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Let’s not forget that if Murdoch’s networks peddled the COVID lies in the UK or Australia that they peddle here, he would lose his licenses to broadcast. They would kick him off the air in a heartbeat, which his why he dumped the person in Australia…to save the network there.

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author

excellent point re: oversight in UK and Australia

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founding

It’s true Murdoch’s Sky News was called on the carpet after it got suspended from YouTube for anti-vax videos. On the other hand Murdoch has been peddling climate science denial in Australia for years. The conservative former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has criticized the terrible influence Murdoch’s media empire has had on the ability to combat climate change. Clearly NewsCorp has been allowed to spread anti-science lies in Australia, at least when it comes to global warming with no consequences.

Turnbull and former PM Kevin Rudd of the left wing Labor Party are now calling for a royal commission to investigate Murdoch’s media empire.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/oct/18/malcolm-turnbull-on-murdoch-lies-and-the-climate-crisis-the-same-forces-that-enabled-trump-are-at-work-in-australia

In contrast the current PM has been bowing to pressure from Murdoch’s media empire which controls a stunning number of Australia’s print media in addition to Sky News — almost two-thirds.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_assets_owned_by_News_Corp#News_Corp_Australia_3

Meanwhile global warming is wreaking havoc in Australia. Murdoch is a deeply evil man.

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author

yes, much more pushback in both those countries

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The world will be a better place when he sheds this mortal coil, but his son Lachlan is no better. He may, in fact, be worse.

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The son is way worse.

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As I saw someone put it (on Twitter) several months ago: We are going to first amendment ourselves to death.

And no, that doesn't mean end the first amendment.

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founding

The combination of the First and Second Amendment is destroying us. We are behaving like the constitution really is a suicide pact.

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I think that both were written in simpler times and we have completely missed the point of the original intent. The people who colonized America were oppressed by restrictions on their religious beliefs. They wanted to guarantee that they could both worship and speak freely, and not be prohibited from the free dissemination of information. Later, there was the idea to allow citizens to form militias subject to US government regulation, to protect from invasion by foreign countries. Appointing fanatics to the Supreme Court caused the interpretation of both amendments to be distorted.

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founding

Ironically it’s the people who claim to be constitutional originalists who are deliberatlely ignoring the “well-regulated militia” part of the 2nd amendment and insisting that we should have no regulation at all.

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When I called one guy on that, he told me that was a "prefatory clause" that didn't affect the overall meaning of the Amendment. My eye roll ended in a belly laugh. He claimed to be an originalist, too.

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The document was written with the input of and by slave owners, including Art. I, Sec 2 declaring that any person who "was not free" would be counted as 3/5 of a free individual... Since amended and ratified 27 times.

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So true... The founders never imagined something like Murdoch, willing and able to destroy democracy through the press because... well, it's profitable. I've no idea what the solution is, but it isn't the status quo... It may be that Americans will have to get used to living in an absolute "mediacracy," where the most brash, loud, attention grabbing nonsense sets the agenda and makes the rules.

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I don't know what the solution is either, but something needs to change. This is destroying our society and democracy.

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Fox and other media spewing misinformation and outright lies would see their influence much reduced if social media platforms were more regulated. They shouldn't be free to amplify the round-the-clock tsunamis of crap from Fox and its wannabes that's eating away at everything in the U.S. The media, I hate to say considering my many years working for it, also needs more legal accountability. It's a slippery constitutional slope, but the problem needs be confronted when Fox and others are killing people, not to mention democracy.

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I agree with all of that!

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It’s all part of the coup. The media wants Biden to appear weak and failing. That includes making the pandemic continue so they can use the talking point that he has been unable to stop the spread of COVID. Murdoch’s and the media’s goal is to get Republicans back in control of Congress next November. The Big Lie continues to sew division. Those subpoenaed are stalling or outright ignoring the call to testify hoping that a Republican House can kill the Jan 6 committee. State legislatures have been elected so that they can alter the votes if necessary to give control to a Republican House so that next time the coup will succeed. So Murdoch is doing his job to insure he and the billionaire owners can control power through puppets they install. Sound crazy? Maybe I am but when I add up all this shit, this is what I come up with. We are headed for authoritarianism unless the 70 percent of America who want justice gets highly engaged in the midterms and 2024. Short of that we become the United States of Autocracy.

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author

what's interesting is that right after 2020 election, Fox News was cold towards the Big Lie—for a few weeks. then they saw the ratings and jumped onbaord

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Yep, money plays a big part, no doubt.

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And the antivax loonies equate refusing covid shots to a patriotic act of civil disobedience, a kind of "give me liberty/Trump..." They use vaccine refusal to protest the "stolen" election. For many of them, the two things are inextricable from each other.

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Yes, their personal act of freedom--give me liberty, give me covid and give me death

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Just look at how Chuck U Todd almost had an orgasm when he did his latest Democrats heading for disaster in 2022 shtick. Chuck U can't wait for the Republicans to impeach Joe and Kamala which they will do if they get the House back.

