Saturday, March 05, 2011

Render unto Murdoch that which belongs to Caesar

There has been quite a lot of lefty opposition to News Corp’s £8-9bn takeover of BSkyB: the fear seems to be that Rupert Murdoch wants to take over the world and subversively inculcate the whole country with his narrow, bigoted, nationalist worldview. News Corp also owns The Times, the Sunday Times, the News of the World and The Sun. And so the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Jeremy Hunt MP, has forced Mr Murdoch to surrender control of his appallingly biased news channel in order that the acquisition of an additional 61 per cent of BSkyB doesn’t affect plurality. We don’t know yet who will be queuing to buy SKY News, or what inducements they will be offered to do so, not least because it is a loss-making outfit subsidised by Mr Murdoch’s profit-making exploits. There’s not much profit to be made in disseminating the news, it seems, but diversity is all.

Plurality of media, you see, means more truth. Or, rather, different versions of the truth. This permits intelligent and discerning people to make up their own minds on an issue, without fear of being subtly brainwashed by some evil, right-wing media baron.

The timing is a tad awkward for Mr Hunt, coming just the week after he recommended Chris Patten, a former chairman of the Conservative party, as the next chairman of the BBC Trust. Can’t have too many right-wingers running the nation’s media, can we?

One of the voices raised in opposition to the Murdoch takeover of BSkyB has been the Church of England. The Bishop of Manchester, the Rt Rev Nigel McCulloch, who is (apparently) ‘lead media spokesman’ for the Church, said: "Our concerns are not about the nature of News Corporation: indeed, we would make these comments whichever commercial organisation might find itself in a potentially dominant market position. A News Corporation in full control of BSkyB would combine one of the three significant suppliers of TV news (BBC, ITN and BSkyB), one of the two suppliers of radio news (BBC, BSkyB) and the group with the biggest market share of national press in the UK. It would dominate both the television and newspaper landscape."

And so he sought assurance of the independence of Sky News, which the Secretary of State has seen fit to grant. He even went so far as to make a submission about the takeover to Ofcom.

His Grace agrees with His Lordship that the vitality and plurality of the media is ‘essential’ for a ‘well informed democracy’.

And His Grace agrees with His Lordship that there is a danger of the ‘exercise of subtle editorial influence’ should BSkyB be taken over completely by News Corp.

But so what?

News Corp-BSkyB belongs to Caesar.

Perhaps, in his search for total probity in the media, the church’s ‘lead media spokesman’ might concern himself more with what is actually broadcast rather than with who is broadcasting. One might expect the Bishop to have the occasional Mary Whitehouse-like rant against all the sexual perversion, foul language and unremitting violence which exercise a not-so-subtle influence over the nation. Or perhaps issue the occasional ‘open letter’ to the BBC about its anti-Israel pro-Palestinian bias, or its anti-Christian pro-Islam tendencies. Al Jazeera (on Sky) is more balanced in its Middle East reporting than the BBC.

Why is Bishop Nigel more concerned with Rupert Murdoch’s potential exercise of ‘subtle editorial influence’, but not the potential of the BBC? Does the Bishop believe that the BBC’s output of ‘neutral news’ is somehow sanctified? News Corp attracts just six per cent of news viewers; the BBC has 58 per cent.

Has the CofE’s lead media spokesman ever made a submission to Ofcom or to the EU Competition Commission about the dominance of the taxpayer-funded state broadcaster?

Frankly, His Grace looks forward enormously to Times-BSkyB cross-promotion, Sun-BSkyB bundling, NOTW-BSkyB cross-platform interaction and the total banning of all rival advertisements. It will restore some balance and introduce more plurality.

And he thanks God that there are rich and successful people who are prepared to persevere and wade through the sanctimonious bleatings of prelates who can prophesy the ‘exercise of subtle editorial influence’ on the right, but are completely oblivious to it from the left.


Anonymous martin sewell said...

Last year I wrote a piece on Con Home drawing parallels between the BBC and the unreformed Medieval Church.

Funded by the forced taxation ( Licence Fee/Peters Pence)

Major patron of the Arts

Massive political influence whilst formally 'disinterested."

Articles of Faith which cannot be gainsaid
( Transubstantiation/ Virgin Birth/ Patriarchal - cf Pro -Abortion/ Europhile/ Cultural Liberality/ Anti- Israel.

Prelate dynasties ( Borgias/Medicis ) cf Dimblebies /Cottons.

Excessive Wealth of leaders whilst professing love for the poor.

