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article imageOp-Ed: Murdoch's impunity in the hen house

By Craig Boehman     Jul 15, 2013 in Politics
Rupert Murdoch will appear once again in front of British lawmakers after the release of a secret recording of statements he made before Sun newspaper journalists in March this year, many of whom had been arrested over the British phone-hacking scandal.
A July 14 Reuters piece headline begins “Charges unlikely” – an apparent nod to our collective cynicism that a billionaire 35 times over wouldn't ever seriously face charges, let alone prison time, for alleged crimes. The transcripts of the recording confirm for us that those powerful enough to bribe law enforcement for information are likely above the law, and more likely to stoop to illegal means for gathering information – like hacking into people's voice mail.
Murdoch himself admits that paying off cops for news tips had “...been going on a hundred years, absolutely.” He later whispers, “It was the culture of Fleet Street.”
What isn't surprising in the recording is Murdoch's own disdain for the police, and his dismissal of their investigation. “It's the biggest inquiry ever, over next to nothing,” he told Geoff Webster, Sun deputy director. Not surprising, if our collective cynicism should also predict that what politicians and corporate leaders say in public is one thing, and quite another in private.
In lieu of the NSA surveillance scandal, it shouldn't surprise us if one day we should discover that media companies have been spying on us in order to gather news tips, or to enhance their advertising revenue. Companies already surveil their own employees and competitors via social media. What should come as a big surprise to us is that our cynicism of media moguls like Murdoch and the mainstream media at large should only amount to an internalized outrage. What's needed are organized grassroots communities and groups willing to take the first steps to confront the thuggery of corporations that operate above and beyond the law.
Meet ColorOfChange.org, who are doing just that. On July 14, they protested Fox News and Rupert Murdoch on the grounds that the company pursues a divisive and racist agenda particularly targeted against blacks. No doubt, the acquittal of Zimmerman in the shooting death Trayvon Martin has only added fuel to the fire. Digital Journal reported earlier that the outrage is reminiscent of the Rodney King verdict that divided the nation 21 years ago.
Referring to allegations that Murdoch's News Corp hacked into the phones of 9/11 victims, a keynote speaker at the ColorOfChange.org rally said, “But the recent news this week and last, of having elevated the story of the wiretapping in Europe and potentially here in America, show that Americans have had enough, that folks are finally willing to stand up to Rupert Murdoch.”
We need to stand up to Rupert Murdoch and all his criminal peers on Wall Street.
The net gains of our collective cynicism towards powerful corporate interests are still in the red. Until we learn as a society to organize and stand up for ourselves, we will continue down the path to a serfdom of our own making. Employees of powerful companies will continually be sacrificed for the crimes endorsed by those at the top, the elitist of the one percent. There will be no justice for individuals who blow the whistle on corporate and government crimes. Jobs to sustain large sections of the population will immaculately vanish due to outsourcing, downsizing, or bankruptcy. The infrastructure will continue to dissolve before our very eyes because of tax laws that favor corporations over people. Student and medical debts will accelerate and cripple many more well-meaning and hard-working people. Wall Street will carry on with its premeditated rape of America and the global community – until we decide to do something about it.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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