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founding

Charlie Pierce slammed Chuck today:

“ Chuck Todd tweeted out a lament that the president hasn’t been able to cobble together a coalition with Republicans to pass voting-rights legislation, instead of noting that voting rights have no constituency within the Republican Party anymore.”

There is no way Chuck thinks there is any way Biden could get Republicans to vote for a voting rights bill unless Biden has the goods on some of them and threatens them with blackmail. Cleary Chuck is being deliberately dishonest.

Then he quoted this insane criticism of Biden by Maureen Dowd:

“But the real problem is the president himself, who can’t shake the cobwebs of the Judiciary Committee that held its biggest hearings in the same ornate caucus room where he met with Democrats on Thursday. He is too in the weeds on process. He’s so lost in the snows of yesteryear that he is continuing his Amtrak Joe nearly-every-weekend commute to Delaware, albeit with better wheels, trading in the train for Marine One.”

https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a38807280/trump-movement-elite-political-press/

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And Ashley Parker quoted Dowd. Followed by more Biden bashing from Parker.

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I think that because Fox News is first and foremost a business, they will ultimately do whatever is good for the bottom line. If keeping their viewers from defecting to even fringier networks means perverting the news, then they will do it.

That said, killing off their aging viewers (without replacement generations lined up) seems like a short-sighted strategy. And so I wish them luck with that plan, bless their hearts.

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Jan 19, 2022·edited Jan 19, 2022

Rupert Murdoch & his Faux Flunkies (Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Jeanine Pirro, Laura Ingraham, etc.) don't care if their viewers die from Covid-19 due to the disinformation being spread by them.

As long as there's money to be made from hatemongering & fearmongering, the Faux gravy train could go on forever since those assholes believe in warped interpretation of the First Amendment that they're allowed to spew garbage with zero accountability.

It's frustrating how the right-wing movement's overemphasis on individual freedoms has become destructive to American society as a whole.

Faux constantly spreads this belief in their anti-vaccine rhetotic by claiming those who support mask & vaccine mandates are Communists or Socialists which is complete B.S.

Seriously, the "muh freedumbs" crowd that Faux is pandering too doesn't get the concept of collective freedom in which the freedoms of EVERYONE are being threatened by group of stubborn individuals who refuse to be vaccinated because of the disinformation spread by a power & money hungry media organization.

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Murdoch is craven. He’s killing his own viewers. The situation arguably means COVID can’t/won’t end. Add the authoritarian bent of host’s like Carlson and you get a truly toxic brew.

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author

he's an absolutely essential player in the unraveling

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ABSOLUTELY

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Thanks to Murdoch and political buffoons like Lindsay Graham, the word hypocrite is no longer powerful enough. Fox News mandates vaccinations for its staffers and then lets them go on the air and spew nonsense about the vaccine. They would be on firmer ground if they were claiming the vaccine attacks the portion of the brain that enables you to be honest.

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The murdering murdochs are aided and abetted by trumptoad Neil (nobody tells ME what to do!) gorsuch, who refuses to wear a mask on the Supreme Court bench, a hypocrisy as obvious as it is predictable.

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remember when SC Justices were respected?

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It all went to hell after RBG died and Trump had not only appointed Kavanaugh but Amy Coney Barrett, a throwback to 1950's

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I’ve had no respect for those crooks ever since they illegally installed Dumbya!

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SCOTUS. Political? Nah.

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Any impregnable majority turns corrupt eventually, which the Founders understood. The SC is currently set up that way bc of lifetime appointments and politicization; take a lesson from sports and work toward leveling the playing field?

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‘Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.’ This Lord Acton quote from late 1800s continues to be apt and true as we’re seeing w/our mouths agape at the incredible loss of humanity, respect, caring, goodness Murdoch and his mega wealthy family leave in their wake as they rake in the power and cash by all means necessary. I sure wish their license was at risk in the US. Horrid people feeding off and capitalizing on the ignorance, fear of those viewers, advertisers who have produced wealth, power for them.

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Actually, I think we could count it. Figure out how many people would have died in a first wave. Then, since Fux Noise helped install every single republican officeholder who fought vaccines, masks, lockdowns, and other measures that would have saved lives, everyone after that.

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I guess I have 3 thoughts: 1) fascist rule is not only nightmarish for the average citizen, but it will crater the economy. As people retreat into fear, they'll stop spending money, which will translate into corporate layoffs, which will cause price slashing, which will cause revenue downturns and stock markets to slide...how will this benefit Fox?, 2) under a Putin-esque model, large corporations and CEOs will be openly extorted. Under a Trump/Putin model, absolute loyalty demands the commission of heinous acts, and eventually Trump will tire of Tucker's influence (ie competition with Trump) and demand his removal...how will this benefit Fox? 3) Another question is why there have been so few lawsuits against Fox..they clearly incite violence, endanger lives, knowingly spew lies, why haven't there been more class action suits?