Coteries from which the organisation is drawn Oxbridge cf Guardian Readers and , well ...Oxbridge of course..

Unaccountable to the consumer save through a self regarding self selecting College of Cardinals ( cf Unelected BBC Trust)

Suspicious of. and antagonistic towards all competitors.

Institutional self-righteousness.

I am sure others can add similarities.

Yes, the worthy Bishop will find himself at home with his brief.

5 March 2011 at 08:56  
Anonymous martin sewell said...

I forgot lavish display, troughing, pride, patronage and the all important generation of fear of hell - for which read Government "Cuts" and a smaller State.

5 March 2011 at 09:07  
Anonymous MrJ said...

After unavailing websearch MrJ would be grateful if the link to Mr Sewell's piece could be given.

5 March 2011 at 10:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Murdoch has a "narrow, bigoted, nationalist worldview."

Now that is news!

Certainly not much evidence of it in all the media outlets he already owns. Just plenty of narrow, bigoted, left-wing NUJ worlview.

5 March 2011 at 10:36  
Blogger Windsor Tripehound said...

The way the "impartial" BBC chose to report this story was interesting.

They didn't start by saying something like "Jeremy Hunt has announced..." or "Rupert Murdoch has been allowed..." etc. Their opening was "Labour has attacked the government for..."; putting a totally negative spin on the story from the outset.

I'm also surprised to learn that the C of E's got a media spokesman. It's just a pity they haven't got a religious affairs spokesman too.

5 March 2011 at 11:08  
Anonymous Ernst Stavro Blofeld said...

@Windsor Triplehound (11:08)

I'm also surprised to learn that the C of E's got a media spokesman.

The Rt Rev Nigel McCulloch, presides over the annual 'Festival of Remembrance' concert in November on behalf of the Royal British Legion (Ernst's favourite charity and he has sung in the choir here at the Albert Hall during the ceremony several times..Tickets to it are like gold dust so I now just watch on TV. Unbelieveably moving, especially when the poppies drop. I had trouble holding back the tears at that moment), which is broadcast by the BBC.

His face is probably seen by more viewers than the ABOC or ABOY but they are unaware of his name.

I suggest this is the link that informs the Bishop's attitude to not criticising the BBC.

"It's just a pity they haven't got a religious affairs spokesman too."

There's me thinking it was that old druid?

E S Blofeld

5 March 2011 at 11:31  
Anonymous Tacitus said...

History will look back on Murdoch with disdain. His bigotry and abuse of the system for his own ends are a disgrace. It is sad the Church has not been more outspoken against his actions.

5 March 2011 at 11:48  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Your Grace: the marxist programme for 'dumbification' of English is in its final stages. That is, euSSR has extinguished "freedom of speech": it is now eradicating communication.

The method has been:

Marxist theorists promote language that is "beyond communication."

Marxist theorists (i.e. franco-german claptrappers) present themselves as mediators (media).

Ergo: Marxist theorists mediate by blocking communication.

Marxists invade culture.

Marxist theorists mediate between invaders and victims.

Ergo: Marxist theorists block communication between invaders and victims.

The "praxis":
Marxists are deaf.
Their victims are dumb.
The result is evident in your previous post:

When Jane Collins tells marxists where to go: they do not hear.

Whether victim voters vote for stooges, or whether they refuse to vote: all is silence - music to marxist ears.


As for the media whose names you enumerate ... ah well. Who named them? Not the victims.

wv: persi [[and Persis was/is... the foundation of a culture]]

5 March 2011 at 12:11  
Anonymous Voyager said...

The Bishop watches too much TV. He should be concerned at the state of Radio controlled as it is by a London-based clique since nationalisation in 1926.

Local radio (not to mention TV) is far from local, indeed not at all local when compared to US or Canadian stations.

The Bishop seems to feel monopoly broadcasters are fine so long as they are under Government control. He finds nothing untoward in Lord Patten combining Chancellor of Oxford and Newcastle with Chief Controller at the BBC whilst a pensioner of the Eu Commission.

Plurality indeed !

SkyTV is trash but has so many cross-cooperation deals with the BBC that he is probably oblivious to them.

Rupert Murdoch personifies what the BBC is; simply that he is a Man and it is a Corporation obscures the fact that beams and motes are evident

5 March 2011 at 12:26  
Blogger LeucipottomySpoon82 said...

Here you are Mr J:

The BBC's regressive licence fee should not survive these indebted times

5 March 2011 at 12:49  
Blogger Uncaged Monkey said...

I am, embarassingly, newly awoken to the bias I can increasingly detect from the corporation.
I was genuinely astonished at the self-serving spite and vitriol spilling out of every radio broadcast on radio 4/5live yesterday, having spent many hours driving.
All objectivity appeared abandoned, which was a real pity as I genuinely wanted to hear the facts and reasoned arguments.
Where are we to turn for vigorously impartial news coverage?

