J.K. Rowling has come through yet again for her fans. Her rebuttal on Rupert Murdoch was fire; her composure and method were flawless; I drew a happy stick figure dancing in celebration of her general all-around coolness.
Now, what was Murdoch saying again? And wait, who the help is Rupert Murdoch?
I had no idea before this article brought him to my attention. Some quick and dirty Googling fixed that right up, however, so a) disclaimer: I might not know what I’m talking about, and b) I now know everything and am fully qualified to boil it down for you all.
Rupert Murdoch was born in Australia in 1931, which makes him 83 for everyone who hates math. His father was a respected journalist and ran two Australian newspapers, News and Sunday Mail, which gave young Rupert a running start in the media game. At a young age, he took over these newspapers and systematically demolished all of his father’s respect with his transformation of News into a tabloid of the lowest order. Sex, sports, crime–yes, it was indeed the forerunner of the Sun in the UK, which Murdoch bought soon afterwards. Because humanity is a cesspit of despair and celebrity gossip, sales soared.
Now, we here at blockedletters certainly wouldn’t want you to think Murdoch is just a leech who survives on the gushing lifeblood of privacy as it lies stabbed and dying on the floor of the 21st century. Around the middle of the 1960s, Murdoch rehabilitated his journalistic image with the Australian, Australia’s first national newspaper. Even more impacted was his image as a zoologist; to ensure that all Australians received this paper, he personally trained an army of wallabies to deliver copies to those living in the more inaccessible parts of Down Under.
I’m sorry for that last sentence. It’s a lie, and I shouldn’t have said it. But I refuse to apologize for that wallaby.
Anyway, Murdoch’s many other newspapers follow the same story line: a lot of sensationalist rags like the San Antonio Express-News and some very respectable news sources such as the Sunday Times of London. But Murdoch’s newspapers are far from all he owns.
Has anyone ever heard of Fox News? I have, mostly in jokes about conservative news sources being blatantly biased, completely unreliable, and a stain on news broadcasting. Of course, this was liberal humor, but Fox News has experienced some serious shade action. Murdoch not only owns Fox News but also Harper Collins as well as parts of quite a lot of other media companies.
This is the bare bones of Murdoch’s media career. Fear not, there were events like the time he fought print unions in Wapping in London (it ended up with over 1,000 arrests, 400 police injuries, 365 days wasted, and a win for Murdoch. Well done, Rupert). And we can’t forget that time his paper News of the World hacked a missing girl’s voicemail for news. Hacking seems to be the NoW method of fact-finding, actually. Now, the last time Murdoch was attracting heat like this was a scant month and a half ago when he was tweeting
followed by pearls like
But the reason he’s coming under fire now is because of this:
referencing Charlie Hebdo and the terrorist attack there.
Now, here’s why we should care.
Remember the Sydney hostage crisis? The general takeaway was that heart-warming #IllRideWithYou. Warm fuzzies were had by all, and the world went, wow, those forgiving Aussies.
But there was also this. (Lakemba is a suburb in Sydney that’s heavy on Muslims.)
The ADL is definitely a fringe group, and practically everyone was mad about that post, but there were others, guys. There were others.
Rupert Murdoch is the new ADL. He’s the face for that insidious whisper that sees a Muslim and thinks, right, ISIS is a thing that exists. He embodies the reason that Charlie Hebdo is, as well as an international tragedy, another nail in the collective Muslim PR coffin**. This guy, who was ranked 32nd in Forbes’ most powerful people. This guy, whose net worth is $13.9 billion.
But luckily for us, J.K. Rowling exists in an awesome way.
Of course, the news is jumping all-the-eff over Murdoch for being an idiot and exalting Rowling for being totally awesome because we’re not slavering dogs indiscriminately calling for all Muslim blood. Yet.
**I don’t mean to gloss over the deaths of the Charlie Hebdo employees. Everything about Charlie Hebdo is tragic. Everything, ok? It’s tragic that those Charlie Hebdo employees died, it’s tragic that historically free speech so often must be bought with blood, and it’s tragic that even more fear and prejudice is being directed at innocent Muslims.
Someone is definitely going to yell at me about this.