Thursday, June 28, 2007

Why Do We Destroy The Things We Love By Seeking To Change Them?

"Why would I spend $5 billion for something in order to wreck it?"
- Rupert Murdoch
Sheer fucking EGO, perhaps?

Wall Street Journal reporters across the country chose not to show up for work today, citing threats to their independence and credibility. If Murdoch get's the Journal, its share price may rise but its reputation will immediately drop. So what will he really gain?

The NYT reports that Rupert Murdoch is now poised to gain control of the WSJ editorial as well as the paper. Here's Murdoch's business plan:
On his plans for the Journal: "What if, at the Journal, we spent $100 million a year hiring all the best business journalists in the world? Say 200 of them. And spent some money on establishing the brand but go global … and then you make it free, online only. No printing plants, no paper, no trucks. How long would it take for the advertising to come? It would be successful, it would work and you’d make … a little bit of money."
But don't worry, folks, the Murdoch Journal won't be biased! Right, Rupert?
"CNN is pretty consistently on the left, if you look at their choice of stories, what they play up. It’s not what they say, it’s what they highlight … and if you look at our general news, do we put on things which favor the right rather than the left? I don’t know … we don’t think we do. We’ve always insisted we don’t. I don’t think we do. Aw, it’s subjective. Neither side admits it."
CNN consistently on the left? Is he joking? Sadly, I don't think so.

But hopefully Murdoch was joking when he said this:
"When the Journal gets its Page 3 girls, we’ll make sure they have MBAs."


Bukko_in_Australia said...

CNN IS on the Left, if you're looking at it from the vantage point of someone who's waaay over on the corporate fascist Right, like a certain Ausso/American.

What worries me most about the WSJ takeover is not the fate of the newspaper. It's just another bloody newspaper, albeit a large, influential one. And I have a certain amount of schadenfreude seeing these whingeing staffers at a rag that was soooo in favour of union-busting, globalisation and corporate takeovers being served up a bitter spoonful of the medicine they prescribed.

But if Voldemurdoch gets the WSJ, will he then be in control of the Dow Jones Industrial Average? That would give him power over something that has tremendous influence over world economic decisions. I've noticed how the ASX twitches in line with every hiccup in the Dow, and how corporations here make decisions that affect the existence of living, breathing Australians based in part on what the Dow does.

I'm sure you know how the Dow is calculated by an arcane formula based not simply on the prices of the 30 stocks in the average, but multipliers that were applied to them when they joined the average so they'd be equal to the price of the stock they replaced. There might be other factors at play to calculate the Dow as well -- I'm a fascinated generalist, not a financial journalist. And I don't know whether any independent source double-checks the Dow for accuracy.

Who's to say Murdoch couldn't begin to manipulate the Dow for whatever nefarious purposes suit him? Presumably to prop up confidence in the U.S. economy when the inevitable implosion starts. Or for whatever other power and money games he would have that I can't imagine because my mind doesn't operate in those elevated, Machiavellian levels.

I don't trust the economic data coming out of the United States government. When you see how they calculate the unemployment rate, "core inflation" and manipulate the so-called jobs creation numbers, you realise that these bastards CAN create reality, as the famous quote in Ron Suskind's story had it. Or at least they can fabricate the lies that we all must work with.

And if you have Murdoch being able to control a large bit of what passes for financial reality, working in conjunction with the fascists his Fox media helped put into power, who knows what the end will be? OK, pauperisation of the U.S. population, creation of a feudal-industrial system that will control the planet for the benefit of a relative handful of unimagineably rich people, farms of cloned slaves whose bodies will be used to graft Murdoch's brain into periodically so he can have eternal life... That's a given. The question is what are the steps to be taken to get from here to there?

Hashish fantasies aside, I just don't trust what Murdo might do when he has the power to control the numbers. In light of that, the idea of him having a corps of spies in the guise of Journal reporters to suss out inside corporate information from which he could acquire more billions seems small by comparison.

gandhi said...

Bearing in mind that Insider Trading rules, as they stand, are a joke.

And recalling that there was a brief period not long ago, as I recall, when the Dow computers were found to be running about 30 seconds behind realtime prices (just a brief glitch, we were assured).

No, it's almost unthinkable, isn't it?

But so is the idea that a powerful cabal might choose a dimwitted fool as their puppet president of the USA.

Or that these same people might cover up the truth about 9/11.

Of that we might invade a country, kill over 650,000 people, turn 4.5 million more into refugees, create chaos in the Middle East, all on the basis of totally transparent lies.

What have we become? What has become of us?