5 March 2011 at 12:49  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Jeremy Hunt MP, has forced Mr Murdoch to offload his loss-making outfit, how kind.

No mention of which Nation Murdoch is Nationalistic about but I would assume Alan Hart had enough to say on that matter.

5 March 2011 at 12:57  
Blogger Diana said...

I do not forget Murdoch's adoration of Bliar and New Liebour.

5 March 2011 at 13:05  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

Episcopal etiquette alert. ‘His Grace agrees with His Grace’ should more properly read ‘His Grace agrees with His Lordship’.

5 March 2011 at 13:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Goodness! The Bishop of Manchester is now 'His Grace' is he, Your Grace? Manchester is now an archbishopric is it? I shall go forthwith to see my Lord the Bishop and get him to upgrade.

5 March 2011 at 13:38  
Anonymous Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Goodness! The Bishop of Manchester is now 'His Grace' is he, Your Grace? Manchester is now an archbishopric is it? I shall go forthwith to see my Lord the Bishop and get him to upgrade.

5 March 2011 at 13:39  
Anonymous Pageantmaster said...

Well I suppose taking over BSkyB allows Mr Murdoch to reach the parts which newspapers do not reach.

5 March 2011 at 14:03  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Thanks LeucipottomySpoon82 for the link (btw MrJ find himself close to the comment there of David, NNTO 29, 2010 at 19:41 "The BBC Retain List:~ Radio 2, Radio 3, Radio 4, World Service, BBC TV 1, BBC TV 2/4 Mix"; but deplores proposed loss of analogue in favour of digital for wireless broadcasting).

It's good to see so many above well up in ecclesiastical forms of address when pouncing on what must have been Cranmer's teasing mistake.

5 March 2011 at 14:44  
Anonymous Atlas shrugged said...

As usual your Grace, you make great points very well indeed.

However, also as usual you ask many good questions, yet do not attempt to come up with any answers.

Asking why this, and why that, is perfectly fine, but it does not get us very far.

The so called left does not ask enough questions of The BBC, because the left are somehow persuaded that The BBC is on their particular side.


The so called right does not ask enough serious questions of Murdochs bunch, because the right are somehow persuaded that Murdoch is on their side.

The truth is that neither The BBC nor Murdoch is on the side of any particular wing, they are in reality the mouth pieces of the exact same BIRD. Which, is The Establishments EAGLE.

If you are persuaded, as most are that what is presented via any and all of their news media, is all that is worthy of being so, then the establishment HAVE YOU, and your mind, and can then go on to do almost anything they wish with, and to both.

If however you realize that truth is simply TRUTH, as such not a matter of opinion, but one of pure unadulterated INFORMATION, you at least have a fair chance of still being able to think for yourself.

For without being in possession of the full known FACTS of the matter, a little, or highly selective bits of, information can be extremely dangerous, and makes the public extremely easy to manipulate.

This sort of control is demonstrated during an Old Firm match. A whole major City is controlled or subjugated using simply the division deliberately caused by a simple game of football.

Therefore the divisions caused by otherwise utterly pointless Party politics are even more useful for the establishment, that control ALL of them, without exception.

Democracy is just yet another manner by which the establishment control the people. It may or may not be better then the alternatives presented to us, this is not the important point.

The point is that we the people have absolutely no idea what a society not entirely controlled by our ruling class would actually be like, because not such thing has ever existed since the dawn of civilization itself.

The trick is to understand what you are REALLY dealing with, and act accordingly. For without a FREE well informed mind, you barely have a mind worth having, or a life worth living.

5 March 2011 at 15:24  
Anonymous UK Fred said...

To see how the media are used to dumb down the general population, have a look at

And most of us sit by and let it happen to us.

5 March 2011 at 16:23  
Anonymous not a machine said...

Couldnt agree more with your last paragraph your grace .I do however note that sky has not yet got CofE channel or a Roman Catholic channel , but then again perhaps one should attend church instead of watching the goggle box to discover what nourishes the soul and not the flesh .

hope everyone noticed George Osbourne got a enthusiastic applause when he said "why dont we make things anymore" All I would like now is for Ken Clark to admitt the EU has been a disater and I might believe we have somthing conservative for the members of broken britain to have some hope .

