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James Murdoch Criticizes BBC For Providing "Free News" 703

Hugh Pickens writes "News Corporation's James Murdoch says that a 'dominant' BBC threatens independent journalism in the UK and that free news on the web provided by the BBC made it 'incredibly difficult' for private news organizations to ask people to pay for their news. 'It is essential for the future of independent digital journalism that a fair price can be charged for news to people who value it,' says Murdoch. 'The expansion of state-sponsored journalism is a threat to the plurality and independence of news provision.' In common with the public broadcasting organizations of many other European countries, the BBC is funded by a television license fee charged to all households owning a television capable of receiving broadcasts. Murdoch's News Corporation, one of the world's largest media conglomerates, owns the Times, the Sunday Times and Sun newspapers and pay TV provider BSkyB in the UK and the New York Post, Wall Street Journal, and Fox News TV in the US." Note that James Murdoch is the son of Rupert Murdoch.
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James Murdoch Criticizes BBC For Providing "Free News"

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  • by KingSkippus ( 799657 ) * on Saturday August 29, 2009 @02:32PM (#29245075) Homepage Journal

    Murdoch's News Corporation, one of the world's largest media conglomerates, owns the Times, the Sunday Times and Sun newspapers and pay TV provider BSkyB in the UK and the New York Post, Wall Street Journal, and Fox News TV in the US.

    That is what is threatening the plurality and independence of news. Sounds to me like the guy doesn't want plurality, he just doesn't want competition.

    The fact is that the BBC is known for its objectivity. I know a lot of American who only get their news from there because they regard the American press as either too liberal or too conservative. (Or more often than not, too sensationalistic or too "fluffy.")

    • by Bazman ( 4849 ) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @02:39PM (#29245177) Journal

      "One of the world's largest" is actually number two, according to Wikipedia, behind Disney. So now we know what his real target is. The Mouse.

      • by SteveFoerster ( 136027 ) <steve AT stevefoerster DOT com> on Saturday August 29, 2009 @04:50PM (#29246367) Homepage

        Don't tell me it's News Corp. vs. Disney -- I won't know who to root against. I mean, that's like the media conglomerate edition of Alien vs. Predator!

    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @02:39PM (#29245187) Journal
      This seems a lot like the time that Accuweather and friends tried to have Santorum, their pet senator, ban the NOAA [] from providing the public with the weather data they paid for.

      Though, to be fair, the News Corporation is at least an order of magnitude more evil.
    • by Frequency Domain ( 601421 ) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @02:43PM (#29245231)
      Yeah, I'd trust the BBC any day of the week over "news" reported by a Murdoch mouthpiece. In case there are people who remain unaware of it, Fox News sued and won for the right to lie to you []. That's why it's popular in some circles to call it Faux News.
      • by Richard Kirk ( 535523 ) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @03:17PM (#29245575)
        "Faux news"?. Ooohhh, that's _cruel_. Specially when they put out quality stuff like this...,2933,543280,00.html []

        Now, that's something you didn't see on the BBC.

        • by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @03:45PM (#29245817) Journal

          What about when CBS rigged cars to explode when they slammed into a wall, and then used that story to convince viewers "to call your Senators and Congressmen to ask for tougher safety laws". Fake news indeed.

          And then there's John Stossel over at ABC who admitted his corporate overlords routinely censor his pro-small government stories saying, "We can't risk angering the Congress." That video, in case you want to watch it, is on youtube. Keywords - Freedom Watch John Stossel

          Fake news indeed. Bias evident.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            Oh I forgot NBC. They did a story about rollover-prone SUVs on Dateline, but some sharp-eyed viewers noticed that the SUVs were *pushed over* by a machine under the vehicle.

            If you believe FOX News is the only channel that lies, then you are easily duped.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by epine ( 68316 )

              If you make zero effort to distinguish faux news from a rigged demonstration, I sincerely hope you aren't investing in any technology IPOs.

              Microsoft provided a rigged demonstration of the interdependence of Windows and IE on videotape to the U.S. supreme court. There's what the profit motive gets you.

