Sometimes the commodity is a valuable mineral, like gold or diamond. The former is considered so valuable as to require heighted security and protection from criminal acquisition, in the U.S., at Fort Knox. The latter, the criminal pursuit of which is famously high in style and low and deadly, may even receive the epithet “blood,” as in blood diamond. Sometimes the commodity is an intoxicant or narcotic like opium or coca or meth. People lose their heads over them.
The commodity this time was information, but the criminal enterprise was the same: to seduce and intimidate the desperate political scramblers for state power into quiescence, and to suborn law enforcement to be their bureaucratic centurions, so that the commodity and the money that is paid for it might flow. This time, rather than heroin, the commodity was information, cheap, but – from the front page to the breakfast table – highly valued information about human tears, betrayal, and illness, disaster, death, and folly.
Now, so far, there have been multiple arrests, including the Head of News International, Murdoch’s UK arm, the top officials at Scotland Yard have resigned (the former chief coloring in his integrity by protesting that at least the former News of the Word hacker he hired was not as bad as the one Prime Minister Cameron employed) a government may yet fall, and the scandal is spreading to the U.S. In the U.S., the New York Times further reports, the culture of Murdoch has been burying its misbehavior under money for years, even as it raked in still more of it by building a cable “news” propaganda arm for political reactionism and rude cultural illiberalism.
None of this shocks those who have tracked Murdoch’s forty-year-long foray out of Australia. Who he was and what he represented was writ large on his every venture. You sow pigs, you don’t reap petunias.
- Quote of the Day: What Next for Rupert Murdoch as Scotland Yard Chief Resigns? (themoderatevoice.com)
- Murdoch Finally Accepts Rebekah Brooks’ Resignation Over Phone Hacking (globalspin.blogs.time.com)
- London Police Chief Resigns Over Ties To Hacking Scandal (huffingtonpost.com)