Friday, July 15, 2011

Rupe, Thou Protesteth Too Much

There's one thing about ritual sacrifice.   Do too much of it and you'll look scared, maybe even guilty of something.  Rupe Murdoch has been shamelessly abusing the rite of sacrificial cleansing lately as he seeks to squirm his way out of the News of the World, Sun, and now Sunday Times phone hacking scandals.

First he shuttered News of the World, probably hoping that would be enough to let him go through with his takeover of BSkyB pay TV system.   When that didn't work he walked away (even if only temporarily) from the BSkyB gambit.   Then he purged News International CEO Rebekah Brooks from the boardroom and hot on the heels of her departure came the "resignation" of Les Hinton, former News International CEO and now publisher of Murdoch's Wall Street Journal and chairman of Murdoch's Dow Jones.   The blood doesn't have time to dry on the altar before Rupe's tossing up another sacrifice.

Today Rupe went on bended knee and apologized to the family of a murdered little girl whose voice mail account Rupe's crews also hacked.  It was an extraordinarily odious affair, even by Murdoch standards, but is it even something that Rupe can be allowed to apologize away?  No, it plainly isn't.

All the sacrifices and the apology don't distance Rupe from these abuses, they bring him ever closer in to the direct responsibility he so totally deserves.  Corrupting British police, invading the personal privacy of innocents, this stuff has been going on for years.  Rupe had at least six years to put an end to it.   One angry rebuke from him and it would have stopped immediately.   People, especially Rupe's employees, don't run afoul of that old bastard.

This isn't something for which Rupe can muster up an acceptable apology.   It wasn't somebody else who did it.   It was somebody else with Rupe's and his key management's acquiescence.  Rupe and Brooks and Hinton and many other senior people in News Corp facilitated this.   By not intervening all those years they enabled this to continue and seemingly get worse, much worse.   We are all deemed to intend the logical and foreseeable consequences of our acts (and omissions).   Rupert Murdoch and his son, James, and our Ms. Brooks and Mr. Hinton and a good many other senior members of Rupe's crew have to be considered morally and possibly criminally culpable in this.  By all indications, while in senior managerial positions, they allowed News Corp and News International to become criminal enterprises.

The swine who created FOX News to confuse, mislead and manipulate the American people and their political institutions and, on whose watch, his British operations ran amok, deserves everything coming at him.

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