Christie's troubling call to Murdoch
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Christie's troubling call to Murdoch

Trenton : NJ : USA | Nov 20, 2012 at 4:41 PM PST
By SelectMedia
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Rupert Murdoch

There is something very disturbing about Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) initiating a call to Australian media mogul Rupert Murdoch about Republican ire for Christie’s praising of President Obama’s leadership after Hurricane Sandy. In addition to Republican operatives, Murdoch, who has developed a knack for bizarre tweets, added his strong disapproval for the praise. Christie refused to politicize the storm by elevating GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney for no other reason than to enhance his chances to win the presidency.

Murdoch is a master puppeteer on the world stage who has made everyone from Margaret Thatcher and especially her successors as British prime minister Tony Blair and David Cameron dance to his tune. His newspapers have used unscrupulous tactics to make political careers and destroy others.

Britain is still spinning from a phone-hacking scandal by one of Murdoch’s leading papers. Voicemails were tapped by reporters with the full knowledge of high-level editors who answered directly to Murdoch’s son, who then answered to his father. Several citizens complained to the police about phone hacking, but key officials did nothing since they had special friendships with the Murdoch family.

It wasn’t until one of Murdoch’s reporters accessed the voicemail of Prince William, heir to the British throne, when everything started to unravel. Her Majesty, the Queen, intervened privately, calling for a proper investigation. A parliamentary inquiry followed, leading to arrests, calls for media reform, and the end of several tabloid careers.

At the inquiry, the media titan reaffirmed his Machiavellian reputation. He deftly avoided perjuring himself. By contrast, his son twitched like a worm about to be put on a fishing hook and lowered into a river.

The Church of England publicly described Murdoch’s newspaper tactics as “reprehensible and unethical.”

If it were possible to have something more threatening to the American electoral process than the corrupting influence of billions spent on political campaigns, it’s the monopolization of the media. The Federal Communications Commission is now considering rule changes that would enable Murdoch, who owns Fox News, the New York Post, and the Wall Street Journal, among other things, to expand his US empire with purchases of the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times.

Murdoch’s approach to “journalism” is not in the best interest of America’s republic. Disappointingly, the media, at least the parts Murdoch doesn’t own, have yet to ask Christie to explain himself. Why did he find it necessary to call and justify himself to an Australian powerbroker who sought to politicize a tragedy?

___________________________

Paul Jesep is an attorney, policy analyst, and author of "Lost Sense of Self & the Ethics Crisis: Learn to Live and Work Ethically."

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Media mogul Rupert Murdoch
PJesep is based in Schenectady, New York, United States of America, and is an Anchor for Allvoices.
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