News of the World, Murdoch, and Ricochet: Our New Culture of Corruption Brief

 

Murdoch’s one of Ricochet’s investors. You all know that, right?

What that means is that all of you–because you’re part of Ricochet–would hack a dead girl’s phone to advance your right-wing agenda. I mean, it’s so obvious: News of the World did it, so logically, everything the Murdoch empire has ever touched is foul and corrupt and you shouldn’t trust a word any of his media outlets say or have ever said–or anything you say–and it’s best the government step in and regulate the heck out of the lot of you before you do any more damage.

We’re a bit puzzled here at Ricochet because we never got the memo from Murdoch about the culture of corruption. A careless oversight, I’m sure–he’s a busy man–but frankly, if we’d known, we’d have had a lot more fun.

So: No need to be so serious and earnest about this Ricochet stuff anymore! Honestly, we just didn’t realize our brief was to be “careless about accuracy and truth and context.” We sure wish he’d been clearer about that, because we’ve been wasting a lot of time trying to enforce this stupid Code of Conduct when we could have been hacking into dead soldiers’ cellphones and spying on celebrities. 

Anyway, now that we all have that straight, shall we all have some fun with the fact-free smearing of Russian tycoon Alexander Lebedev?

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp media empire has become so powerful that regulators should reduce its influence and prevent it from taking over British pay-TV operator BSkyB, Russian tycoon Alexander Lebedev said on Tuesday.

“I don’t think it should be that big because then it has too much influence and too much money,” Lebedev, the Russian former spy who now owns British newspapers including the Independent and London’s Evening Standard, which have been critical of Murdoch since the scandal broke.

Since apparently we here on Ricochet have permission from the very top to smear anyone we like with no regard for the facts, I’ll just make this up:

DANGER TO THE FREE WORLD ALERT!!! A former KGB spy who now owns a significant part of the left-wing British press is saying that the government should step in to cut News Corp down to size!!!

Except–wait. That’s true. Verifiably true. Unbelievable, but true, as we right-wing tabloid hacks like to put it.  It’s the kind of thing only the right-wing gutter press would ever say, though, so don’t think about it too much. 

Anyway, Mr. Murdoch, please send our loyalty bonus to the customary numbered account in Zurich. You can count on us, even in tough times–unless Mr. Soros makes a better bid, of course. 

Mr. Soros, please direct your queries to makeusanoffer@ricochet.com. Remember, everyone has a price, but it had better be the right price. We may be easy, but we’re not cheap. 

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  1. Profile Photo Inactive
    @DocJay

    This would all be funny if it wasn’t for a glaring man in a black suit outside my office talking in to his lapel as I type.

    • #1
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    @EJHill

    And you thought that when the cats were going, “HAAAACK! HAAAAAACK!” it was just hairballs. No the cats are controlled by Rupert’s insidious sidekick Pussy Gabor (distant cousin to the Gabor sisters) who was trying to brainwash you into hacking the phones and computers of any leftwingers you might meet.

    See, it all makes sense now….

    (PLUS – Where’s my stickers? The paper in the graphic says there are free stickers)

    • #2
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    @wilberforge

    Just have to pick another publication for the bottom of the birdcage…..

    • #3
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    @AaronMiller

    Brilliant.

    It’s not just the Brits who will use this scandal to go after Murdoch. The Left on our side of the Atlantic will do all they can to destroy Fox News with this. I expect a fresh round of litigation, regulation and smear campaigns. Sadly, the last will be in full effect during next year’s election season.

    • #4
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    @Pseudodionysius

    but we’re not cheap.

    Speak for yourself. All it takes is one can of Albacore tuna.

    • #5
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    @EJHill
    Aaron Miller: It’s not just the Brits who will use this scandal to go after Murdoch. The Left on our side of the Atlantic will do all they can to destroy Fox News with this.

    It’s already started. On ABC’s This Week, Steve Brill suggested that the left will go after the broadcast licenses of the Fox O&Os for violating the “good citizenship” clause of their licenses.

