Rich worked as a film critic for the New York Post in the mid-’70s, shortly after Murdoch had purchased/rescued the tabloid. But Murdoch’s “corruption had seeped quickly even into my own soft-news beat. I left the Post soon after a newly installed Murdoch underling informed me that I had to ‘take the views of our advertisers into consideration’ when reviewing movies.”
Rich’s current view in his link-rich New York piece:
The real transgressions of the Murdoch empire are not its outré partisanship, its tabloid sleaze, its Washington lobbying, or even what liberals most love to hate, the bogus “fair and balanced” propaganda masquerading as journalism at Fox News. In fact, these misdemeanors are red herrings—distractions from the real News Corp. corruption that now threatens to bring down its management and radically reconfigure and reduce its international corporate footprint. The bigger story is this: An otherwise archetypal media colossus, with apolitical TV shows (American Idol), movies (Avatar), and cable channels (FX) like any other, is controlled by a family (and its tight coterie of made men and women, exemplified by the recently departed Rebekah Brooks) that countenances the intimidation and silencing of politicians, regulators, competitors, journalists, and even ordinary citizens to maximize its profits and power and to punish perceived corporate, political, and personal enemies.
Cue current Current TV savior and Murdoch arch-nemesis Keith Olbermann, whose pique-rich Guardian piece details his hiring – and firing – from Fox Sports by the House of Murdoch ten years ago after he aired a critical report on the Murdoch-owned Los Angeles Dodgers:
Nobody ever offered any explanation … that is, until seven years later, when Rupert Murdoch claimed personal responsibility for firing me. From my vantage point, the most important fact remains that, after my exit, Rupert had to keep paying me not to have to work for him: $800,000 over the next eight months.
It was the best job I ever had.
Optimal Keith Olbermann: Not on the air.