Friday, July 6, 2007

Rupert Murdoch: Tycoon, Opinion Maker, Pinhead

New to the Flags of Many Lands! Hello, Pakistan!

This human, shar-pei mix is Rupert Murdoch, owner of many, many things. By any objective measure, he has a vast media empire. Not everything he has touched has turned to gold. For example, his tenure as owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers didn't go very well, nor did his stint owning Manchester United. But in the publishing world, in television and in film, Fox is an entity to be reckoned with. He very much understands the calculus of power: who he can screw with, who he must coddle, who he can tempt with money and influence.

Still, this isn't a genius. A lot of incredibly stupid predictions were made about Iraq, most of them by the people directly responsible for getting us into this fiasco. If we split the stupid statements about the invasion into Public Sector and Private Sector, I would give this comment by Murdoch the top of the list for Stupidest Wishful Thinking, People Without Control Of Armed Forces division.

On February 11, 2003, Murdoch was quoted in the Guardian saying about the coming invasion, "The greatest thing to come out of this for the world economy, if you could put it that way, would be $20 a barrel for oil. That's bigger than any tax cut in any country."

When the war started, according to, crude was sitting just $30 a barrel, measured in today's dollars when adjusted for inflation. According to, the price today is just over $70 a barrel, which would make it higher than the heights reached in the early 80s, when adjusted for inflation, though slightly lower than the peak it hit last year. Following Murdoch's logic, that must be bigger than any tax increase in any country.

Murdoch certainly understands business well enough to be incredibly successful, but the basics of supply and demand are a little too hard for him. Oil is getting harder to get out of the ground as the easy fields dry up, and more people want the products made from oil than ever before. What market forces are going to bring the price down for long?

And with that, we end the post with the Random 10.

Fool Who Knows Little Village
Fell On Black Days Soundgarden
Rollin’ Stone Mose Allison
Down To The River To Pray Alison Kraus
Viking Los Lobos
Se Tu M’ami Cecilia Bartoli
Devil’s Haircut Beck
The Look Of Love Dusty Springfield
What Lack of Love Has Done Nick Lowe
Pills & Soap Elvis Costello & The Attractions

Nick Lowe gets a double this week, as he also wrote and sang the first song on the list. The Allison Kraus song is from the finest film soundtrack album in many a year, O Brother Where Art Thou? And the opening line of Rollin' Stone, written by Willie Dixon, is one of the best lyrics in blues ever.

Oh well I wish
I was a catfish
Swimmin' in the deep blue sea.
I would have all you good lookin' women
Just fishin' after me...
Just fishin' after me.


Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Okay,now you're freaking me out. I used the same picture in my most recent post and I have owned CD's or tapes of almost every song on your list. This is getting scary Matty boy. I may well be your doppleganger.

Matty Boy said...

It's a madhouse, I tell you... A MADHOUSE!!!!!

FranIAm said...

This man did very bad things to my almost former company. Evilest of the evil-doers.

I mean it is one corporate machine vs the other in the end, but the way he went was very aggressively creepy, expensive to him, unfounded really and in the end, he actually failed.

That is the best part of all. Maybe this photo was shot at the moment he realized he had just sunk 5 million into this so called "project" and it never worked.


Who and what this was... I am never tellin'!