10 thoughts on “Rupert Murdoch’s phone hacking scandal

  1. TRUTHOUT’S BUZZFLASH DAILY HEADLINES

    Fox “News” sears the red-hot poker of racism into the heart of white Americans who emotionally need a scapegoat for the nation’s economic collapse – and the erosion of the US Empire.

    If some people wonder why racism still has such a strong appeal, remember that the poor and merchant-class whites of the Confederacy were as racist as the plantation owners. Having slaves to look down upon as sub-human creatures allowed even the poorest of white sharecroppers and indentured servants to feel a privileged psychological sense of social position in comparison to blacks.

    That is why there is no way other than racism to view the unrelenting attack on the invitation of the rapper Common to the White House. In his usual brilliant takedown of Fox, Jon Stewart nailed the absurdity of the obsessive Fox vitriol, but danced around the motive: the stoking of racism in viewers who might otherwise start thinking about how the plutocracy is picking their pockets.

    In a documentary done some time ago by Robert Greenwald, he detailed just some of the overt racism on Fox “News” over the years. But most of the insidious and dangerous fanning of the flames of race is done through coding on Fox, such as in the fusillade on Common and Obama. Coding race was inherent in the Fox nurturing of the “birther” movement, and in most of its cheerleading for the Tea Party.

    It’s no wonder that so many Republican officials, in particular, have been caught making racist remarks or sending racist emails. It was no surprise to receive a tip from a BuzzFlash reader that, recently, a Republican West Virginia candidate for governor referred to President Obama as “Sambo.”

    Republicans and the right-wing media echo chamber have never let their foot off the gas pedal of Dick Nixon’s “Southern strategy.” They know that emotional appeals to the core sense of identity of insecure whites in America’s social structure put up an incendiary road block to an appeal to facts and reason.

    There’s no way to soft sell what Fox is up to: they promulgate the vision that America is a white nation, and that “taking back America” means wresting it from the control of a black man.

    Mark Karlin
    Editor, BuzzFlash at Truthout

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  2. TRUTHOUT’S BUZZFLASH DAILY HEADLINES

    When Chris Wallace of Fox interviewed Jon Stewart over the weekend, he thought he was scoring a point when he bragged that Fox “news” viewers love the network. Stewart, always quick on the draw, responded that although this may be true, study after study shows that Fox viewers are the most misinformed on television.

    BuzzFlash at Truthout encounters this constantly in comments and emails that we receive in response to the BuzzFlash blog columns. Fox viewers often base their statements on Fox “manufactured facts” that are simply not true.

    One of these points is that big government is strangling small businesses, which are the backbone of the American economy. But the reality is that large corporations, particularly American-based global corporations, are slowly killing many small businesses, as we have noted before.

    Think of small businesses that used to be in abundance: for example, hardware stores, pharmacies, appliance stores and shoe stores, among others.

    Now, we have all these small businesses forced into closure by national and international corporations. The inherent goal of corporations is to eliminate the competition, and large companies have done just that by shuttering many small businesses through massive buying power, branding, predatory pricing and marketing.

    In turn, these corporations accumulate large amounts of capital and profits, which are then used to yield political power in DC and state capitols, and to expand so that the middle class of ex-small business owners are forced to become low-wage workers at chain stores.

    As the Portland Business Journal reports,

    “Corporate profits may be at a record high, but businesses on Main Street are still scraping by,” said NFIB [National Federation of Independent Business] Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “Washington is throwing misdirected policies at the problem, offering tax breaks for hiring and equipment investment, but acting surprised when they don’t bear any fruit.”

    So, the Fox viewers watch and listen to propaganda that the federal government is killing small businesses, when it is policies that benefit large corporations that are facilitating the decline of family-run operations.

    The Fox fan who excoriates liberals for alleged anti-small business policies no doubt gets his/her hardware supplies from Home Depot, prescriptions from CVS, and appliances and computers from Best Buy, for example.

    It makes you wonder how much cognitive dissonance one person can keep inside his/her head before it explodes from the factual contradictions.

    Mark Karlin
    Editor, BuzzFlash at Truthout

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