel through time bringing biologic plagues from the remote past to destroy Hart and his Judeo/Christian temporal reality.

Fantagraphics: Fantagraphics to Publish Lost William S. Burroughs Graphic Novel

(Thanks Nolon!)

The official Ah Pook is Here web site is here

Also: Malcolm McNeil’s official web site

Here’s an interview with Malcolm McNeil

Three reads on the future of journalism

How to Save the News James Fallow’s piece from The Atlantic on how Google is trying to save journalism.

Will Rupert Murdoch’s plans to charge for access to his websites pay off? coverage from The Independent on News Corp.’s pay wall plans.

Putting a Price on Words New York Times Magazine on journalism start-ups attempting to the right business model for the future of journalism.

Murdoch doesn’t want you to know how much traffic the paywall will cost them

With nearly a month to go before News International raises its first paywall in June, both Times Online and Sun Online have stopped publishing their user numbers through the ABC in the UK.

March monthly figures for UK newspaper sites were issued Thursday – but both Murdoch sites are absent.

Paid Content: Before The Paywall, Murdoch Stops Disclosing UK News Site Traffic

(Think I found the link and swiped the headline from Mediabistro)

The death of robots.txt?

Last night I linked to an interview with Rupert Murdoch in which he says that News Corp will probably de-index their sites from Google.

I figured it was all bluster. Search engine traffic is more valuable that Murdoch suggests, and there are probably plenty of people in high places at News Corp who know it.

But Cory Doctorow suggests:

So here’s what I think it going on. Murdoch has no intention of shutting down search-engine traffic to his sites, but he’s still having lurid fantasies inspired by the momentary insanity that caused Google to pay him for the exclusive right to index MySpace (thus momentarily rendering MySpace a visionary business-move instead of a ten-minutes-behind-the-curve cash-dump).

So what he’s hoping is that a second-tier search engine like Bing or Ask (or, better yet, some search tool you’ve never heard of that just got $50MM in venture capital) will give him half a year’s operating budget in exchange for a competitive advantage over Google.

Jason Calacanis has suggested this approach as a means to “kill Google.”

But it may actually be neither the death of Google, nor the death of News Corp if they are so foolish as to carry out this plan. It could be the death of the robots exclusion standard. I would guess News Corp would use robots.txt to de-index their sites. But it’s a “purely advisory” protocol that Google is under no obligation to honor. They could continue indexing News Corps if they so choose. So could every other search engine, big or small. And I’d guess they would if big content providers started going exclusive with search engines.

If News Corps puts all its contend behind a pay wall, this point is moot – Google and other search engines won’t be able to index it, and robots.txt will be fine. But it’s something to think about.

(Hat tips to Jay Rosen for the TimesSelect link and Chris Arkenberg for the Jason Calacanis video)

Murdoch: We’ll probably remove our sites from Google’s index

Rupert Murdoch has suggested that News Corporation is likely to make its content unfindable to users on Google when it launches its paid content starategy .

When Murdoch and other senior News Corp lieutenants have criticised aggregators such as Google for taking a free ride on its content, commentators have questioned why the company doesn’t simply make its content invisible to search engines.

Using the robots.txt protocol on a site indicates to automated web spiders such as Google’s not to index that particular page or to serve up lionks to it in users’ search results.

Murodch claimed that readers who randomly reach a page via search have little value to advertisers. Asked by Sky News political editor David Speers why News hasn’t therefore made its sites invisible to Google, Murdoch replied: “I think we will.”

Mumbrella: Murdoch: We’ll probably remove our sites from Google’s index

(via Jay Rosen)

I’d be quite happy to see News Corps shoot themselves in the foot, but I have the feeling people who actually know what they are talking about will stop this from happening.

Key 23 acquired, Technoccult shuts down

I’m proud to announce today that Key 23 has been aquired by News Corp (for, of course, an undisclosed sum). From the news release:

We’re proud to announce that Key23 has been acquired by News Corporation. Together we’ll continue to improve how people discover and share their memeplexes, with a big emphasis on the power of community. We’re excited to be working with the News Corp team – they definitely get what we’re all about and our potential.

“Key23 is an important acquisition for News Corp., instantly doubling our understanding of how to manipulate ‘countercultural’ audiences and providing an ideal foundation on which to meaningfully increase our presence in those niches,” News Corp.’s Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch said in a statement.

I’m taking my share of the l00t and moving to the Carribean. Therefore, this site and my other blogs will shut down. In the mean time, you can check the work of my namesake Clint Finlay at The All New, All Different Key 23.

Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War On Journalism

Torrent: 703.05 MB AVI (RAR compressed).

You probably already know what this is: Robert Greenwald’s excellent documentary challenging Fox News’s “Fair and Balanced” doctrine.

Buy on DVD for $9.95.

See also:

The Corporation.

magical assault on corporations by Wu.

The Corporate Egregore by LVX23.

“My Love War with Fox News” by LVX23 in Generation Hex.

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