Delusion without variation

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  • Published 20040907
  • ISBN: 9780733314537
  • Extent: 268 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm)

RUPERT MURDOCH, HIS father, Keith – and in prospect his sons – are best understood as freelance official propagandists. This is the central argument of my book The Murdoch Archipelago (Simon & Schuster, 2003). Like the condottieri who undermined the Italian republics, they serve whatever authority offers suitable concessions. Every media enterprise has such qualities in part. Only in Newscorp do they predominate. While this business model remains a peculiarity, we may escape the Florentines’ fate. But Murdoch expansion will not undergo voluntary restraint.

My deadline for the book that documents this essence of the Murdoch clan fell before the Iraq invasion, but already it was clear that Newscorp’s role in the crusade fitted a pattern traceable back to Keith Murdoch, across various wars. Now we can add to the story fresh evidence about the interaction of media, intelligence agencies and elected politicians: this shows democracy rotting in its homelands as – substantially because – our governments pretend to export it by force. In Britain’s especially acute case, general election turnout may fall below 50 per cent, and we hear panicky talk about legitimacy. A crackpot war on terror (WOT) isn’t alone responsible. But it intensifies a morbidity too well-established.

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About the author

Bruce Page

Bruce Page is the author of Murdoch Archipelago (Simon & Schuster, 2003) and books that deal with espionage, American politics, financial corruption and aviation safety.His initial...

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