MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
The hacking of phones and invasion of privacy by the Rupert Murdoch tabloid press has been the subject of articles for years, but it took the unconscionable and illegal extracting and deleting of messages from the mobile phone of a dead British girl to bring the Murdoch empire to its knees.
Murdoch, it appears now, had bought off police, politicians, and who knows who else, as he swaggered across the Western world, creating a false, angry, populist worldview through a vast media empire. The sole purpose of this emotional, incendiary and deceptive narrative was to create governments that supported the plutocracy, not the "rabble" of democracy. The tool to accomplish this was the manipulation of the mass media to ignore facts and create a fictional "frame" that pushed populations toward acceptance of an authoritarian state, one that existed for the benefit of the wealthy.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt knew the danger of a Murdoch controlling, in an Orwellian fashion, the media, and the danger of the likes of the Koch Brothers financing propaganda - through lavish support of think tanks and front "activist" organizations - as well as a government run by corporate lobbyists. Whether it is ownership of the media, concentrated control of the assets of a nation by a few, or de facto corporate governance through campaign contribution leverage on Congress and the White House, Roosevelt warned:
The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it comes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism - ownership of government by an individual, by a group.
In his second inaugural speech FDR declared:
We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace - business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.
They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.
Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me - and I welcome their hatred.
How little has changed since those remarks were made in 1936, except there is no FDR in the White House to champion the cause of democracy for those 99 percent of Americans who are not part of "organized money."