              Neither does a padded resume doesn't render a prospective hire incompetent. In fact, we're often judged negatively for failing to put the best face forward, even if the best face involves creative omission, a

      • by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Sunday August 30, 2009 @12:02AM (#29249027)
        The BBC is amongst the most reliable news organizations in the world. News Corp however is owned by people that bribe politicians, lie about ownership and go about lowering the quality of news as far as they can. Rupert Murdoch is quite possibly the worst thing to happen to news ever. His son is apparently the same sort of trash that he is.

        Seeing as I live a third of a world away from the UK, I wouldn't be listening to and reading BBC coverage if it wasn't good. Admittedly it covers very little of the local issues, but I don't expect them to do so.
    • by theskipper ( 461997 ) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @03:02PM (#29245427)

      With regard to competition, it appears they've committed to a scorched earth policy against all "free" news sources to make their proposed model palatable. It'll be interesting to see the message crafted against PBS+NPR. Even though it is a subscription model at the core, the attack vector will most likely still revolve around the concept of "freeloaders".

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by owlnation ( 858981 )

      The fact is that the BBC is known for its objectivity.

      No, not in the UK it isn't. That's absolutely nothing like a "fact". The BBC's long been criticized for having a a pro-Labour party bias, as well as a few other biases. It does have also a virtual monopoly on UK broadcasting, with very little to challenge its practices.

      Murdoch is correct in some ways. He's obviously saying it for his own nefarious ends. And the large percentage of the UK media his company owns is also a very big part of the problem

      • by FourthAge ( 1377519 ) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @03:36PM (#29245741) Journal


        Don't trust the BBC to be impartial, fair or balanced, because it is none of these things. Everything it broadcasts reflects the viewpoint of the British Establishment. I trust it to provide me with weather reports, and that's about it. I resent having to pay for it.

        Biased BBC [] has the definitive guide.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        No, not in the UK it isn't. That's absolutely nothing like a "fact". The BBC's long been criticized for having a a pro-Labour party bias

        They labeled you a troll because "they can't handle the truth". Every organization is biased in some respect. Just follow the money back to the source.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by FooAtWFU ( 699187 )
      In all fairness, though he's being a self-serving jerk, there's a point: What if (George W Bush|Obama|Stalin|Hitler|Kim Jong Il|the Pope|your choice of "monster" here|Rupert Murdoch himself under government contract with the next administration) used billions and billions of tax dollars to put out a news service, delivering it to every home in the country for free, and outcompeted all the other news sources, driving them to bankruptcy and ruin? Would that be fair? Would there not be at least some risk of it
      • by Stuart Gibson ( 544632 ) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @03:40PM (#29245777) Homepage

        Technically, the BBC is neither government owned nor taxpayer funded. Of course, by law if you operate any equipment capable of receiving broadcast material you have to pay the license fee, but the government doesn't handle or distribute the funding. []

        As an interesting aside, you can use the BBC iPlayer to watch previously shown material without a license, but you can't watch the live stream without one. As long as you watch everything an hour later you're good.

      • by realnrh ( 1298639 ) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @04:48PM (#29246343) Journal
        Yes, clearly PBS has destroyed the free market for television in the US. Woe is us.
      • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @05:07PM (#29246525)

        Would that be fair?

        Depends on whether you subscribe to the Reaganite doctrine that a government should not be allowed to do anything that a capitalist middle-man could make a profit on.

        Beyond that, I'm having a bit of trouble working up any sympathy for a guy who's complaining that a public service is making it hard for him to charge people for the lies he tells them.

      • by drsquare ( 530038 ) on Sunday August 30, 2009 @01:28AM (#29249361)

        Clearly the BBC is no Pravda (not this year, anyway, or yesteryear), but can any nation trust its government enough that having a taxpayer-funded news service a good idea in the long run? I think that's a question worth thinking about.

        Define 'long run'. The BBC has been around for 87 years, if it's going to turn into a instrument for government propaganda, it's taking its time.

        I'm also personally concerned with the notion of a "television license". Call it paranoia, but it makes me think of the "secret radio!!" plot in Jakob the Liar -- a government powers to restrict your receipt of telecommunications are not very comforting.

