The Murdoch Effect: Outstanding Information 24×7

October 2, 2023

Vea4_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb_tNote: This essay is the work of a real and still-alive dinobaby. No smart software involved, just a dumb humanoid.

Rupert Murdoch is finally retiring and leaving his propaganda empire to his son Lachlan, who may or may not be even more right-wing than dear old dad. While other outlets ponder what this means for the future of News Corp, Gizmodo examines “All the Ways Rupert Murdoch Left his Grubby Fingerprints on Tech.” Writer Kyle Barr writes:

“You don’t become the biggest name in worldwide media without also becoming something of a major influence on tech. With his direct influence now waning, we can do a bit of an obituary on the mogul’s efforts to influence the world of tech, and how both his direct and unintended efforts have contributed to the shape of our current digital landscape. News Corp wanted to be the biggest name in digital media, and at every step it failed to compete with other big names, leaving it to rely on the bread and butter of its conservative news apparatus. Murdoch’s billions were involved in consolidating the world’s online media experience. His no-holds-barred operating philosophy would end up violating people’s privacy and setting us up for the state of current social media and content streaming. All the while, News Corp’s entities would struggle to find an actual, legitimate foothold in the digital frontier. Instead, Fox News and other Murdoch-owned brands facilitated a new media environment where disinformation ruled the day and truth was laid aside for conservative grievance.”

The write-up shares 11 indelible blotches Murdoch made on the tech landscape in slideshow form. A few key moments include buying up MySpace, thereby clearing the way for Facebook and its countless consequences; helping Mr. Trump rise to power; and buying and forwarding the decimation of one of my favorite childhood institutions, National Geographic. A couple noteworthy fumbles include investment in the fraudulent Theranos and the Dominion Lawsuit against Fox News. See the article for more of Barr’s examples. Now, we wonder, what marks will the junior Murdoch make?

Cynthia Murrell, October 2, 2023


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