Media

Let Freedom Ring! (Except in the Laogai)

|

An interesting two-part story New York Times on Rupert Murdoch, which digs into the Australian media mogul's history of shady political dealings in both Washington and China. It's bad enough that News Corp signs Sean Hannity's paycheck, but can be true that Fox News isn't letting freedom ring in the Hunan Province? Is Murdoch the second son of Angela Lansbury? The Times investigates:

Mr. Murdoch has flattered [China's] Communist Party leaders and done business with their children. His Fox News network helped China's leading state broadcaster develop a news Web site. He joined hands with the Communist Youth League, a power base in the ruling party, in a risky television venture, his China managers and advisers say.

Parts one and two.

Meanwhile, Murdoch's money-losing New York Post serves up its typically prolix Paris Hilton coverage today :

"Sources said the celebrity skank was a jailhouse pig during her time in the pokey—racking up a $145 commissary bill for assorted snacks and beauty aides."

Jesse Walker on the "sacrificial heiress." reason on Rupert .

NEXT: The Welch Effect

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. How is any of that any worse than Google and yahoo helping the Chicoms find and arrest dissidents? He does business with China? So what? So do a lot of companies. I don’t quite get the “he gives Sean Hanitiy a paycheck” line. Again, so what? The First Amendment sucks that way sometimes.

  2. He joined hands with the Communist Youth League, a power base in the ruling party, in a risky television venture,

    What, a reality show invovling the Commie Youth League? “Who wants to marry a Party Official” or “Celebrity Reducation Camp?”

  3. John, I think the idea is that only the most loathesome of individuals would employ Sean Hannity, although we will defend to the death his right to do so.

    Okay, so maybe most of us won’t, but you know what I mean.

  4. What, a reality show invovling the Commie Youth League? “Who wants to marry a Party Official” or “Celebrity Reducation Camp?”

    The Commie Youth League is a Double-AA baseball association, its unique attribute being that all 12 teams are affiliates of the Reds.

  5. Dan, that was indeed the idea.

    John, it isn’t worse than Google or Yahoo…I just happen not to be discussing Google or Yahoo.

  6. Sorry, I can’t comment on this article because I stopped reading after you questioned Rupert Murdoch’s patritotism.

  7. Michael,

    I guess my question is why should I care? Or more importantly, why does Reason care? A lot of people do business in China and I don’t see any Reason posts about them. Why are Murdoch and what seems to be pretty mundane business dealings worth a post? The only reason I can think of is that the folks are Reason just don’t like him and want to take a cheap shot. Fair enough, it is your magazine, but I would hope you would have better and more important things to talk about.

  8. If you use Reason’s search feature and type the words “google china,” it takes 0.26 seconds to bring up screen after screen of Reason and Hit&Run items criticizing Google (and Yahoo) for getting in bed with the Chinese government.

  9. crimethink,

    There is nothing in the post that remotely comments on Mr. Murdoch’s feelings about his country.

  10. John, it is possible that not every H&R entry is done with your concerns in mind. Perhaps this is one of those?

  11. “There is nothing in the post that remotely comments on Mr. Murdoch’s feelings about his country.”

    Isn’t Murdoch a Brit or an Austrailian? If he is not an American, then I don’t quite see how he would be expected to be patriotic to the US.

    I just think the post is a stupid cheap shot and that Reason should have better things to do. They can post it and I can comment that I think it was a stupid waste of time and they of course can ignore me. That is how it works isn’t it?

  12. Mr. Murdoch has flattered [China’s] Communist Party leaders

    Hey, Hu Jintao! You look great! Have you lost weight?

    Wu Bangguo, ‘sup bro? Hey, check out those guns! Look’s like you’ve been hitting the gym.

    Jia Qinglin! Dapper Dan from old Hunan! Awesome suit! Savile Row?

  13. Dan T. is hot!
    He’s on fire!
    Three hun-dred six-ty five de-grees
    Burning down the house!

  14. Oh, mmmm the tears of Paris were so SWEET. Please make her cry again.

  15. I assure you all that my teddy bear is decent and honorable.

    Wait a minute. Did I name him after Murdoch or Everett?

  16. Warren,

    The crying Paris killed me. It was 30 days for God’s sake. When I was a prosecutor I sent a couple of accused away for 30 or more years and I swear I never saw anyone take it worse than Paris and her 30 day sentence.

  17. “Mr. Murdoch has flattered [pantsuit-clad] Communist Party leaders and done business with their children.”

    I was not aware Chelsea had gone to work for Murdoch.

  18. Isn’t Murdoch a Brit or an Austrailian? If he is not an American, then I don’t quite see how he would be expected to be patriotic to the US.

    John

    Murdoch is a naturalized American citizen. He became an American citizen so that he could own a newspaper here. I think it’s fair to doubt the genuineness of his patriotism.

    He was born in Australia. But I doubt that he feels any innate loyalty to his homeland either.

  19. Wait, wait, so now as orthodox libertarians (O, the irony) we’re not allowed to hate someone unless they’re doing something that we think should be illegal? We can’t dislike someone’s opinion or actions for reasons outside of constitutionalism? I note no attempt to forcefully censor, censure, or otherwise harm Mr. Murdoch or his opinions except through the free exchange of ideas. Your freedoms work both ways, gentlemen!