        Are you American by any chance? They seem to be paranoid about the government doing anything at all, so I'm not sure whether to take them seriously or not.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by savorymedia ( 938523 )

      The fact is that the BBC is known for its objectivity.

      Um...really? []

      NOTE: For the record, I think FOX News is shit and Murdoch should be hung by his balls...but let's not pretend that the BBC is some bastion of fairness and impartiality.

    • by ScrewMaster ( 602015 ) * on Saturday August 29, 2009 @04:47PM (#29246337)

      I know a lot of American who only get their news from there because they regard the American press as either too liberal or too conservative. (Or more often than not, too sensationalistic or too "fluffy.")

      As an American myself, I'd say that much of our news is all of the above, but I could accept that. The problem is, it's more often inaccurate, misleading or simply outright fabrication. Note that the press in this country was given special consideration under our Constitution, the supreme law of our land, so that we could make informed choices about who we select as our leaders. Unfortunately for us, the press has largely abrogated that responsibility in favor of crass money-grubbing and political pandering. And that has gone hand-in-hand with the rapid expansion of our various governmental bodies and ongoing loss of civil liberties.

      Had the free press done its job as the Founders intended it to do, we wouldn't be having this discussion. At least we still can (have discussions like this, I mean) but it's by no means guaranteed that that will always be so. In any event, I do hit the BBC for a lot of information ... mostly for impartial reporting on the political affairs of my own country. That pisses me off as well. Oh, not at the BBC, but at the news organizations in the U.S. who seem to believe that it is now their job to provide PR for the big boys, and in the process mold public opinion. I do not want my opinion molded, and I think that any reporter who fraudulently expresses his personal opinions and biases as fact without disclaimer should be given free room and board by the State for a while.

      At this point, I'm inclined to think that if the press isn't going to do their jobs right, they shouldn't be given any special privileges. They're no longer informing us ... they're disinforming us and yes, Mr. Murdoch, you're at the forefront of that particular movement. Furthermore, any claims you have about the quality and impartiality of BBC reporting sound like they are: more lies. The BBC does a fine job and most of its counterparts in your organization could learn a few things from them. The Brits already pay for the privilege of having the BBC so it's hardly free, and in any event, they're better off without having you anywhere in the picture.

  • Symmetry (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mbone ( 558574 ) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @02:35PM (#29245123)

    That's OK, I criticize James Murdoch's News Corporation for providing false news.

    I know which I would rather not be accused of.

  • As a company (Score:5, Insightful)

    by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @02:39PM (#29245175) Journal
    As a company that has done a lot to destroy fair and good reporting everywhere it goes, News Corp should NOT be listened to as an expert on what will produce 'Fair and Balanced' news. It certainly takes more than calling it 'Fair and Balanced', as their TV station Fox News is ample proof of. Sure, the BBC may have some problems, and may sometimes have some bias, but it still remains by far one of the best and most carefully researched news agencies on the planet. If News Corp had ever shown itself capable of ever producing a decent news organization, they might be worth listening to.

    As it is, I think the Murdochs are just upset that a REAL news group keeps them from controlling the news. They want power. If there were anything else I could say to make this a stronger condemnation of News Corp, I would. They are really that bad. They are the evilness that Microsoft only aspires to.
  • Ultimate irony (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Joe Jay Bee ( 1151309 ) <[jbsouthsea] [at] []> on Saturday August 29, 2009 @02:39PM (#29245185)

    The BBC reporting on someone saying the BBC is shit.

    That sort of objectivity is why they need to survive just as they are.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      That is not irony. It is simply unbiased, objective reporting.

    • Re:Ultimate irony (Score:5, Interesting)

      by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @03:19PM (#29245595) Journal
      The BBC frequently runs coverage of people criticising the BBC (which happens a lot; it's almost as much of a national pastime as complaining about the weather). One of the things I like about the BBC is that articles like this, when they show up in my RSS feed, report the criticism and don't fill the articles with editorialising about why it's not valid. In this article, the only rebuttal was:

      Former BBC director general Greg Dyke said Mr Murdoch's argument that the BBC was a "threat" to independent journalism was "fundamentally wrong".

