Tag Archives: Joseph Nocera

Don’t dare call this freedom of the press: Murdoch’s three continent media empire

Hacker-gate is off the front pages right now, as our media obeys its own one-story-at-a-time-all-the-time rule. But until the next ‘newsworthy’ phase erupts, let us remind ourselves of a few things about the Murdoch empire.

Here’s a good summary of its impact (from a Joe Nocera column last week):

I generally admire entrepreneurs who build giant companies Rupert Murdoch . . . has not been a force for good over the course of his long career. His Bill O’Reilly-ed, Glenn Beck-ed Fox News has done a great deal to coarsen the political discourse. His tabloids have lowered the standards of journalism on three continents — and routinely broken the law on at least one of them. He had dumbed down his prestige papers, like The Times of London. He has run roughshod over cross-ownership rules meant to prevent one man or company from having too much power — and then used his lobbying might to get those rules diluted. He has put kowtowing to China ahead of freedom of the press, even killing a book set to be published by his HarperCollins unit that the Chinese authorities objected to. He has consistently used his media properties to reward allies and punish enemies. It’s a long list.

Murdoch’s media reach is the very definition of undue influence (as are the tens of thousands of lobbyists who choke our government, but that’s another story).

From wikipedia, here is a list of just the categories of entities owned by News Corp, followed (after the jump) by the full list of the companies. There’s not time enough in my life to count them, but do go ahead and try if you’ve the stomach. You’d better grab some popcorn before you make the attempt.

Holdings

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You go Elizabeth, you go!

Joe Nocera’s column Talking Business in today’s NY Times is interesting. It seems that the House subcommittee on financial institutions and consumer credit has summoned the great enemy, the great advocate for American consumers, Elizabeth Warren. Obama hired her last year to set up the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – he dared not appoint her director of the new agency because confirmation was very iffy. The banks don’t care for Ms. Warren you see. She won’t run interference for them and that’s just not right.

. . .  the real purpose of the hearing: to allow the Republicans who now run the House to box Ms. Warren about the ears. The big banks loathe Ms. Warren, who has made a career out of pointing out all the ways they gouge financial consumers [us] — and whose primary goal is to make such gouging more difficult. So, naturally, the Republicans loathe her too. That she might someday run this bureau terrifies the banks. So, naturally, it terrifies the Republicans.

. . . rather than waiting until July to start helping financial consumers, Ms. Warren has been trying to help them now. Can you believe the nerve of that woman? . . . at the request of the states’ attorneys general, all 50 of whom have banded together to investigate the mortgage servicing industry in the wake of the foreclosure crisis, she has fed them ideas that have become part of a settlement proposal they are putting together.

She’s a hero and as clean as they come. You go Elizabeth, you go.