  20. John,
    Murdoch was born in Australia, but is a naturalized American citizen and lives in New York. As for his business dealings with China, I view them the same way I see Google and Yahoo’s. Yeah, they are sucking up to some pretty nasty rulers, but in the long run, continuting to open China up to technology is going to be a net positive for liberty. The blockers are always going to be one step behind the work arounds. Engaging tyranny through trade and travel is always going to work better than boycots. Just look at Vietnam vs Cuba.

  21. I think the Post is a right-leaning populist rag written for people with no better than a sixth-grade reading level, but that cover is pretty goddamned hilarious. Kudos.

    As for Rupert M. doing business with the Chinese, I agree with John (mark this date on your calendar, folks) — I don’t think it’s as bad as it seems: Capitalism has to carefully insert itself into the current Chinese methodology.

    I am uncertain about how the word perestroika translates into Mandarin, but progress doesn’t come simply by kicking down the door and forcing people to accept immediate changes (*cough* Iraq *uncough*).

  22. crimethink was just taking a cheap shot at me, because I noted a cheap shot at someone’s patriotism in a previous thread.

  23. I will never understand the priorities of the posters on this board. Can’t we get back to the topic here people? There’s a Paris Hilton out there waiting to be mocked, dammit!

  24. John,
    Well to be fair, it was much longer than 30 days. I think it was 45. So you got to figure in that extra fortnight and a day and ease up a bit.

    Actually, I think schadenfreude is a horrible thing. People should never take pleasure in other people’s misery. Indeed, I don’t wish any suffering on Paris.

    That said however, I hated Paris Hilton the cultural phenomenon, for all the usual reasons. And that signature smirk said it all. With every paparazzi flash she rubbed our nose in the triumph of her licentiousness. So seeing that smirk utterly bitch-slapped of that face, well that is something I can enjoy guilt free.

    The question is, what will happen when she comes back. Will this actually be good for her celebrity? Will I have to endure even more Paris in my culture? That meltdown should have been the end of it. Paris was riding the waves of cool and there is nothing cool about a hissy fit. If she was truly ‘managing her image’ as some have suggested, that should have never happened. She should have found a way to keep the smirk up. But actually being as vacuous and self-indulgent as she appears seems to give her “credibility”.

  25. Warren,

    She really is amazing from one stand point… she’s get talked about by just about everyone. It’s like she’s the ultimate real life troll. No matter what dumb shit she comes up with, hundreds of “posts” answer back. It’s really an awesome power she probably barely understands she has.

    That and she’s remarkably resistant to fading away. It like everything she touches become part of her. Celebrity gray goo.

  26. Rupert Murdoch is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life.

  27. Warren,

    It is completely good for her celebrity. Going to the can is the best thing that could ever have happened to her. I hate the Paris Hilton phenonenon as much as you do. I hate the idea of noteriety over fame. When someone gets famous because they are talented at something like music or sports, that is one thing. But noteriety is when someone gets famous for no particular reason. Why do we know who this woman is? I can’t think of a reason. The whole thing is gross.

    In my mind Hilton is really just a 21st Century version of a circus freak. Rather than going to the circus and seeing lobster boy, people now watch E and hear about Paris Hilton and her ilk. It is the same principle, grotesque figures being looked at because they are so different from the ordinary.

  28. awesome Manchurian Candidate reference. What a great movie. A total classic. Can never be reproduced.

    ARGH!!!!!!!

  29. $145, that’s more than $6 per day. I am outraged at such outrageous behavior by the rich and privileged.

  30. John,
    Just to clarify, I actually hold Murdoch in high esteem and think, on balance, he has had a positive influence in many media markets. The Times, TLS, SkyNews, etc. I just really dislike Fox News.

    So why did I post the link to the NYT story? Well, it was basically an excuse to use today’s Post cover on the blog.

  31. Sorry, I can’t comment on this article because I stopped reading after you questioned Rupert Murdoch’s patritotism.

    Isn’t Murdoch a Brit or an Austrailian? If he is not an American, then I don’t quite see how he would be expected to be patriotic to the US.

    Maybe I am missing someone, but who implied patriotism to the US?

    Unless patriotic has now been redefined to inherently imply “to the US”

  32. Frank Sinatra’s performance in the original was a major achievement, and his greatest contribution to American culture.

  33. joe- agreed!

    Angela L. was fantastic 🙂

  34. I’d only ever seen her on Murder, She Wrote.

    I’ll tell ya, that made the whole “Mom” thing that much more creepy.

    God, that’s a great movie.

  35. “Why do we know who this woman is? I can’t think of a reason. The whole thing is gross.”

    She does give an A+ BJ.

  36. Good weekend viewing:

    Manchurian.
    French Connection.
    3 Days of the Condor.

  37. VM’s actual weekend viewing:

    Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS
    Batin in 3 Easy Steps
    Xanadu

  38. dammit Highnumber. You said if I’d sing the soundtrack, in costume, of Grease with you, you wouldn’t tell

    /wails. runs off.

    *cautiously looks back around the corner.

    Isla?
    3 easy steps.

    *saunters off to bunk

  39. Or more importantly, why does Reason care?

    Because it is trendy to “hate on” Rupert Murdoch. It is what all the cool kids are doing.

  40. Sugarfree,

    So paris is urkobold?

    crimethink,

    don’t worry about justifying your outrage, the bar is set pretty low for that.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.