Freedom of the press

English: Rupert Murdoch and Wendi Murdoch at t...

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Freedom of the press is guaranteed under the first amendment to preserve our freedoms and to preserve our democracy. It prohibits government censorship, but the danger now is self-censorship of the press, often at the instigation of the 1%. My solution to this danger to our freedoms and our democracy is to breakup the great concentrations of ownership in the media, and I would start with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

Please see Rupert Murdoch

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Rupert Murdoch

Cover of "The Man Who Owns the News: Insi...

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The Man Who Owns the News, Inside the Secret World of Rupert Murdoch by Michael Wolff. Keith Rupert Murdoch 2 is the media baron son of a minor media baron of the same name. Descended from protestant clergy and of Scottish ancestry, the Murdochs emigrated to Australia where Rupert’s father became a power in the newspaper business. Printing ink runs in Rupert’s veins and the newspaper portion of his empire is what he really cares about. That and earning enough money from the other parts of his empire to buy more newspapers.

Newspapers are a dieing business, but Rupert still prefers them because that is what he knows and loves. Rupert also loves to create sensation and scandal because they sell more newspapers. He attacks his enemies in the papers and supports his friends, both with a long memory. All his employees try to write as Rupert would or they do not continue to be employed. News Corporation, his media empire, grew to its present size because a bigger balance sheet made it possible to do bigger deals and acquire more media properties including more newspapers.

In the circles of society that Rupert now moves, most people criticize Fox News to his face. Rupert claims to be embarrassed by Fox, but as long as Fox makes money, Rupert will continue to allow Roger Ailes carte blanche to run the network as he sees fit. I think that the only way to compel Fox to be “Fair and Balanced” is to boycott its sponsors so that Fox is not a source of profits for Murdoch.

I believe that News Corporation is too big, too powerful, for one company or one individual in a democracy. Michael Wolff tells the story about how Murdoch plucked Ed Koch from obscurity and succeeded in electing him mayor of New York City. It is Murdoch’s belief that an unknown elected to political office owes more to Murdoch for support than a well-known candidate for office would for the same support. Therefore, I believe that for the sake of preserving our democracy, we must dismantle Murdoch’s empire. Too much power in the hands of one individual or one corporation corrupts. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.