Monthly Archives: June 2015 - Page 2

LIONEL PODCAST: Rupert Murdoch Rupert Murdoch –The Dark Lord of Media and Bête Noire of the Professional Left

Here we come . . . walking down the street. It was announced on June 11 that the dark lord himself, Rupert Murdoch, the 84-year-old CEO and controlling shareholder of 21st Century Fox, is preparing to step down as CEO of the media giant and hand that title to his son James, scion of the House of Murdoch. The man’s genius is nonpareil. And that’s not an endorsement of his editorial policy but rather his media domination. A domination, by the by, that gives the professional left something to claim as their platform. Were it not for Murdoch, Roger Ailes and FOX News there are more individuals on television and in various media who would literally and actually have nothing to say. And their initials are Jon Stewart. See my Op-Edge piece on

RIP, Uvalde Slim. Dusty Rhodes died this week. Herein is my eulogium to the American Dream and a pithy commentary as to the escapees of Dannemora and the ineffectual governor, Andrew Cuomo.

A Titular and Symbolic Move in the House of Murdoch Inspires A Left Media Frenzy

This week mainstream media were paralyzed in a frisson of apoplexy over the news that Rupert Murdoch, the dark lord of conservative disinformation and bête noire of the professional left, was stepping aside to allow the empire’s dauphin and scion to take the reins of the House of Murdoch.

At long last their long national nightmare was over. Or so they thought. And if you think for a moment that Murdoch père is divesting himself of control and influence over his dynasty, I would immediately halve your meds if I were you. This is a move to keep Wall Street happy and to show the world that the mega conglom is in fighting trim and ready for seamless transition. Every media outlet of every stripe was flooding the Internet’s series of tubes announcing the changing of the guard, and the notoriously liberal CNBC was credited with “breaking the story” by announcing King Rupert’s succession. Not even the Wall Street Journal or the NY Post, Murdoch’s own properties! To explicate the anachronistic nature of story breaking, let me remind you that in a world of instantaneous dissemination, “breaking” consists of a picosecond of lead time before the media scavengers move in for mynah bird echo-chambering.

When most media types think Rupert Murdoch, they think Fox News and not 21st Century Fox or his other media properties. No, it’s Fox News and Bill O’Reilly and the stable of conservative firebrands that abrade and annoy and drive the professional left crazy. In fact, so critical is the Fox News message that it’s the only source of anything that vaguely resembles a political platform for the professional left or the profoundly vague progressives. So dominant is the Murdoch message that were you to miss a particularly piquant installment, MSNBC and Jon Stewart would surely play in its entirety every second of the offending piece. As to the recently retiring Mr. Stewart, Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes, said that “I don’t think he could make a living without Fox News.” And as for Maestro Ailes, while his conservative provenance is impeccable, his ability to appreciate antipodal political types serves to infuriate and confound his own phalanx of sinistral critics. Which serves to fuel this media juggernaut even more so.

No, the most estimable contribution of Fox News’s 1996 debut was Messrs. Murdoch and Ailes perfecting narrowcasting, i.e. aiming and targeting a particular audience with news and primarily opinion that comport and endorse the viewer’s own worldview. You know precisely what you’re getting with Fox News whenever you sample it. It never varies; it never veers. You will never find yourself sampling the umpteenth prison doc or a segment on culinary misadventure.

The transition from hard news to today’s hybrid started pre-Rupert. There was always a hard division between news and commentary with the former being rather no-nonsense, stodgy and, well, concrete Cronkite. But everything changed in 1952 with the NBC debut of TODAY. In 1977 Roone Arledge was crowned ABC News chief, a move which was met with a hail of media and news critics who could not see the entertainment factor of news. Sound familiar? And he thereafter transformed the face of news forever. Arledge gave us Nightline and 20/20, showing the world that programs like 60 Minutes can compete in primetime.

News is entertainment. Commentary and opinion and news are interchangeable. The editorial cartoon as well as the editorial itself both serve to highlight news. Media audiences today care not to engage in the parlor game of technical parsing and distinguishing as to what is a news story versus commentary. And with younger demographics sampling news in a variety of platforms and delivery systems, news and opinion are part of a media slumgullion called information.

And when friends of mine suggest the Murdoch encomia are a tad excessive and exaggerated, I just respond with a simple request: Name the chairman of CNN. The defense rests.

LIONEL PODCAST: How to Drop an F-Bomb With Class and Not Sound Like a Morning Show Retread

Listen. If you want to curse, fine. Do it with some class. Never as a substitution for wit. Dig? There’s an art to it. But as evidenced by the organically unimaginative and chronically unfunny, lacing a story with gratuitous F-bombs has become the norm. It’s puerile and jejune and extremely low rent. It’s the mainstay of morning zoo-show anachronisms and trite broadcasting swill. Herein, is my disquisition and tribute to the noble art of cursing and cussing. There’s a place for the off-color and scabrous but only if well-timed and deftly placed.