      He told BBC Radio 5 live: "Journalism is going through a very difficult time - not only in this country but every country in the world - because newspapers, radio and television in the commercial world are all having a very rough time."

  • Pot and kettle (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pfafrich ( 647460 ) < minus painter> on Saturday August 29, 2009 @02:40PM (#29245199) Homepage
    This is a bit rich coming from a Murdoch, a family have the greatest impact on British public life. Many votes are swayed according to what the sun says. And whats more the family managed to reduce "The Times" from a great pillar of the establishment to the least respected broadsheet.
  • It isn't free (Score:5, Insightful)

    by meerling ( 1487879 ) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @02:40PM (#29245201)
    'The people' have already paid for the BBC via their TV license fees, it is in no way 'free'.
    Why should they pay again just because Murdoch doesn't like the competition?
  • Hey Murdoch, ask me (Score:5, Informative)

    by Linker3000 ( 626634 ) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @02:42PM (#29245223) Journal

    Hey Murdoch, I am a UK BBC licence fee payer and I have no problems with what the BBC is doing with my cash with regards to their news provisions, especially their excellent news Web site.

    You don't like what they are doing with my cash? Tough - if you don't like it, get another job.

    Yours etc..

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Asic Eng ( 193332 )
      Interesting how paying no tax on profits of $20.1 billion still allows someone to waffle on about concepts like "fair price". What's fair about owing $350 million and not paying?
  • Indepdendent? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by alan_dershowitz ( 586542 ) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @02:46PM (#29245271)

    OH SNAP:

    Media Concentration []

    Read: media without profit motive threatens the moneyed-interest propaganda monoculture. And are we seriously supposed to believe that the son of Rupert Murdoch doesn't understand that media is international these days?

    "As Orwell foretold, to let the state enjoy a near-monopoly of information is to guarantee manipulation and distortion," Murdoch said, referring to George Orwell's book, "1984."

    What an unbelievable fucking tool.

  • QOTD (Score:4, Insightful)

    by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @02:46PM (#29245273)

    'It is essential for the future of independent digital journalism that a fair price can be charged for news to people who value it,' says Murdoch.

    Murdoch isn't selling anything I want to pay for. Now, if the BBC charges for its content, I would give serious consideration to doing so. There -- free market in action!

  • by coaxial ( 28297 ) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @02:47PM (#29245285) Homepage

    What many people don't understand is that companies don't want to compete. Ideally, they want to form a monopoly and then stop innovating (because that's a cost) and raise prices (because that's profit). If they can't form a monopoly, they want to form a cartel with their main rivals. Murdoch and Son realize they can't buy the BBC, so they're taking the cartel approach whining about how they "can't compete". Actually what they're saying is, "Our plan to raise prices won't work, as long as someone doesn't. Join the news cartel, and we'll all profit."

  • by Cable ( 99315 ) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @02:48PM (#29245293) Homepage

    The Internet is all about free access to information and news. The BBC, PBS, NPR, etc are all public organizations that give out free information anyway and usually funded by the government and donations.

    News Media Corp is a private corporation and doesn't seem to get the free news and free information philosophy of the Internet. If they charge for access to news and information they will suffer for it. Then only the wealthy will be able to access it, and some of the wealthy will refuse to pay and go to free sources instead.

    Also when a news or information source is pay only and private, it cannot be used for citations anymore as a professor cannot log on to verify the source because they cannot afford the fees to every pay source of news and information and usually require the student to use the sources that the college provides for peer reviewed news articles and papers.

    Murdoch is shooting himself in the foot with such a move.

    • by ( 745855 ) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @03:00PM (#29245417) Homepage

      He's not shooting himself in the foot, he's acting in his own self interest. Yes, it may be kind of short-term thinking, but it would be profitable if he could do what he is trying to do.

      I don't know if all info is meant to be free. The Wall Street Journal charges and makes money. They are providing a specific sector with timely and well researched information. There is value in that.

      But what he is missing is the fact that for most topics a newspaper, newscast, or news channel is no longer the commodity. The STORY is the commodity.

