America's Murdoch problem

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Tim Rutten's L.A. Times op-ed about how "it would be outrageous if the U.S. ignored allegations that an American company used our territory as a haven from which to subvert the laws and democratic processes of Britain" is worth a read.

What Rupert Murdoch has done to journalism is a crime in and of itself. The latest revelations lay bare crime in the literal sense. But the propaganda and lies, the substandard storytelling by substandard on-air personalities, the smears and power grabs, all are unforgivable. PR firm-induced apologies just won't cut it.

The first excerpt sums up the sick co-dependence of Murdochistan and its dysfunctional gang of enablers. The next excerpt describes the mandatory, and most likely inevitable, consequences:

Eager for the highly partisan Murdoch papers' support, and fearful of the retribution that seemed to follow anything the company's editors or executives construed as opposition to News Corp.'s interests, Britain's Parliament and political establishment cowered while unprincipled journalists attenuated freedom of the press into grotesque malevolence and corrupt officials made public accountability a dead letter. It was a mutually beneficial little arrangement for as long as it lasted [...]

It would be outrageous if we now stood idly by and ignored credible allegations that an American company used our territory as a haven from which to subvert the laws and democratic processes of our closest cultural and political ally, as Murdoch's firm allegedly has. Moreover, as Philip Shenon reported in the Daily Beast this week, federal law enforcement officials have become increasingly wary of sharing information involving prominent personalities or celebrities with their British counterparts because of what the Americans regard as their colleagues' inappropriate relationship with London's tabloid press.

The Murdoch meltdown has become an American problem too.

You can read the rest here.

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