by Max Brantley
Get your popcorn. Or doughnuts.
Rupert Murdoch will be on live before the British Parliament today. Starts at 8:30 a.m. our time. The MPs give prime ministers hell, so I don't know know why the Fox News baron should get any easier treatment, particularly given the corrupt practices of many of his employees.
New York Times will live blog here. You'll find an embedded video of live proceeding there, too.
Yes, Joe Nocera admits, it's undeniably delicious to see tabloid frenzy directed at the owner of a tabloids and his top people. He writes:
Although I generally admire entrepreneurs who build giant companies, Rupert Murdoch, despite giving us Homer Simpson, generally has not been a force for good over the course of his long career. His Bill O’Reilly-ed, Glenn Beck-ed Fox News has done a great deal to coarsen the political discourse. His tabloids have lowered the standards of journalism on three continents — and routinely broken the law on at least one of them. He had dumbed down his prestige papers, like The Times of London. He has run roughshod over cross-ownership rules meant to prevent one man or company from having too much power — and then used his lobbying might to get those rules diluted. He has put kowtowing to China ahead of freedom of the press, even killing a book set to be published by his HarperCollins unit that the Chinese authorities objected to. He has consistently used his media properties to reward allies and punish enemies. It’s a long list.
Throughout his career, Murdoch has never just been satisfied with besting the competition, as most decent businessmen are. He’s not truly happy unless he has his foot on a competitor’s neck and is pressing it downward.
How's that foot feel, Rupe?