Ruminating on Rupert
I am going to assume you have read the daily developments and know each day brings news of arrests, resignations, back-room corporate intrigue, and tanking Newscorp stock prices- all stemming from the phone-hacking scandal in Britain. Tuesday brings his appearance before the House of Commons for which the private rehearsals have reportedly raised concerns.
I’ve read a lot about Rupert lately. Here’s a piece from Steve Forbes suggesting he’s a swell guy who will pass this latest test with flying colors. Ethically, Forbes concludes his column by revealing he has a show on the Fox News Network.
Then there is this by Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen. In comparing Murdoch to Citizen Kane and William Randolph Hearst, Cohen sees this melodrama as an instructive display of the dynamics of power-wielding. Cohen also points out the surprising fact that though the newspaper industry may be dying, tons of ink and reams of paper still provide those who control print media what they crave most of all- primal political power.
The practice of bestowing daily good press on “friends” while thrashing “enemies” on an equally consistent basis- still works! It creates the fear that leads to power and influence. There is one problem with this approach, however. Everything’s fine as long as you’re on top of the world. The second the world rolls on top of you, you discover you’ve made very powerful enemies along the way.
As Murdock is learning, those who were once in fear are now the ones to be feared. No one stays on the top of the world forever. Not even Rupert.