LIONEL PODCAST: Why the Mainstream Media Will Not So Much As Utter “Bilderberg”

Secret? This year, the Bilderberg Group is meeting from June 11th to June 14th at the Interalpen Hotel which is near the city of Telfs, Austria. Have you heard of it? You’ve heard of Davos and G7 and G8 and Burning Man and The festival of San Fermin, or the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona. Right? Of course I’m right. So why haven’t the mynah birds on mainstream media mentioned Bilderberg? And . . . I know your’e asking . . . what the hell is it? I’m glad you asked.

LIONEL PODCAST: How Do You Know What You Know? And Why Won’t You Do What You Know?

Epistemology 101. A very simple question. Think of everything that you think you know. How do you know it? How? You are a repository of data and lore and myth and fact. Think of how many times during the day you refer to something that you know and that you remember. How do you know what you know? And there are things that you do that I’m sure you know are bad for you. If not, you’re not human. So the question becomes why don’t you do what you know? There are people who have such a strong faith system in religion and custom and “spirituality.” But if you want ask them how do they know this, they will look at you and say, “I know what I know.” Which begs the question: How do you know what you know?

LIONEL PODCAST: Why Caitlyn Jenner Poses a Threat to the New World Order

A threat to order. Cailtlyn Jenner has them running for cover. Why? Because most Americans have the gender (and perhaps now, the gender identity) perspective of a child. Black and white. Manichean. Simple. Apodictic. Clearly drawn. Wrong, Sparky. It’s the particle physics and quantum mechanics of our time. It confounds preconceived notions and beliefs., It will rock the bedrock of common understanding. It demands nuance among a population able to nuance.

It’s bigger than you think. Pardon the telegraphic pun. Caitlyn wasn’t or isn’t the first. Christine Jorgensen, a former Army private from the Bronx underwent surgery and hormone treatments in Denmark in 1952 to change from a male to a female, and was the first media pioneer. “Her sexual conversion began with hormone injections in 1950, when she was 24 years old. It was completed in 1952 with surgery at the Danish State Hospital in Copenhagen under the care of Dr. Christian Hamburger, a Danish hormone expert whose first name she took to form her own.” [NYT] And 63 years later, we’re still unable to handle the issues.

It’s easier changing the color of your eyes. Did you hear about this beaut? Folks just can’t conceive of the notion hat sexuality is not subject to election like a political party.

A jury in northern New Jersey is scheduled to hear opening arguments Wednesday [June 3] in the fraud trial of a nonprofit that offers so-called ‘gay conversion’ therapy.

Four men and two of their mothers sued Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing, under New Jersey’s consumer fraud laws in 2012.

The men contend the organization violated the laws by characterizing homosexuality as a mental disorder and claiming it could successfully change patients’ sexual orientation.

They say they underwent treatment that included being told to spend more time naked with their fathers and participating in role-playing in which they were subjected to anti-gay slurs in a locker room setting.

The nonprofit contends there’s still debate over whether human sexual orientation is changeable and that it isn’t an issue for courts to decide.

And meanwhile, White House embeds take to the media. Say hello to my little friend, Dan Pfeiffer.

LIONEL PODCAST: Hollywood Star Comes Out! Vince Vaughn Declares He’s a Second Amendment Truther.

Vince Vaughn is my hero. “Banning guns is like banning forks in an attempt to stop making people fat,” he said. Right on, Double-V. “I support people having a gun in public, full stop, not just in your home,” he told GQ. “We don’t have the right to bear arms because of burglars; we have the right to bear arms to resist the supreme power of a corrupt and abusive government. It’s not about duck hunting; it’s about the ability of the individual. It’s the same reason we have freedom of speech.”

But wait, there’s more. As to Sandy Hook, Mr. Vaughn had this to say. “It’s well known that the greatest defense against an intruder is the sound of a gun hammer being pulled back,” he said. “In all of our schools it is illegal to have guns on campus, so again and again these guys go and shoot up these f–king schools because they know there are no guns there. They are monsters killing six-year-olds … You think the politicians that run my country and your country don’t have guns in the schools their kids go to? They do. And we should be allowed the same rights.” Such impeccable logic and appreciation for the Second Amendment. It sounds like he’s channeling Tenche Coxe, perhaps my favorite forebear.

Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American…[T]he unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.”
-– Tenche Coxe, The Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788.