2024-05-27 11:28 PM

Memorial Day 2024 Issue!



This writer has always been one to cheer on the efforts of legitimate news organizations, from top to the little weeklies at the bottom of the heap. But in the case of Rupert Murdoch’s empire of sleaze, I say, “Bring it all down!”

Who knows where the current scandal will eventually lead? This is the kind of thing that when the public catches wind of the egregious nature of the deceitful phone-hacking transgressions against ordinary human civility involved in the Murdoch publications’ wiretapping, it’s frustrations can all come pouring out in a massive venting. For a change, it will be properly targeted, and could result in a significant cultural shift.

Somehow, it seems a lot of people are beginning to sense more acutely that there’s a crumbling of our western society going on, a moral crumbling that is more than just greed, selfish self-interest and the dumbing down of culture.

It has to do, perhaps, with a basic loss of heart, and it lies a lot more with one side of the grand left-right political divide than the other.

Can you imagine that Russ Limbaugh has a heart? Does this man have any humanitarian impulse? That question seldom if ever gets asked, and that’s a problem.

Politicians and pundits of the right are not expected to be the least bit sensible to the human plights and needs of the underdog. It is the consequence of a post-modernism that has been taught in the learned halls of radical conservatism where sentimentality is beaten out of their culture in favor of a reptilian sense-certainty, a focused and unyielding pursuit of power.

It is left to simpering liberals to have “feelings.” They are pathetic to the sensibilities of the true Ayn Rand devotee, who can dare feel for little else than a household pet.

I find Ann Coulter particularly contemptible in this regard, and I can’t imagine what kind of effect she has on any man who thinks below his belt. She is rude, foul and definitely not smart, yet she gets wholly undeserved deferential treatment even when invited onto venues other than Fox News.

GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty can’t be faulted for commenting on the “sex appeal” of Michele Bachmann. He is a slave of our culture, as are so many who harbor the same disposition toward Sarah Palin. (Lest you think I am misogynistic, I love Betty White).

But these women – unleash them as a trio, can you imagine! – while they lead with their, I suppose, good looks, all exhibit a remarkable quality for heartlessness.
I do believe heartlessness is a learned trait, although there are no doubt many genuine sociopaths and Tin Men born without empathy genes out there.

Eric Cantor’s ability to stand firm against any tax increase as he does belies such a quality. John Boehner cries a lot, or used to while his heart was being cut away from his soul. He doesn’t cry so much anymore.

If one protests that my assessment of the sensibilities, or lack of them, on the political landscape are tilted vehemently against one side of the aisle, then I have to say that I call them as I see them.

So, with Rupert Murdoch’s right-wing news organization, its internal culture is rotten to the core. The current expose and scandal is like finding the bad apple that tells you the entire bushel is contaminated.

If you look high and low to find other manifestations of the Murdochian mode of deceit, I have little doubt that they will crop up wherever sensationalism is prized the most and facts the least, wherever one-word epithets and angry slogans make up headlines, and esteem for a public’s capacity to maintain an attention span doesn’t.

It has often been said that the best way you can address a person, or an audience, is from the standpoint of what they can potentially become, not what they are at any given moment.
In the case of Murdochian tabloid journalism, and the potty mouths of the world like Limbaugh and Coulter, their language, including their body language, is all in the direction of shaping audiences of fools.



Nicholas Benton may be emailed at nfbenton@fcnp.com





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