Having just completed Paul Barry’s “Breaking News” I found myself a little sorry for Mr Murdoch. Mostly because he portrays something I have noted with many other “righteous men” in their delight in confirming that other men are not like them; hard-working, able to create wealth (always a sign that “god” is on their side, even if it’s source is not always crystal clear), and with a low taste for scandalous gossip about others.
Like John Calvin or Tomás de Torquemada and even Ayatollah Khomeini, the righteousness and sense of being better than anyone else seems to both drive them forward and blind them to other interpretations of their actions. Almost as if, because they are doing it, it is therefore right, no matter what the law or custom of a country has struggled to rise above and thereby all things are reduced to dross and baseness, confirming their righteousness and better-ness.
I also get the sense from Mr Barry’s words that Mr Murdoch’s offspring are left with a need to constantly prove themselves worthy of their father’s love. I wonder if that is reflects Mr Murdoch’s own need to be worthy of his father, and somehow prove himself ‘better’ than Sir Keith Murdoch as well as the “Old Establishment”.
From where I sit having read more than one book on Rupert Murdoch, in spite of his privileged starting positions I wonder if somehow he does not love himself, and that makes it easier for his apparent desire to be the most wealthy and influential person on the planet. Because only then will he be worthy in his own eyes?
It is too easy though, to dismiss everything that Mr Murdoch has done as an outright evil. There are many other influences on the current state of the Murdoch empire. And one has to credit Mr Murdoch with one great love of his life – he does love the idea of printing news about what is happening in the world and to those whom he thinks should be put in their place.
I look forward to Mr Barry’s sequel to this book, possibly after Mr Murdoch has “retired” and certainly after the convulsions of the court cases are over.