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And more good citizens are now backing away out of fear from civic roles, eg school boards, poll workers, congressmen w/integrity leaving office, all being replaced by political hacks w/no competence, nor commitment to good governance. No one is immune from the impact. As you state, not even Tucker.

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Jan 19, 2022·edited Jan 19, 2022

I think it would minimize the scope of the harm that people like Murdoch, Trump, Carlson, et al, do to humankind to see them only as greedy megalomaniacs. IMO, they are true Sociopaths, Psychopaths, Malignant Narcissists and right-wing Anarchists who not only have an overwhelming need to "win" (at any cost), but also seem to have a compulsive and sadistic need to be destructive and inflict pain on others. There is a great example of that kind of mindset in the movie Tombstone, where the Wyatt Earp character asks the Doc Holliday character what makes Johnny Ringo do the horrible things he does. Doc Holliday responds: "A man like Ringo has got a great big hole, right in the middle of himself, and he can never kill enough, or steal enough, or inflict enough pain to ever fill it." That is the kind of horrible and deadly dysfunction being acted out in our society today.

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I'm not disagreeing, but labeling their psychoses does little to abate their real-world harm. Murdoch is motivated by sadism and cruelty, sure, but economic impacts are the only pressure that will change Fox' behaviors.

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I think it’s useful to understanding just what, who we are up against. I’m not sure everyone does. For me, it fills out the whys and reveals the motivations, ugliness and craziness. I think it might for others. For sure, the impact will be the same. Gulp.

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Great point! It’s hard to relate to that kind of compulsive hunger, sadism in those with power when one’s values are on the side of kindness, fairness, growth, not destruction. TFG makes your point; he’s a malignant narcissist projecting all his distorted sicknesses onto the country and making it in his image, never to feel satisfied or know when enough is enough. Hitler, Mussolini are other psychopaths/sociopaths whose minions helped enable them to rule. Boy, are we in deep shit especially when the media is in its ‘see no evil mode,’ wearing rose colored glasses and believing they are immune. NOT. READ YOUR HISTORY MSM FOLKS!!!!

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I don't believe the First Amendment was intended to be a suicide pact. That said, some sort of action needs to be taken against Fox, whether FCC-based, a refurbishment of the Fairness Doctrine or pressure on cable providers and sponsors to drop them. The idea that part of my cable bill is going to subsidize an enemy propaganda, asymmetrical warfare campaign against American democracy makes me want to vomit.

Let us also keep in mind that Murdoch and that piece-of-shit son of his are evil on the scale of James Bond supervillains. Indeed, one of the Pierce Brosnan Bond films depicted a megalomaniac media oligarch bent on starting a world war for ratings, a thinly veiled metaphor for Murdoch. He is an enemy alien who only took on the mantle of U.S. citizenship to circumvent rules about the concentration of foreign ownership of U.S. media. He is a monster. Covid would be doing humankind a service if it turned his lungs into blocks of gelatin, along with his son's.

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Exactly

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Murdoch has no problem with egregiously abusing the First Amendment, but here we are. And making it worse is that any legal challenges to him and his empire are probably too expensive even to consider.

The heartless greed this country has fallen into is also egregious, whether it's manifested in corporations who buy advertising time on Fox or even in the self-absorbed and delusional individuals who watch Fox programming, not giving a damn that they're helping to perpetuate the deadly lies spewed by the hypocrites on Fox.

Fox's ratings during the Trump years were the highest in the industry, up until the moment they declared Joe Biden the winner of the 2020 election. Like rats from a sinking ship, the audience scurried to other trash news outlets, and Fox was stuck with the old farts not tech savvy enough to look for a new channel to watch.

I don't watch Fox, but my guess is that in their attempt to lure people back, they're focusing on grievance politics, not specifically Trumpian but largely about covid, playing every conspiracy theory even as all their pundits are fully vaccinated. Unprincipled, cynical and hypocritical as hell, right? But it works because Americans in general are becoming the same way. Anecdotal, but who has failed to notice the anger that's manifest in all sides? Yesterday I was reading a piece about a guy who blew off warnings about the snowstorm and who went hiking only to find himself in trouble; he called for rescue. I saw at least 5 comments saying he should have been left there to die because he was stupid. Of course, I have also read countless similar comments about unvaccinated people who get deathly ill with covid. "Let them die." We didn't used to be like this.

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Eric, I read your daily news religiously. Sometimes I REALLY need suggestions on what to do about the clear and present dangers you share. This is one of those cases. I guess I can take comfort in, as previous posters here have noted, they are at least killing off their audience. Is there nothing we can do to get our nation's news system back in kilter?

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Murdoch lacks a moral core but also I think at some level the beast has taken over and he has to feed it to survive. He doesn't really care about the destruction it causes. It brings in cash and frankly he can't stop it at this point without some amount of embarrassment and financial retrenchment.

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Pay a visit to sorryantivaxxer.com and see all those folks who Screwpert and his son brainwashed into rejecting the vaccine and they wound up in the GOP Forever Box!

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