Well, the news was all breathless yesterday about the rabid beast known as Rupert Murdoch stepping away from Fox and it’s parent company, leaving son Lachlan in “complete control.” Typical is this article from CNN. The story got a lot of attention well into the evening. CNN’s article was typical in presenting subdued commentary mixed with talk of “shockwaves.”
His retirement comes at a key moment in the media industry as entrenched entertainment giants confront a sweeping transformation of the traditional television and film business and consumers rapidly gravitate toward streaming services.
Murdoch’s decision to step down as chairman of his companies will also send shockwaves through the political world, just as the 2024 presidential race heats up. Fox News remains ensnared in litigation stemming from the network’s peddling of former President Donald Trump’s election lies in the wake of the 2020 election.
TV pundits of course had a field day, and there was more than a little hyperventilating about Murdoch being out of the picture. Still, with each bit of OMFG Murdoch is stepping aside I couldn’t help but think a single word. Bullshit. Murdoch had already turned over the day-to-day running of his media empire to his oldest son Lachlan, and while reporting suggests the son is no fan of Trump no actual changes are anticipated as Fox moves into this supposed new era. Why?
Because old man Rupert isn’t really going anywhere!
The devil as they say is in the details and real media notes two things. First, Rupert is moving into “Emeritus” status, and second he says he intends to stay engaged. For me at least, since he’s already got his son tending to the regular grind of management what’s actually changing other than Rupert’s title? He was the boss who had his son doing all the grunt work already. A title change from head of Fox/Sky and also Chairman of the Board to being “Emeritus” in both roles doesn’t mean jack.
Nothing has changed. Nothing will.
Is there anyone, and I mean ANYONE including Lachlan Murdoch who will, if Rupert gets on the phone or stand up in a board meeting and says “this is how it’s going to be” that doesn’t know damn well that whatever Rupert says will be how it’s going to be? To their credit some journalists/pundits are suggesting this but again, from all the over-the-top commentary yesterday one would think ole Rupert really has decided to sail off into the sunset, relax and do whatever a black-hearted a-hole, with a cranium filled with toxic worms put there by Satan himself does for fun.
Not only no, but HELL no. The point has been made and it’s probably true that although 92 years old Rupert is in good health and his mind works fine. Not in a good way or to accomplish anything good but it works. He’s got all his marbles (waste nuclear fuel shaped into little round balls?) and we could be stuck with him for years to come. As proof only the good die young I fear he will defile humanity with his presence among the living for far too many more years. More importantly, HE will continue to decide what’s what in his media empire. Lachlan Murdoch may have more control than Trump’s sons Fredo 1 and Fredo 2 had with the Trump Org. but I assure you Lachlan Murdoch does not and will NEVER have total control, final authority while his dad Rupert continues to consume breathable oxygen.
So chill people. Nothing has changed or will change with Fox and its parent company. They will be every bit as awful a stain on humankind as they’ve always been. I did hear one interesting thing during a panel discussion however. Since although he’s in good health but still 92 years old the question turned to what happens with Fox and the rest of the company when Rupert finally does get dragged down to hell. I found it more than a little interesting in fact.
Bear in mind Rupert is by all accounts of sound mind and body so he’s got time to change things, but for now if the world was lucky and an asteroid would strike him dead today or in the near future his son Lachlan doesn’t inherit everything. Rupert does have other children and none are “into” what the old man has done with his life. Including and especially son James who at one time when Rupert was handing over some of the day-to-day stuff was going to have a role. James walked away because HE doesn’t agree with pops or his brother on damned near anything. In fact he’s a critic and has gone his own way.
This might matter because as things stand all Rupert’s kids get a share (I go the impression equal shares) of the family business so unless Rupert takes steps Lachlan Murdoch could, when the old man dies find himself on the outside and looking in. Now THAT would send shockwaves through the news business and not just our own but other political capitols around the world! Fox/Sky turning into a legitimate news organization? Telling (or at least really trying) to cover the news (especially politics) in an actual “fair and balanced” manner? Ok, so what passes for mainstream journalism doesn’t do a very good job most of the time either. That’s how we wound up with Trump, the UK wound up with Bojo the Clown Trump knockoff and Brexit and so on. Still, it would be a huge, a “bigly” change if Fox just stopped distorting and outright LYING.
For the moment though I say don’t waste your time thinking about possible good times with Rupert Murdoch out of the news business. That festering anal boil isn’t going anywhere!