After Murdoch-Blair quarrel, Murdoch-Trump quarrel

This video from the British Parliament says about itself:

Leveson Inquiry: Rupert Murdoch endorsed Tony Blair after getting all he could from him

25 April 2012

The News International proprietor admits that he only sanctioned Sun approval of Tony Blair after he had gotten all the concessions he could get from him.

Rupert Murdoch and fellow Big Media billionaire Silvio Berlusconi used to be buddies. That is, until Rupert and Silvio started to quarrel about a loot of lots of money

Rupert Murdoch and conservative Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott used to be buddies. That is, until Rupert helped to sack Tony.

Rupert Murdoch and British Labour Blairite Prime Minister Tony Blair used to be buddies. Tony is the godfather of Rupert‘s children. That is, until Tony had an affair with Rupert’s wife.

Rupert Murdoch and United States Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump used to be buddies. That is, until now …

By Paddy McGuffin in Britain:

Take advantage of the Fox-Trump fallout now

Saturday 30th January 2016

IT’S always hard to break up with a loved-one …

We’ve all seen, and in many cases been in, those relationships whereby everyone but the individual in question knows that they’re on a one-way trip to deceit, destitution and/or misery.

Yet to point it out is anathema and invariably leads to rifts on both sides.

The quandary therefore, when things inevitably go hideously, irrevocably wrong, is which individual to side with, if any, and whether to take the exalted higher ground or spell out some desperately needed home truths.

Happily this is not the case this week, when both spurned lovers are as loathsome as each other and mutually assured destruction is the best option for the planet.

No, I’m not talking about George Osborne and Google, who would never let a tiny thing like billions of pounds in tax avoidance get in the way of their cosy relationship.

I refer of course, to the rift betwixt Donald Trump and Fox News.

Let us just sit back and enjoy that for a moment …

Even the most favourably starred relationships hit their rocky periods. And none more so than when Trump is involved.

The presidential candidate for the lacking in thought has recently taken the “News” station to task and pulled out of a scheduled debate, complaining that its female anchor was disrespectful and biased … I know! This is Fox News we’re talking about!

The problem, apparently, was that he believes they were biased AGAINST him for a change.

The row ensued after said female anchor raised the use of “pig,” “dog” and several less than chivalrous epithets by Trump during the course of his presidential campaign to attack his female opponents for the Republican candidacy.

Now as we all know, politics is a filthy business and if you want to get involved you had best grow a thick skin and hold your nose, but even by the usual standards of vicious back-biting, slanderous misrepresentation and virulent personal abuse Trump has sunk to new depths.

When this issue was aired in a recent live debate by Fox host Megyn Kelly, who asked quite reasonably if this was the kind of language a wannabe president should be using, Trump spluttered and backtracked before saying off-air that: “She had blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her whatever.”

This has widely been perceived as an attempt to claim that Kelly was menstruating and therefore, in Trump’s view, hormonally imbalanced.

Crass and pathetic as this claim is it is highly instructive and tells us two things.

Not only is Trump so patently emotionally and intellectually stunted that he is unable to say the word “vagina” but he has also apparently confused natural bodily changes coinciding with the cycle of the moon with the Ebola virus.

He also, hilariously, claimed that all Fox was interested in was getting money from his appearances, which is no doubt true but coming from the rapaciously capitalistic Trump went right off the end of the irony scale.

Fox went in to bat for their beleaguered anchor, because it’s all right for them to denigrate women and minorities but not when it comes back at them.

A Network spokesman said, and I quote, “We can’t give into terrorisations of any of our employees.”

Showing that he was a total stranger not just to the English language but also its concept.

“Capitulating to politicians’ ultimatums about a debate moderator (Kelly) violates all journalistic standards,” he added.

Which raises a number of questions, but principally, since when did Fox ever adhere to “journalistic standards?”

It never stopped them in the past when they were spoon-feeding made up shit to a gullible public in support of the ongoing “War on Terror” which was largely in their heads.

Lying through their scarily perfect teeth to back up a lame duck president who had no clue what he was doing and led the world into disaster was, likewise, apparently not a problem for their much-vaunted, newly discovered “journalistic standards.”

That’s fine, as long as he’s not black.

Basically the Fox statement can be read: “Say what you want about the Muslims, immigrants and Mexicans but criticise one of us and you’re spoiling for a fight.”

Sadly this spat will not last, so I for one am determined to make the most out of it while I can.

Ah, schadenfreude! It truly is the gift that keeps on giving.

The only way it could get any better is if Tony Blair decided to act as peace maker and he probably will — if the price is right.

Dutch government warned Blair on Iraq war

This video from the USA says about itself:

Rupert Murdoch Pressured Tony Blair Over Iraq

18 June 2012

Rupert Murdoch joined in an “over-crude” attempt by US Republicans to force Tony Blair to accelerate British involvement in the Iraq war a week before a crucial House of Commons vote in 2003, according to the final volumes of Alastair Campbell’s government diaries. In another blow to the media mogul, who told the Leveson inquiry that he had never tried to influence any prime minister, Campbell’s diary says Murdoch warned Blair in a phone call of the dangers of a delay in Iraq…”.* The Young Turks host Cenk Uygur breaks it down.