5 March 2011 at 17:16  
Anonymous Ernst Stavro Blofeld said...

"All I would like now is for Ken Clark to admitt the EU has been a disater and I might believe we have somthing conservative for the members of broken britain to have some hope ."

Dear lad, Ernst says this with genuine heartfelt words.

You are the Eternal Optimist and Ernst wishes he had your faith in a party that has backtracked on promises and got other policy changes through by stealth and has thereby 'sold out' for power, when ironically, there was no need to.!

Ernst likes you more with each passing day!


5 March 2011 at 17:44  
Anonymous not a machine said...

It is difficult for me Ernst as so much of what I hold very dear about the way our country used to work has been turned into ceremony and been run by a bunch of fraudsters ,why would sell not only there own birthrights but everyone elses for a price . The conservatives I hope can put it right , if they can understand that outside of the world of politics it resembles the era of slavery only with added bad education and hogarths gin/superskunk street.

They do show some promise , but I do not underestimate the power of the labours disasterus/toxic legacy to make the changes seem too small over the time scale required.

Things like schools with parents who want to make good children as well, will begin to turn us back from cattle into humans , who may at least have the experience of the christian faith , that the socialists tried so very hard to eradicate from our lives and history.

5 March 2011 at 18:09  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ not a machine (18:09)—I don’t think the Conservatives have any interest in putting the country right; they and Labour have invested too much effort over the last 60 years in preparing us to become part of a single Europe. After decades of hard work wrecking our sense of national identity, our system of accountable government, our manufacturing base and our defence capability, they’re not going to call a halt when their goal—the People’s Democratic Republic of Europe—is within their grasp.

5 March 2011 at 18:35  
Anonymous Ernst Stavro Blofeld said...

My fine fellow Not a Machine said 5 March 2011 18:09

To answer your comments would be 'de trop' but I agree wholeheartedly, even if I am extremely cynical regarding any party (I have seen the elections, got the manifesto's and been as disappointed as the next man/woman as Ernst is getting on in age).

For me, they ALL know the EU 'rules the roost' so they tinker, my boy, they tinker but delude us into believing otherwise.

Ernst would be horrified if we went the way of the 'religious heart on the sleeve' of USA but surely a simple statement of faith in the Almighty and for them not be ashamed of it or have a ready answer for the secularists might not go amiss over here?

Oh how I wish I had your optimism.

Unfortunately I find myself agreeing with Johnny Rottenborough rather than Nick, Dave or Ed!

Maybe I have lived too long, my boy?

Cynical old Ernst

5 March 2011 at 18:43  
Blogger Ernst Stavro Blofeld said...

Churchill said that European Union is for the continent of Europe and not for these Islands and to give balance and fair due it must be noted;

In a speech given to the party conference in October 1962 Gaitskell himself claimed that Britain's participation in a Federal Europe would mean "the end of Britain as an independent European state, the end of a thousand years of history!"

Prophetically he stated
"You may say, all right! Let it end! But, my goodness, it's a decision that needs a little care and thought."

There are NO politicians of any spine or foresight any more!

A now thoroughly depressed Ernst

5 March 2011 at 19:04  
Blogger Ernst Stavro Blofeld said...

A little ironic afterthought from Ernst.

Hugh Gaitskell was married to Anna Dora Gaitskell from 1937, who became a Labour life peer one year after his death, but it is widely known that he had a number of affairs, even during his time in public life with the socialite Ann Fleming, the wife of James Bond creator Ian Fleming.

Its a small old world, as they say.


5 March 2011 at 19:09  
Blogger john in cheshire said...

In my opinion, the Church of England is infested with marxism. And in my analysis, the only way to bring the body back to health is to kill the infestation. Until that is done, the patient will linger on in a state of moribund irrationality. When it has been cleansed, it will be grateful for the harsh kindness that has been exacted upon it. And Jesus will, I am sure, acknowledge the change to the path of normality.

5 March 2011 at 19:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can I offer a few more "BBC comparisons" with the medieval Church?

Secular, softly spoken Saint David Attenborough = canonised, medieval church saint (Pope)

BBC remit to educate but, in fact, keeps people from serious reading = medieval Church depriving masses of education and books

BBC's OU-backed propaganda about 20th century's "complete victory" of science, psychology and evolution = medieval Church's man-made theology taking precedence over all previous wisdom e.g. the teaching of the Bible.

6 March 2011 at 00:06  

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