July 12, 2011

Rupert Murdoch and the forgotten Pellicano scandal

An excerpt from my new column in Taki's Magazine:
In outline, the current Rupert Murdoch brouhaha in London—powerful media figures are caught employing a private detective to wiretap—is strikingly similar to Hollywood’s 2002-2008 Anthony Pellicano affair, a seemingly juicy imbroglio that never never gained much traction here and has pretty much been forgotten.
As you may recall (if probably only vaguely), numerous stars and moguls, such as Brad Grey, CEO of Paramount Pictures since 2005, paid sleazeball detective Pellicano to dig up—by any means necessary—dirt they could use against less-powerful people.
... The contrasting public reactions to these scandals demonstrate national differences. Nobody cares about private eye Glenn Mulcaire; this scandal has always been intended to bring down Murdoch. In the Pellicano affair, however, the feds let the private dick take the rap for the moguls. 
Moreover, Mulcaire hacked voicemails to publish facts, while Pellicano taped phone calls to intimidate and silence. Pellicano’s modus operandi is in tune with the times here. Our mainstream press routinely colludes with publicists practicing “access journalism.” In return for an interview, journalists agree not to ask impertinent questions or they’ll never work in this town again. A century ago, American reporters tended to be cynical ne’er-do-wells. Today, journalists typically come from the same kind of nice families and nice colleges as the VIPs they gently cover. 
American society has grown increasingly credulous. Our last three presidents have come to office remarkably unknown.

Read the whole thing there, and find out the most famous employer of Anthony Pellicano.


Anonymous said...

Here is proof race doesn't exist from an expert of anthropology, one of the world's leading and most highly regarded anthropologists:


So there! Hah! Proof race is a social construction. You are all obsessed with a social construction that doesn't exist. You are mislead by an illusion.

Anonymous said...

It's too bad John McTiernan got sucked into this mess.

Anonymous said...

"So there! Hah! Proof race is a social construction. You are all obsessed with a social construction that doesn't exist. You are mislead by an illusion."

I dare him to go to the black part of Baltimore and stand around and say 'race doesn't exist, race doesn't exist'.

Of course, he'll settle in areas that are mostly white. Gee, I wonder why if race is just a myth.
Of course, modern anthropology is a myth.. and a madness.

Whiskey said...

Steve, I think you are missing a part of the whole scandal. The British Tabloid press exists mostly as a check on the powerful, and hereditary powerful, of Britain, there being NO OTHER MEANS to check them. And the corruption involved (mainly the tabloids paying the police for info) has been another sharp stick in the rep of the British police (mostly inept, corrupt, and brutal).

Donald E. Westlake covered this in a 1980's book "Trust Me On This" regarding a National Enquirer type magazine that had gone too far.

Whiskey said...

But the main thing is that the British public WANTS the powerful brought down low, they are so debased and angry. By contrast, most of the US could not care less about our celebs and would rather avoid information about them.

Larry Auster wrote that the Guardian may get its wish, and regret it. Murdoch makes money by NOT publishing/broadcasting stuff like Flash Mobs, Obama's racialist attitudes, remarks, and actions, etc. Not being PC blinded and essentially apolitical, he knows how to shakedown. James Murdoch is a true PC/Liberal believer, and him at the helm will make News into basically an upscale View/Bill Maher parody. BUT ...

That will just leave lots of people to go searching on the internet, unfiltered, away from Soviet-Style propaganda they know is false with their own eyes. If all discussion takes place underground, NO credibility is assigned official media/statements.

Hunsdon said...

Whiskey on Murdoch: Being non-PC and essentially apolitical . . .


Or did Whiskey mean, in his Scotch-Irish way, essentially AIPAColitical?

Geoff Matthews said...

Left me wanting more.
Is there a reason why an online magazine would institute a word limit in an article? Because I can't think of another reason why this would end so soon.

Whiskey said...

Murdoch Senior likes Jews and Israel, James, Lachlan, his daughter, and Wendi Deng not so much. James has been known to disparage Israel's existence regularly.

However Murdoch's Fox News and other outlets follow what Auster describes as a shakedown. Murdoch knows pressure points: concerns over mass immigration in the UK (or US) forming a conquering group making natives into discriminated minorities. He'll run a few stories and then back off, getting approval and access to all sorts of deals.

Why anyone allowed him to buy BSkyB or the Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones in the first place is beyond me if you exclude that shakedown method. But Murdoch won't ever run on Fox News anything about Flash Mobs. So you can see he's not really a conservative. Just amorally apolitcal.

neil craig said...

The major national differnce is that in Britain the BBChave, if not quite a broadcasting monopoly something not far short with terrestrial competitors regulated by a body that takes the BBC as baseline. Into this Rupert Murdock had been planneing to take an expanded Sky, his satellite broadcast company. Think PBS as the 9oo pound gorilla V Fox.

This hacking story has been heen so heavily pushed by the BBC (& limited to News International though everybody knows all the papers have been doing it), literally pushing every other news story into a small corner of airtime, in what appears to have been a successful attempt to prevent this expansion and mantain their monopoly.

Sometimes it isn't a cultural difference just an institutional one.