I’m sorry that you have Covid-19 emopression but damn it, you selfish reader, please do remember that Rupert Murdoch didn’t get a birthday party this year and unless the secret cryogenic lab comes online at Holt Street soon, he may not have many left. The snags were all lined up on the barbie at his $40M vineyard in Bel Air, too; the beer chilling in the last few chunks of ancient Greenland pack ice choppered in directly from the Arctic’s increasingly slushy frozen heart. A jaunty Kevin Rudd piñata had been lowered into easy reach and pre-beaten by expert Kendo masters to ensure the wizened old Sith Lord was not inconvenienced by having to repeatedly whack away at the effigy like some vulgar tabloid editor.
And then, tragedy!
Rupert’s birthday bash was cancelled like some worthless Foxtel subscription.
With rising numbers of coronavirus infections in California the family decided it was just too dangerous to expose the empire’s prehistoric overlord to the risk of infection.
Nobody wanted to contemplate their elder patriarch dying alone, choking on his own septic sputum.
The rest of you, naturally, could fuck off and die.
The Murdoch family’s deep concern for their vulnerable elder stands in somewhat striking contrast to infinitesimal number of near-imperceptible fucks displayed by the Murdoch Empire for everybody else. From the rabid defence of America’s super-spreader President by Fox News, to the weaponised stupidity and unhinged viciousness of the daily assaults by News Corp’s local goons on Daniel Andrews and Annastacia Palaszczuk, the doctrine, strategy and tactics of the giant multinational tax avoider has been brutal, but simple.
Destroy anyone and everything that gets between Rupe and a dollar.
To be fair, this is not a revolutionary business model for News Corp., but it is the first time they’ve stacked up actual corpses in such colossal numbers to ensure the continued flow of untaxed profits into the corporation’s complex labyrinth of post office boxes in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.
Always two moves ahead, Rupe’s US lawyers are already running up a hefty (but tax deductible) tab with UberEats while they work hard (but from home) prepping for the coming wave of class actions that are the unavoidable cost of doing business when your business is convincing tens of millions of gullible fucking numpties that the coronavirus is simultaneously a Democrat hoax and a Chinese plot.
One promising line of defence?
“We wuz only joking, your honour! Fuggedaboutit!”
The moot point though is why Murdoch, who so conspicuously “Well Duh’d” the threat of COVID-19 way the hell back in March, when he bailed on his own birthday party and retreated to the Moraga Vineyards Führerbunker, has let his newspapers and TV networks run a disastrous and arguably even murderous global campaign to minimise the dangers of the Vid. It has been an information warfare blitz so total and devastating that even Vladimir Putin might have balked at launching it.
After all, al Qaeda only killed a couple of thousand people and for that bin Laden had to spend his final years doomsday-wanking to sun-faded porno mags in a virtual prison compound at the arse end of Absurdistan.
News Corp, on the other hand, could bury millions before they’re done.
Because millions for billons is a solid trade, bro.
Those Cayman Islands post office boxes ain’t gonna fill themselves with minty fresh Benjamins, and News Corp was already on the shit end of the business stick even before the dread Miss Rona sashayed into our lives. Google and Facebook ate everybody’s lunch when they ‘jacked most of the advertising revenue in the world. Netflix and its rival streamers siphoned off cable subscriptions.
And then the diabolical Miss Rona had her way.
News has been taking it hard and dry, right in the sticky date, because the strategy of locking down whole cities and societies to control viral spread means locking down their economies, too.
So it turns out you can’t suppress the Vid without also suppressing the flow of advertising revenue off the books in your first world profit centres and into the dark Byzantine fuck puzzle of tax haven dead drops you’ve been using for years to hide billions of dollarydoos from the Treasury.
If News Corp was willing to subvert and debauch the culture and politics of three sovereign nations simply to get a better deal on marginal tax rates and media regulation, what chance they wouldn’t pile up a Spartan fortress wall of the infected and the dead in defence of their core economic interests?