*Read more here from Nicholas Watt in The Guardian.

Translated from in the Netherlands:

‘Balkenende warned Blair against invading Iraq

December 13, 2015 21:00

Former [Dutch] Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende warned British Prime Minister Tony Blair in 2003 [when they were both Prime Minister] that an attack on Iraq could lead to civil war in that country. …

[United States] President Barack Obama recently said that ISIS is an “unintended consequence” of the United State war on Iraq.

Balkenende is a right-wing politician. Unfortunately, Blair preferred to listen to other right-wingers; more powerful but less realist on Iraq: George W Bush, Dick Cheney and Rupert Murdoch.

Unfortunately, his relative ‘realism’ did not stop Balkenende later from sending Dutch troops to help occupy Iraq. Balkenende did not want Dutch Big Business like Shell oil to miss out on the spoils of bloody war in Iraq.

Rupert Murdoch lies on hedgehogs to advocate killing badgers

This 2014 video shows wild badgers filmed in south Lincolnshire woodland in England.

Ever since British Conservative daily The Times became part of the Rupert Murdoch empire, it is as full of lies as the rest of that empire.

From the Badger Trust in Britain:

7th December 2015

Dear All,

Badger Trust Slams Times Newspaper for “Cynical Political Attack” Over Hedgehog Claims

The Badger Trust has accused the Times newspaper of a cynical, politically motivated attack on badgers contained in a recent article about declining hedgehog numbers.

The Times launched its Christmas charity appeal for hedgehogs on Saturday 28 November, informing its readers it was to help fund the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) in the battle to halt the decline one of the UK’s most endangered wildlife species.

However in the same issue it also printed an editorial entitled “Prickly Subject: More hedgehogs means fewer badgers”. In this article the Times claimed that increasing badger numbers were directly responsible for the collapse of the hedgehog population and that culling badgers in an attempt to lower bovine TB was also justified as a means of protecting hedgehogs.

Responding to the Times editorial Dominic Dyer CEO of the Badger Trust said,

“We welcome any campaign aimed at drawing public attention to the desperate plight of hedgehogs and the excellent work of the British Hedgehog Preservation Society. However we are appalled by the cynical way the Times is trying to exploit the public’s Christmas goodwill by falsely claiming hedgehog numbers can only recover if we kill more badgers. This suggestion is not only blatantly motivated by political bias but is also not supported by any scientific evidence. The Times is yet again supporting the government’s badger cull policy but this time is widening the ‘badger blame game’ to include hedgehogs.”

Badger Trust Chairman, Peter Martin added,

“Between 40% and 80% of the badger’s diet is plant based depending on the time of year, the rest being made up of earthworms and beetles. Whilst badgers are capable of killing hedgehogs they very rarely do. Both species compete for the same food and removing one by culling naturally allows the other to thrive. Badgers and hedgehogs have coexisted in ecological balance for hundreds of thousands of years and it is only the destructive intervention of modern farming practices that has altered this balance so disastrously for hedgehogs.”

In a statement the British Hedgehog Preservation Society has said:

“An analysis of the original badger culling experiments, published in April 2014, shows that, at some sites, hedgehog numbers did increase following reduction in the number of badgers. This is not unexpected, considering what we know of the relationship between hedgehogs and badgers. BHPS and Peoples Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) do not consider this sufficient evidence to advocate culling badgers as a means of increasing hedgehog numbers, and believe that culling any species in an effort to conserve another is undesirable given better environmental approaches. Indeed, scientific evidence suggests that culling badgers may make the TB situation worse, a further reason why PTES/BHPS would not advocate culling badgers to benefit hedgehogs.”

Badger Trust Chairman Peter Martin continues,

“The key factors for the collapse in hedgehog numbers are intensive farming, pesticide use, garden fencing and road kill, so it’s disingenuous in the extreme for the Times to attempt to demonise the badger in the minds of their readers. It’s a disgraceful example of playing politics with wildlife conservation and it could lead to an increasing level of illegal persecution of badgers which are a protected species.”

Dominic Dyer CEO of the Badger Trust concludes,

“The Times does not deserve any credit or recognition for helping British wildlife conservation over Christmas and we are therefore encouraging the public to make any donations direct to the British Hedgehog Preservation Society rather than via the Times’ Christmas Appeal.”

Donald Trump, Murdoch and anti-#BlackLivesMatter violence in Minnesota, USA

Jamine Robinson points to the name of his brother, Jamar Clark, on an upside-down flag bearing names of people killed at the hands of police. A shooting erupted last night at that Black Lives Matter encampment.(Photo credit: AP)

From in the USA:

Tuesday, Nov 24, 2015 08:11 PM +0100

This is on Donald Trump and Fox News’ hands: Now their war on #blacklivesmatter draws real blood

Minneapolis shooting is no surprise. Trump, O’Reilly and others have ratcheted rhetoric toward violence for months

Chauncey DeVega

The Associated Press is reporting that five people at a Black Lives Matter protest in Minneapolis were shot by a group of white supremacists on Monday evening.

