Subscribe

Rupert Murdoch, Lachlan Murdoch, News Corp, democracy
Fox News and News Corp are burning our democracies. Photo credit: DonkeyHotey / WhoWhatWhy (CC BY-SA 2.0) See complete attribution below.

Name anything that is bad in the United States, and there is a good chance that Murdoch has had a hand in causing it, making it worse, or profiting from it.

Listen To This Story
Voiced by Amazon Polly

Because Rupert Murdoch is so old and we have been taught to respect our elders, we decided to sugarcoat his legacy as much as possible, so here goes: Rupert Murdoch is an evil bastard who has killed countless Americans and done more to turn the United States into the Divided States than any other individual.

Unfortunately, that’s not all.

Name anything that is bad in the United States, and there is a good chance that Murdoch has had a hand in causing it, making it worse, or profiting from it.

For example, he played a pivotal role in the erosion of US democracy, stoked racism and xenophobia, contributed to the rise of extremism, and helped prevent meaningful action to combat climate change.

Again, we are being nice to him here in light of his advanced age.

When the Australian-born media mogul announced this week that he would step down and relinquish control of his propaganda networks to his son, we racked our brains to see if we could think of another individual in US history who has had such a negative impact on the country.

We came up empty.

Instead, in terms of the suffering he has caused, it would be more apt to compare him to a scourge like fentanyl.

And that’s when it hit us.

The best way to describe Murdoch is as America’s drug dealer.

Murdoch realized that this was a reality in which many conservatives felt uncomfortable. They believed that more opportunities for others meant fewer opportunities for themselves. But they also knew that this mindset made them the bad guys.

Think about it: More than anything, drugs are a means for people to escape. For some, that means escaping physical pain or mental anguish.

Through Fox News (and to a lesser degree the other media platforms he owns), Murdoch got millions of Americans to escape a reality that they did not like.

It was the reality of progress — of progress toward greater equality — a hard-won reality in which the rights and opportunities the US had always afforded to white people were increasingly shared by others.  

Murdoch realized that this was a reality in which many conservatives felt uncomfortable. They believed that more opportunities for others meant fewer opportunities for themselves. But they also knew that this mindset made them the bad guys.

And nobody wants to feel like the bad guy.

That’s when Murdoch came to the rescue. He offered them a fantasy in which all of their grievances and biases were justified. In that alternate reality, as told 24/7 by Fox, they didn’t have to feel bad for being narrow-minded or bigoted. As it turned out, they were the victims and everybody else was out to take something from them.

In other words, Murdoch hooked them on lies.

When Murdoch didn’t kill the people who made him rich, he ruined their lives in different ways. Like most drugs, the lies his network spread had terrible side effects.

It’s an addiction that has come at a steep cost to the United States… and many times it was the people who believed them who paid the highest price.

There is no better example than the coronavirus pandemic. While Murdoch was among the very first people in the world to get vaccinated, the “news” network that made him billions of dollars killed its viewers with a bunch of lies.

As a result of the misinformation Fox propagated, conservatives died at significantly higher numbers once the vaccines they were warned against taking became widely available.

When Murdoch didn’t kill the people who made him rich, he ruined their lives in different ways. Like most drugs, the lies his network spread had terrible side effects.

They eroded confidence in democracy and science, and turned the fissures that had always been part of America into chasms of division. They made people distrustful of each other and tore families apart.

In other words, the fake reality that Fox News sold to its audience arguably had a negative effect on the vast majority of Americans.

Now, to be fair, it is important to note that Murdoch did not just make the lives of people in the US much worse. His media outlets also played an important role in convincing Brits that it was in their best interest to split from the European Union, which is a decision a solid majority of them now regrets.

Of course, not everybody suffered.

In a way, what Murdoch created is a pyramid scheme of hate and ignorance. You have a bunch of gullible morons at the bottom while the people at the very top got richer.

And make no mistake, every one of the dollars that Murdoch earned this way is tainted by the blood and tears of Americans, and the day he set foot on US soil is a dark one in US history.

There is a popular internet meme going around that everything in Australia is trying to kill you, which is a reference to the country’s extreme conditions as well as its dangerous flora and fauna.

In the case of Murdoch, that certainly rings true.

But, sadly, as opposed to those Australian snakes who no longer pose a risk to people once they slither away, it is very likely that the venom Murdoch has spread will continue to poison the hearts and minds of Americans long after he is gone… and that’s us being kind.


The cartoon above was created by DonkeyHotey for WhoWhatWhy from these images: Rupert Murdoch caricature (DonkeyHotey / Flickr – CC BY-SA 2.0), Lachlan Murdoch caricature (DonkeyHotey / Flickr – CC BY-SA 2.0), barbie and bodies (St. George’s School / Flickr – CC BY 2.0), beach (Calistemon / Wikimedia – CC BY-SA 4.0), logo (Fox Media LLC. / Wikimedia), logo (News Corporation / Wikimedia), steak (Yotam Nachum / Wikimedia – CC BY-SA 4.0), and raw steak (Pannet / Wikimedia – CC BY-S

Authors

  • Klaus Marre

    Klaus Marre is a writer, editor, former congressional reporter, and director of the WhoWhatWhy Mentor Apprentice Program. Follow him on Twitter @KlausMarre.

  • DonkeyHotey

    DonkeyHotey creates art to illustrate news articles and opinion pieces. His current work is a combination of caricature, photo collage, and photo manipulation.

Comments are closed.