  • Up the BBC (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lttlordfault ( 1561315 ) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @03:11PM (#29245509)
    As a UK TV license payer I have no problem whatsoever with how the BBC spends my money. A media network charged with producing quality independent broadcasting is fine in my book.

    I find their news to be far more balanced and fair than any commercial operator I've encountered, as they're not beholden to their advertisers and contributers and rather to their audience. A perfect example being the current debate in America about socialized healthcare.

    First we had reports about how the NHS was being used as an example of how socialized healthcare doesn't work, then reports on the anger this caused in the British populace (my God I was angry), then reports on the isolated incidents where the NHS has failed people.

    Nowhere else have I found a more balanced and fair news outlet and I'm eternally grateful that we have our wonderful British Broadcasting Corporation.

    It says a lot that James Murdoch has felt he had to attack the BBC to protect his business interests.

  • by Dan667 ( 564390 ) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @03:14PM (#29245535)
    and start charging for his news. It may only take a month for him to figure out no one wants to pay for it, but it it would be great for the world to get a break from his yellow journalism.
  • by _Shad0w_ ( 127912 ) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @03:15PM (#29245555)

    If a member of the Murdoch family is criticizing you, you're probably doing something right.

    Just for the record, I love the BBC and I love the NHS; nuts to anyone who thinks they're somehow evil.

  • by wellingtonsteve ( 892855 ) <> on Saturday August 29, 2009 @03:25PM (#29245645)
    "owns the Times, the Sunday Times and Sun newspapers"

    Sorry you can't call The Sun a 'newspaper'! Seriously, a publication who's most popular story today is entitled "I had walk with a yeti on holiday []"??
  • He's sorta right (Score:5, Insightful)

    by davmoo ( 63521 ) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @03:34PM (#29245731)

    Good news coverage is worth paying for. Unfortunately for Murdoch, with the sole exception of the Wall Street Journal, none of his holdings produce good journalism. Because with the exception of the Journal, everything covered in his TV stations or newspapers I can find in three hundred other locations on the web, in other newspapers, or on other TV stations. Because its all reworked AP stories. Good in-depth journalism died years ago, and now all we get from 99.9999999 percent of US media sources, including Murdoch's, is cookie-cutter stories.

    If Murdoch really expects me to pay, then he's going to have to improve journalism at his own holdings and give me original information I can't find anywhere else. When he can do that, I'll pay (as I do for the WSJ now). Until then, not a chance in hell.

    • he's actually wrong! (Score:5, Informative)

      by sg_oneill ( 159032 ) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @11:42PM (#29248913)

      The WSJ does produce decent news, and he's busy trying to stop that, because since he's had it, its gone down hill like hell.

      Seriously, some of the best quality media comes out of the independant but govt owned sources, the BBC in the UK, ABC & SBS in Australia, the CBC in Canada and so one. Because these news sources are largely empowered (not fully so CBC & SBS, but mostly) to operate without bowing down to advertisers and big corporate interests, and LARGELY the govts have backed off from interfering with their autonomy (Oh they try, but the stations tend to resist). We actually need that. In Australia the ABC have proven their govt independence by shows like 4 Corners that have always been prepared to attack the government when it behaves badly , and interestingly in ways the commercial TV stations seem reluctant to. The SBS provides foreign and experimental programming that would never be shown by the bottom-line conscious commercial shows. And at a time when commercial TV is completely debased by ridiculous reality shows and idiotic right wing "current affairs" (usually consisting of harrassing poor people for being on welfare and the like) , the ABC provides high class drama, news, documentaries and so on.

      Seriously Murdoch can go fuck himself. His shitty newspapers spread hate and fear in our community with its attacks on minorities and poor people, and he's done the same in the US with the gutteral fox news service. He's got no right to complain if nobody wants to pay for his "news". Make a non shit product and people might pay for it. Its not govt money that makes the BBC popular, its the fact that the alternatives are so fucking dismal.

  • by oneandoneis2 ( 777721 ) * on Saturday August 29, 2009 @03:46PM (#29245831) Homepage
    Uh-oh. Somebody better tell Perrier, Evian, Pellegrino et al that it's impossible for them to make money by selling water!
  • by Concern ( 819622 ) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @03:46PM (#29245841) Journal

    So the scion of the world's most notorious propagandist has the audacity to speak publicly about media policy.

