Of Murdoch, Responsibility and Power

By Richard Lutz

As Rebekah Brooks slowly slips over the horizon, let’s kick off with a famous quote: ’With great power comes great responsibility.’

Plato? Locke? Burke?

No. Actually, many would say it’s from one of the Spiderman movies when hapless Peter Parker realises he is, indeed, the Webman  and learns he must use his newfound skills to help others.

Yes, a good place to start with the Murdoch clan who’re about to step inside the Commons culture committee room next Tuesday after ten days of tumultuous news.

So, how to summarise this astounding story which shows the nefarious grubby links between Murdoch, the London police and a compliant supine press?

The Murdoch tabloids- and to some extent its Sunday Times paper- glaringly revealed the resonance of that quote about power ( actually it may have come from Jesus Christ according to Google).

News International never had a moral backbone. It never had a shred of responsibility. It didn’t care about the common good, it didn’t care about you or me, nor the edifying ability to enlighten its readers or to expand a world view so people could make up their minds about affairs.

It cared  about itself. The papers were there for Murdoch profits. If something got in the way, such as a critic or a politician, it used its power without responsibility.

It crushed opposition, its knee jerk reaction was to demolish it, devour it, exterminate it. Just like a Fascist state. Just like The Sopranos on tv. There was no reasoning, no debate, no rational approach. The media, the readers and the politicians with a backbone were there to be ground into dust if they got in the way.

On Tuesday, Rupert Murdoch, his son James and their now-retired hired henchman Rebekah Brooks sit down in front of this culture committee. They will be met with politicians who are no longer afraid. To paraphrase what QC Geoffrey Robertson wrote the other day: thanks to the best of British journalism- the worst of thuggish deranged British journalism has been unmasked.

Good riddance to the Murdoch mafia. I wish them the worst.