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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

Murdoch's retreat « Previous | |Next »
July 14, 2011

Rupert Murdoch has given up his bid for BSkyB in the face of bi partisan opposition from the British Parliament. The British political establishment is confronting its historical dread of Rupert Murdoch as his journalists, editors and executives now stand accused of widespread breaches of criminal law.

Scotland Yard have been exposed as engaging in forelock-tugging acceptance of anything News International told them whilst some of its members have been on the payroll of News International. There is to be a full investigation into the illegal conduct of the press and police, including the failure of the first police investigation into allegations of hacking.

RowsoMMurdochUK.jpg Martin Rowson

The first part of the inquiry will cover the "culture, practices and ethics of the press" generally and Cameron wants it to report within a year. It will have the power to summon witnesses, and Cameron said that he expected politicians and newspaper proprietors to be called to give evidence.

The second part will cover phone hacking and the bribery of police at News International and other news organisations, and the terms of reference say it will specifically look at "corporate governance and management failures at News International". The implications of this are quite profound. British newspapers have traditionally been resistant to having their working practices scrutinised by outsiders, but now they are going to be exposed to a Hutton-style inquiry.

Murdoch's retreat means that News Corp only has a series of print assets in the UK that are facing declining circulation and revenue. Some including The Times and Times on Sunday are loss making. Owning the whole of BSkyB would also have given Murdoch the opportunity to bundle satellite services with his newspapers services in a way which would have strengthened the position of the News International titles.

News Corporation is not selling its existing stake in BSkyB and there is nothing to stop Murdoch launching a fresh point at some point in the future. Will Murdoch's retreat from the UK include selling his British newspapers? That would make News Corp primarily a US company.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 9:48 AM | | Comments (9)


Rupert Murdoch’s papers have made certain causes their own. The Murdoch press have set the standards for media outrage in Australia and they have purposely fanned the public fear and anger about crime and terrorism

Woe betide any politician who failed to back Australian troops, or who appeared soft on terrorism, criminals and child abusers. Anyone deviating from the Murdoch line was fair game.They were to be mocked and destroyed.

Whether or not Murdoch or his executives believed in any of these causes is irrelevant. Adopting them was a commercial decision. They made money for News Ltd. Profit was everything.

These are stories that tap into people’s emotions; fear, anger and sympathy for the victims. That sells newspapers. Stoke up those emotions and people become more involved in the story – which makes them buy more papers.

News Ltd stands for sleazy journalism by sordid hacks. Murdoch has no loyalty to anyone or anything except his company and his family.

The commercial implications are becoming clearer.

Since the recent peak of $17.36 on July 6, News Corp shares have now tumbled 15 per cent or $2.65 as its market capitalisation has tumbled by almost $6 billion to less than $38 billion.

The voting shares on the ASX hit a low $14.71 this morning after another 3 per cent slide.

Money and power. Without the bskyb cash cow there's no money and without grovelling from politicians there's no power. There's really no point hanging on to News International any more.

The family is also wanting to buy back shares to stop the price from falling. It looks as though Rebekah Brooks is going to be a token sacrifice at some point to save young James. American senators are calling for an investigation there into the possible hacking of 9/11 victims, and you'd have to figure that public confidence in newspapers here must have taken a beating.

Never thought I'd live to see Rupert Murdoch in any serious trouble.

Well it does present an opportunity for journalists to interview each other. There can never be enough of that can there. It makes for gripping tv.

Time to dig a hole in the vege garden for him though.

Rupert Murdoch
Rest In Potatoes

Sorry, just amazed at how close Rowson has got again, in his depiction of Brooks and Cameron.
And gee, aren't there resonances, when you think about the behaviours regularly reported on Media Watch, involving arrogant local media and politics.
"In their underwear", they are not quite so impressive, not by a long shot.

Ah... the marvel of democracy. It's so heart-warming to know that old Rupert's vote carries no more weight than Charles from Chelmsford or Chuck from Chatanooga...

Its quite humorous watching the story.
Revenue for advertising is tight so the other media (especially print) will keep the story going as long as they can to increase market share of the leftovers.

Poor old Juliene too (what was his last name again) had a court case or hair cut or something recently.

Poor old Assange, greying by the hour. It's become a law made ass of itself, expropriated and perverted for the spiteful purposes of those Assange and Manning exposed.
The same spite reared its head recently involving John Pilger.
If the right can't refute, they go for the wiring.
Lyn has me recalling that Brooks has been "resigned". (Yet another Beaut Rowson featuring her before parliament, just out)
That's the #3 gone; now the circle is closing against the Murdochs themselves, especially as the ominous noises beginning to emanate across the Atlantic grow louder.