Roger Simon, who wrote a telling piece for Politico, provides fascinating insight into Rupert Murdoch‘s formula for success when purchasing and running a company… at least to those of us outside of Murdoch’s inner circle of evil.
Simon and his wife worked for the Chicago Sun-Times prior to Murdoch buying the company. Soon after, Simon and his left, but not after witnessing first-hand racist remarks from the media magnate.
SIMON: I had a conversation with him about various sections of the paper. “I don’t understand anything about American sport,” [Murdoch] told me breezily, “but I know the coloreds like it.”
I told him that in America we no longer used the word “coloreds,” that it was considered insulting.
He looked at me the way Queen Victoria might have looked at a footman who had told her she was using the wrong fork to eat her pheasant.
Murdoch had apparently told employees and management at the Sun-Times that he intended to maintain the quality and integrity of the paper. Simon said everyone knew it was a lie. Within months, there were mass resignations and dismissals and Murdoch brought on his own “thugs” and “stooges.” He sold the paper, but the damage had been done.
Murdoch and his goons also know what damage can be caused to a political career and exactly how to do it using harassment, printing sexist remarks and photo editing…
Sarah Lyall of The New York Times wrote last week about Clare Short, a Labour member of Parliament, who once mentioned “in passing that she did not care for the photographs of saucy, topless women that appear every day on Page 3 of the populist tabloid The Sun,” owned by Murdoch.
The Sun attacked swiftly with the headline: “‘Fat, Jealous’ Clare Brands Page 3 Porn.” The paper also sent a busload of “semi-dressed” models to Short’s home to jeer at her and stuck a picture of Short’s head on the body of a topless woman in the paper.While powerful politicians often privately deplored the behavior of the British tabloids, they were “afraid to say so publicly, for fear of losing the papers’ support or finding themselves the target of their wrath,” the Times article said.
The editor of The Sun at the time of the attack on that “fat, jealous” member of Parliament was Rebekah Wade, now Rebekah Brooks, who has been arrested in the phone-hacking scandal and who testified Tuesday before a parliamentary committee right after Murdoch finished.
While Fox News may not be as blatantly sexist in their harassment of public officials in the United States, the results are basically the same… We saw the backlash that the Obama administration received when they called out Fox News for their BS. I wonder how many of those journalists who defended Fox News will realize they were on the wrong side of history when it’s all said and News Corp. is done.