Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Rupert Murdoch: Satan or Savior?

By Rick Pearcey

"Before Fox News Channel was born," writes Cal Thomas in his latest column ("Rupert Murdoch: Satan or Savior?"), "I met with several network news presidents, telling them that someone was going to go after a demographic that felt shutout by the mainstream media.

"These people, I said, go to church, fly the flag, respect the nation's traditions and institutions and hate the liberal media. They feel censored, or stereotyped, by the media elites. I told them the person who recognizes that demographic and gives them a voice would reap a huge reward.

"That person is Rupert Murdoch. He is not the media Satan, as the left likes to portray him. Some of the offensive (to me) tabloid stuff notwithstanding, he just may be the media's savior. The elites hate him, but growing numbers of people are buying his products."

Murdoch may not be the "media Satan," but who today would place him on the side of the angels, given his deep involvement in broadcasting pornography (See "Murdoch Pastor Gets Heat for Mogul's Porn Channels," WorldNetDaily)?

The point here is not a simplistic moralism. One can appreciate the competition in news and opinion that Murdoch brings to the table. This is very hard work and should be respected. Not to mention the creativity and risk-taking that reflects so much of what it means to be a human being. This is for the good, even though the product can stand improvement.

How unfortunate, however, that Murdoch also trafficks in unloving entertainment offerings so barren in thought, humiliating to the human person, and harmful to the family. It reflects a profound alienation from a nation whose ethos is rooted in verifiable information given by the Creator as a map to humane living in a broken world in all spheres of life.

Let me suggest two marks that will attend a structural reformation of journalism and entertainment: 1) respect for the objectivity of truth, 2) respect for the dignity of the individual.

This kind of reformation won't yield a perfect society, people, or media, but the core principles won't be corrupt and it will be a hedge against fascism and nihilism. That would be a good beginning.

Neither Man, news, or entertainment lives by market share alone.

The entire Cal Thomas column is here.

Rick Pearcey is editor and publisher of The Pearcey Report (archives).