    But, all that would do is force to a sale of stations. Murdoch would still be a programmer and would make long term affiliate agreements part of any deal. But the FCC has no programming jurisdiction over cable. Getting to FNC is a pipe dream.

    • #6
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    @CrowsNest

    I love this scandal, because you’d think from the coverage that other media outlets have never done anything despicable or exploitative to get a story.

    Shucks, it almost makes you long for the good old days of H.L. Mencken when reporters knew what they were.

    • #7
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    @AmishDude

    So does that mean MSNBC is responsible for blowing up fuel tanks of pickup trucks?

    • #8
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    @Douglas

    “sick nazi orgy with 5 hookers”

    Back when I was a sailor, I would’ve read that and said “sounds like a nice weekend“.

    • #9
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    @TheGreatAdventure

    Claire – I love it when you get snarky! Maybe not quite Steynian yet, but you’re getting there.

    • #10
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    @Sisyphus
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.

    Mr. Soros, please direct your queries to makeusanoffer@ricochet.com. Remember, everyone has a price, but it had better be the right price. We may be easy, but we’re not cheap.

    This is going to be another one of those Puffington Host deals, isn’t it? Queen Claire rakes in trillions while we goombahs who toil day and night at our own expense to make Ricochet a success are left out in the cold. There ain’t no justice.

    • #11
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    @WesternChauvinist
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.

    Murdoch’s one of Ricochet’s investors. You all know that, right?

    Anyway, Mr. Murdoch, please send our loyalty bonus to the customary numbered account in Zurich. You can count on us, even in tough times–unless Mr. Soros makes a better bid, of course.

    Mr. Soros, please direct your queries to makeusanoffer@ricochet.com. Remember, everyone has a price, but it had better be the right price. We may be easy, but we’re not cheap. ·

    I had no idea! I am thrilled to be part of the vast right-wing conspiracy of Murdoch’s Eeeeevil Empire! But, so far, the money’s only flowing one way. Not that there’s anything wrong with my paying $3.58/month to spout off my right-wing hackery… don’t get me wrong. However, I thought us right wingers were getting paid off by Giant Murdoch Corporations to parrot the party line. You know, astro-turf. So’s I just gotta ask — where’s my check? Am I being played here?

    • #12
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    @DavidWilliamson
    genferei

    Or perhaps not. Meanwhile Piers Morgan is being dragged in – for actions at the Mirror, not Murdoch’s Sun. (Everyone should remember that the Murdoch papers were consistent supporters of New Labour against the Tories – until they turned against Gordon Brown.)

    I’m maybe watching too much BBC – just watched Gordon Brown in tears – there is so much coming out that it is hard to keep track. The Sun and Sunday Times cases are somewhat different, as far as I can see. In general, the Mirror is no better than the Sun, and Piers Morgan was fired from there for publishing fake photos from Iraq – it seems the only job he could get after that was at CNN.

    I am glad the US media don’t probe the private lives of a vice-presidential candidate’s children!

    • #13
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    @ScottAbel

    5 Hookers? Seriously, I have NEVER been able to handle more than one woman at a time. When I tried two girlfriends once, I shorted out after about 14 days.

    • #14
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    @DavidWilliamson
    EstoniaKat: 5 Hookers? Seriously, I have NEVER been able to handle more than one woman at a time. When I tried two girlfriends once, I shorted out after about 14 days.

    Ricochet CoC forbid me from explaining in more detail what went on (according to the reliable UK newspapers at the time), but suffice it to say that 5 is quite conceivable …

    • #15
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    @BasilFawlty

    Conceivable?

    David Williamson

    EstoniaKat: 5 Hookers? Seriously, I have NEVER been able to handle more than one woman at a time. When I tried two girlfriends once, I shorted out after about 14 days.

