Friday, December 21, 2012

Carl Bernstein — Why the US media ignored Murdoch's brazen bid to hijack the presidency

So now we have it: what appears to be hard, irrefutable evidence of Rupert Murdoch's ultimate and most audacious attempt – thwarted, thankfully, by circumstance – to hijack America's democratic institutions on a scale equal to his success in kidnapping and corrupting the essential democratic institutions of Great Britain through money, influence and wholesale abuse of the privileges of a free press.
In the American instance, Murdoch's goal seems to have been nothing less than using his media empire – notably Fox News – to stealthily recruit, bankroll and support the presidential candidacy of General David Petraeus in the 2012 election.
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.
The Guardian (UK)
Why the US media ignored Murdoch's brazen bid to hijack the presidency
Carl Bernstein (yes, <i>that</i> Bernstein. Shades of "Deep Throat"?)
(h/t Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism)

Woodward and Bernstein still on the job.
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 theWashington Post – distressingly, in its style section, and not on page one, where it belonged – and, under the style logo, online on December 3.
The take-away.

Murdoch and Ailes have erected an incredibly influential media empire that has unrivaled power in British and American culture: rather than judiciously exercising that power or improving reportorial and journalistic standards with their huge resources, they have, more often than not, recklessly pursued an agenda of sensationalism, manufactured controversy, ideological messianism, and political influence-buying while masquerading as exemplars of a free and responsible press. The tape is powerful evidence of their methodology and reach.
The Murdoch story – his corruption of essential democratic institutions on both sides of the Atlantic – is one of the most important and far-reaching political/cultural stories of the past 30 years, an ongoing tale without equal. Like Richard Nixon and his tapes, much attention has been focused on the necessity of finding the smoking gun to confirm what other evidence had already established beyond a doubt: that the elemental instruments of democracy, ie the presidency in Nixon's case, and the privileges of free press in Murdoch's, were grievously misused and abused for their own ends by those entrusted to use great power for the common good.


Ralph Musgrave said...

“thwarted, thankfully, by circumstance..” Why “thankfully”? All that happened was that Murdoch failed to wrest control of the presidency from banksters.

Happy Exmas from Ralph Cynical Scrooge Musgrave.

Matt Franko said...

"Woodward and Bernstein still on the job."

President Barack Obama has dropped the ball when it comes to solving the government’s debt crisis — $16 trillion and counting, according to journalist Bob Woodward.

Woodward is a f-ing moron and so is Ezra Klein.

Tom Hickey said...

Woodward is a f-ing moron and so is Ezra Klein.

I am willing to cut Woodward some space here, since economics is not his thing and he probably is as blinded by the BS as many of the others. But Ezra has been led through MMT and either he doen's get it, which I don't believe, or he is disingenuous.

I can see people not knowing much about econ and finance being taken in by the BS, and I don't buy into the idea that the people who "should know better," don't. This is simple arithmetic and basic algebra. IMHO, they definitely know better and are just "leveraging" their position for what's in it for them. I just don't see the possibility of there being so many morons in high places, especially in light of the many stories that WM tells in 7DIF. They were told, agreed, and blew it off.

John Zelnicker said...

Tom -- I agree that all those people in high offices actually know the truth of our monetary system (at least some of them). But, if they start telling the truth then they will lose control of the situation. The public might begin to understand that we have the ability to take care of all citizens without "taking from others to pay for it." Only by convincing people of the scarcity of money, i.e., affordability, can they maintain control. They create a conflict between the haves and the have-nots among the 99% and people are so distracted by trying to get a little piece of the pie they don't realize the elites already have taken 95% of the pie.

As you indicate, it's power politics from beginning to end.

Tom Hickey said...

Yeah, Warren reports that Rubin essentially walked out on him.