The bogus staged 'town hall' events recently are quite obviously nothing more than Murdoch trying to privatise the democratic process (and take it within his realm as a virtual monopoly).
The fact that these bogus events enter the 'news cycle' and are uncritically reported by the rest of the media enables that goal and gives it legitimacy. Bad for democracy, bad for journalism.
In June he donated $1 million to the US Republican Party. It is as if he has made a deliberate effort to formalise News Ltd's institutional bias. If you have ever had the misfortune to engage with a Murdoch hack, you would have heard them trying to claim that they are somehow virtuous independent voices despite their owner's obvious bias and hatred of objectivity.
Time to wheel out this old piece about an Australian 'journalist':
Anguished Shill Wrestles With Inner Hypocrite
Gee, it must be so hard for you poor dears out there in shameless-shill land. We never realised your inner torment while we pure types sit about on our high moral horses atop the high moral ground, hurling hatred and abuse at your glass houses without ever a concern for how you must suffer.
Let us explain: http://www.medialens.org is an excellent website. They are UK based but their "media alerts" are well argued, of universal relevance and supported by links and references and they seem to avoid getting shrill, hyperbolic or hysterical. A true example of reason and logic used against the "MSM" spin and rhetoric in the service of "true journalism", it is hard to fault this team of media observers.
One of the founders, David Edwards, has a dusty old blog. We had a look, and it seems that they did a piece a few years ago disagreeing with the thrust of an article by Robert Fisk. As a result they received a fiery response (which was lacking in reason and heavy on emotion, such as accusing them of 'Stalinism'!) from an Australian going by the name of "Comrade Jack". Edwards reproduced the exchange on the blog and, as we read it, the following was an enlightening revelation into the mind of Murdoch-Type employees:
"…I don't know if you're old enough to remember The Pop Group's song 'We Are All Prostitutes' but that's what most of us wage-earners are.
I'm a journalist working for a crappy, rightwing corporate Australian newspaper. I do what I do because I cannot do anything else. Nothing I do makes one iota of a difference but there are millions of people like me in the world who need the money and will do whatever it takes to
support our families.
We aren't bad people -- even though I suspect you think we lack your ideological purity and revolutionary zeal and have, therefore, sided with the "dark side" and probably deserve to die the death capitalism has invented for us.
Let's face it, man, most of us humans live in a f*cked world and we get f*cked every day. Whingeing about it has never worked to our advantage. In fact, it's made matters worse.
People like me don't like the "dark side" anymore than we like the "right side" -- simply because both sides can be found on the same coin.
Yours Comrade Jack"
[From: http://www.medialens.org/blogs/david-edwards-blog.php 18 January, 2006]
News for "Comrade Jack": you ARE bad people. Who is "Comrade Jack"? Is he real? "Millions of people like me in the world who need the money and will do whatever it takes…", maybe he is Graham Richardson? Is he Glen Milne? Probably not, too much insight and angst about being a "disgrace" as Milne eloquently puts it.