    Ricochet CoC forbid me from explaining in more detail what went on (according to the reliable UK newspapers at the time), but suffice it to say that 5 is quite conceivable … · Jul 12 at 3:08pm
    • #16
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    @jameslileks

    What is a “sick Nazi orgy,” anyway? Dressing up like Goebbels and affecting a tubercular hack?

    • #17
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    @EJHill
    James Lileks: What is a “sick Nazi orgy,” anyway? Dressing up like Goebbels and affecting a tubercular hack? · Jul 12 at 4:02pm

    See? Lileks is in on it! HACK!

    • #18
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    @Larry3435

    News of the World did it, so logically, everything the Murdoch empire has ever touched is foul and corrupt”

    I dunno. The principle seemed to hold up pretty well if you look at Jayson Blair and the NY Times.

    • #19
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    @flownover
    James Lileks: What is a “sick Nazi orgy,” anyway? Dressing up like Goebbels and affecting a tubercular hack? · Jul 12 at 4:02pm

    Dressing up like Julian Assange ( if you’re Eva Braun).

    • #20
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    @JimmyCarter

    I know what a “sick nazi orgy with 5 hookers” is, but what’s a “F1 Boss[?]”

    • #21
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    @Percival
    Jimmy Carter: I know what a “sick nazi orgy with 5 hookers” is, but what’s a “F1 Boss[?]” · Jul 12 at 7:43pm

    Max Mosley was president of the FIA.The FIA is the governing body of Formula-1 racing.

    His dad was Sir Oswald Mosley, who was head of the British Union of Fascists, and spent just about all of WWII in an otherwise respectable prison cell.

    • #22
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    @TheMaskedMotorbiker
    James Lileks: What is a “sick Nazi orgy,” anyway? Dressing up like Goebbels and affecting a tubercular hack? · Jul 12 at 4:02pm

    Had he only had four hookers, it would not have been a Sick Nazi Orgy, but rather a lesser case of Carteresque “Lust in his heart”…

    • #23
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    @anonacademic
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.

    What that means is that all of you–because you’re part of Ricochet–would hack a dead girl’s phone to advance your right-wing agenda.

    Well that’s how I spent my morning.

    • #24
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    @DavidWilliamson

    I’m in the UK at the moment and have seen this unfold – the Guardian and the BBC (but I repeat myself) are all over it.

    Sadly, it has to be admitted that Mr Murdoch’s UK newspaper empire has behaved badly – the Sunday Times, if anything, has been even worse than the News of the World, obtaining the medical records of Gordon Brown’s son.

    Other media outlets may be just as bad, but that’s no excuse for illegal behavior.

    I’m sure this bad behavior doesn’t extend to the far-flung US outpost of Ricochet, however … but Mr Murdoch has shown a ruthless tendency to shut down things at a moment’s notice…

    • #25
  26. Profile Photo Member
    @genferei
    David Williamson: the Sunday Times, if anything, has been even worse than the News of the World, obtaining the medical records of Gordon Brown’s son. · Jul 12 at 12:24pm

    Or perhaps not. Meanwhile Piers Morgan is being dragged in – for actions at the Mirror, not Murdoch’s Sun. (Everyone should remember that the Murdoch papers were consistent supporters of New Labour against the Tories – until they turned against Gordon Brown.)

    And at the smart end of the market, let’s not forget the rapidly unraveling reputation of Johann Hari, now suspended by The Independent pending an investigation.

    • #26
  27. Profile Photo Inactive
    @dogsbody
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.

    We’re a bit puzzled here at Ricochet because we never got the memo from Murdoch about the culture of corruption.

    So make with the payments already, News Corp. This lifestyle of the intelligentsia with $350 bottles of wine isn’t cheap. I could use a new airplane, too.

    • #27
  28. Profile Photo Inactive
    @dogsbody
    Pseudodionysius: but we’re not cheap.

    Speak for yourself. All it takes is one can of Albacore tuna. · Jul 12 at 11:21am

    You forgot the catnip. Of course, loss of memory is one of the first signs of catnip addiction.

    • #28

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