What leftists' elation over Murdoch's troubles reveals about the progressive faith.
On Tuesday, July 19, Rupert Murdoch visited Parliament to discuss the News of the World scandal. As the media mogul was speaking, he was attacked by a protester, who threw what looked to be pie content at him. Wendi Deng, Murdoch’s wife, smacked the protester in the head – a rational and well-calibrated response.
Some in the media celebrated the pie-ing the same way they’ve celebrated the entire News of the World blow-up. One MSNBC host, militant leftist Contessa Brewer, remarked, “I think, in some ways, this encapsulates what the British people are feeling right now about Rupert Murdoch and those involved in this phone hacking scandal.” Eric Boehlert, senior fellow at Media Matters for America, had no comment on that – but he’s spent his entire last two weeks mentally pleasuring himself through front covers of the British tabloid.
In fact, the left’s absolute glee over the News of the World scandal cannot be contained. They aren’t horrified – they’re giggling to themselves like excited schoolgirls spotting Brad Pitt at the local Starbucks. When Murdoch’s NewsCorp was forced to drop its bid to buy the satellite British Sky Broadcasting company, the left cheered wildly. Boehlert called it the “best week ever.” Avaaz.org, a group of leftist media activists, have petitioned the British government to force Murdoch to totally divest from BSkyB. “Now we’re taking our red-hot UK campaign global, to roll back the Murdoch menace everywhere,” said Avaaz directors. “Avaaz members live in every country where Murdoch works, making our movement the only one that can truly take a campaign against his global empire and win. The time is now … we can seize this once-in-a-generation chance.” Many, if not most liberals saw the failure to acquire as a loss for Murdoch and News Corp, whom they believe to be the dual devils incarnate.
There’s only one problem. Even as the left chortles over the decaying remains of News of the World and does the wave over the collapse of the BSkyB deal, people lose their jobs. Shares in BSkyB declined 0.6 percent the day the deal fell through. As soon as the News of the World scandal broke, in fact, the stock began dropping precipitously; over the past three weeks, the stock of BSkyB – again, a company that has not been implicated in anything – dropped nearly 20 percent. News Corp’s stock value has declined nearly that much.
Let’s assume that the left is successful in its goal of dissolving Murdoch’s media empire. That would leave 53,000 people unemployed. Investors who have sunk billions into Murdoch’s enterprises would lose their cash. The fallout would be dramatic. By way of contrast, Chrysler – a company the left deemed too big to fail – employs just over 50,000 workers. Yet the left thought it was not only worth bailing out Chrysler, but of chipping in American tax dollars to pay off the union contracts they’d negotiated.
The left’s hatred for Murdoch’s empire demonstrates their continued apathy about job loss. They are concerned with corporations who are deeply and incestuously entwined with government – those corporations, they say, must be saved at all costs. GM, GE, Chrysler, the liberal journalistic establishment – those companies deserve government largesse, a helpful hand. Corporations that are not subject to union whims, or that oppose the global big government agenda, are on their own. They must be punished dramatically.
Now, nobody is arguing that News of the World didn’t deserve penalties. But for the left to scalp News of the World and argue that it has done some sort of grand public good by such a gesture is idiotic. With the death of News of the World, 200 working journalists joined the ranks of the unemployed. Killing a newspaper isn’t the solution to preventing journalistic abuse – killing journalistic abuse is.
But the left isn’t interested in killing journalistic abuse. And they’re not interested in jobs. They’re interested in nailing their political opponents, no matter the collateral damage to either free speech values or to individuals who lose the ability to support their families.
Will Media Matters hire those unemployed journalists? How about Avaaz?
Didn’t think so.
They’re just happy to have their pie all over Murdoch’s face, consequences be damned.