    If voters wish their government to do something for them, they vote for politicians that promise it, and it gets done. Those in England have voted to have a "public option" for news. Some will say that because it's "government owned" its objectivity cannot be trusted, and this is indeed a danger, just as it is a danger that privately owned media cannot be trusted, let alone under the laissez faire regulation regime that Murdoch Sr. and Jr. lobby for. Power is power, and it is not a foregone conclusion that power controlled by elected representatives is more dangerous than power controlled by corporate sponsors or the whims of billionaires.

    It's reasonable that a government-run news organization could do a better job than a privately run organization. Similarly for electric power, firefighting services, courts, schools, etc. It's not guaranteed to succeed, but there is no fundamental problem with it in principle, as long as a nation has a free press (the government can say what they like, but so can everyone else).

    The Murdoch's underscore the point by running some of the most servile and ludicrous propaganda instruments in mass media today. For those concerned about the difficulty of competing with the government to make news, one must simply examine reality to see how it is done. Amusingly, Murdoch himself is not always concerned with profit - he runs propaganda instruments such as the New York Post in the red simply to gain influence and push competitors out of business.

    While some could make this story into a discussion about the principles of government, media and democracy, that would be elevating Murdoch's ploy far above what it is: a transparent attempt to destroy another competitor and gain even more unified control over the world's mass media. It is breathtakingly hypocritical on his part to cloak it in the rhetoric he does.

  • by knuty ( 136597 ) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @04:28PM (#29246223) Homepage

    A quote from Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations 1776, is the best answer on James Murdoch worry for News Corporation's $32.996 billion USD revenue:

    "People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices."

  • by Tom ( 822 ) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @04:35PM (#29246251) Homepage Journal

    Thank you, but because they matter to me, I prefer to get my news from sources that do not consider either them or me or both as objects of profit.

    I realize every news source has some agenda, so I check more than one for the really important stuff. But, you know, the thing about agendas is that they are fairly solid and if you know them, you can compensate for it. The thing about pure for-profit companies is that their agenda will change to whatever marketing says that day.

    Journalism is one of the areas where we can witness, live and in colour, that the free-market ideology does not provide the optimum solution for every problem on every axis. Rather, it provides an optimum profit-maximum solution for problems along the financial axis.

  • In related news... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nekomusume ( 956306 ) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @05:03PM (#29246479)

    Prostitutes are demanding that everybody else stop providing sex for free, as it reduces the demand for their paid services.

  • Dear Mr. Murdoch (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pandrijeczko ( 588093 ) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @06:29PM (#29247141)

    I will ***GLADLY*** continue to pay the BBC TV license so that I can enjoy a reasonable amount of ***ADVERT FREE*** radio & TV programming, as well as for access to some good resources on the BBC web site.

    What I will ***NEVER*** do is pay any money to line your dirty, profiteering pockets, especially now you've exposed yourself as nothing more than a whining maggot!

    Oh, and ***PAY*** money for Sky TV that sits there feeding me advertising every few minutes? The answer is two words, "FUCK YOU".

  • Sigh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by xA40D ( 180522 ) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @07:05PM (#29247449) Homepage

    Murdoch Senior had a nasty habit at kicking the BBC in a similar manner. Nice to see Junior hasn't bothered to develop his own consciousness and has merely cloned his dad's. Seriously these rants translate as little more than a vain attempt to undermine the competition with cheap rhetoric designed to increase profit and feed ignorance. I mean when Dad's worth an estimated $4 billion world domination is about the only thing left to try, and the BBC as an a mostly impartial and independent media service is obviously standing in the way.

    Anyone who is in any way swayed by Murdoch Junior's argument needs to read Noam Chomsky's book Manufacturing Consent and then needs to wake up to the fact that the BBC is perhaps the one media outlet that stands in the way of the frightening picture this book paints. After all the BBC is in a different industry in that they're about providing media to their audiences and news to the public, not audiences to their advertisers and propaganda to their punters.

"The number of Unix installations has grown to 10, with more expected." -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June, 1972