This is not a surprise.

The appeal and power of old-fashioned, overt and transparent white racism is growing in the United States. The prime example of this phenomenon is the rise of Donald Trump, but the GOP front-runner is but one data point in a longer trend. Since the election of Barack Obama, white supremacists have increased their enrollment of new members. To that end, they have infiltrated Tea Party organizations to recruit racially resentful and angry white people who are beginning to think about politics in terms of “white group interests.”

While anxiety about ISIS dominates the American news, the FBI has in fact identified domestic terrorism from white, right-wing Christians as the greatest domestic terrorism threat to the United States since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The right-wing news-entertainment media complex routinely uses eliminationist and violent rhetoric to describe liberals and progressives. There, the implicit (and often explicit) narrative is that those people who are not members of the American right-wing are “traitors,” “un-American” and deserving of whatever violence comes to them. This is not empty talk, hyperbole or “playful” rhetoric designed to cheer on Republicans and build up morale before a presidential election. The right-wing media has actually weaponized its followers. The results are those black folks killed by Dylann Roof in Charleston, the women’s reproductive health doctor George Tiller, and the other victims of right-wing domestic terrorists shot dead at Sikh Temples, Jewish Community Centers, and elsewhere in the United States.

And as I wrote in an earlier essay here at Salon, Republican 2016 presidential primary candidates, as well as Fox News personalities such as Bill O’Reilly, have referred to members of the human rights advocacy group Black Lives Matter as “terrorists” or the new “Ku Klux Klan.”

On Monday, I wrote a piece about how a Black Lives Matter protester was beaten upon by Donald Trump supporters at a Birmingham, Alabama, rally over the weekend. Trump endorsed that thuggery and was proud that his supporters were so spirited. Adding to the grotesqueness of Donald Trump’s embrace of political violence, Robert Kiger, a fundraiser aligned with a group backing Trump, made the bizarre suggestion that he, as a white man, would be beaten up if he went into a black church. Therefore, the violent attack on a Black Lives Matter protester at Trump’s rally was expected, understood and reasonable in Kiger’s twisted, demented and profoundly racist imagination.

Ultimately, when Black Lives Matter’s basic claim for equal human rights and dignity is met by racist slogans such as “All Lives Matter” — what is just a new and more polite version of “White Power!” — the question is no longer “if” white on black and brown racially motivated violence will take place, but rather when, and to what extent?

The 2016 presidential primary season has seen Republican candidates endorse internment camps for Syrian refugees, an enemies list for Muslims, making Christianity the official state religion of the United States, establishing a Gestapo-like force to eject “illegal immigrants” from the United States, and other actions that are unworthy of what is supposed to be the world’s greatest democracy.

Those men and women who seek the office of the president of the United States should be responsible, reflective, and intelligent individuals. While they are members of a political party, these individuals should also be ambassadors of the Common Good who first and foremost want to advance and protect the General Welfare of the United States and its citizens. To this point in the campaign, the Republican 2016 primary presidential candidates, as a group, have not shown that they are capable of honoring that obligation.

The presidential primary season is not over. There is still time for the Republican Party to rise to the occasion.

To that end, will the 2016 Republican primary presidential candidates denounce Donald Trump’s rhetoric and the violence of his supporters or condemn last evening’s shootings of the Black Lives Matter protesters by white supremacists?

Will this crop of potential GOP presidential nominees demand that their peers, as well as the right-wing Fox News propaganda machine, tone down their collective racist, nativist, xenophobic and violence-inducing rhetoric?

The answer is likely to be “no.” Instead, the Republican 2016 presidential candidates will ignore the violence and bigotry they have encouraged or instead play the “victim” of the “liberal media.” The right-wing Fox News echo chamber will also likely spin fictions of “liberal infiltrators” or “agent provocateurs” that are actually committing violence at Donald Trump rallies or shooting Black Lives Matter activists in Minneapolis.

As they have repeatedly done in recent American history, movement conservatives and their media will continue to strike a match in a room full of gasoline vapor and act surprised when it explodes.

This is their version of the American Way. It is an agenda that retreats from normal politics, consensus-building, and an embrace of conservatism not as a reasonable respect for traditions and standing norms, but, rather as an embrace of a radical, destructive, and reactionary behavior that leaves the United States less safe, less secure, less prosperous and weaker than it was before.

City Releases ‘Chilling’ Video Of Cop Shooting Chicago Teen 16 Times. The Cook County state’s attorney said the officer “was on the scene less than 30 seconds before shooting”: here.

Billionaire Donald Trump has increased his lead in the polls among likely voters in Republican caucuses and primaries by making appeals to fears of terrorism and advocating a police-state crackdown on Muslim immigrants in the United States: here.

Trump compared to Hitler: here.