Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

No matter what, Rupert Murdoch will just get even richer

Illustration for article titled No matter what, Rupert Murdoch will just get even richer
Photo: Scott Olson (Getty Images)

While most of the nation is caught up watching the Mexican border with soul-sick revulsion, there’s been another big drama playing out in the papers that you might not have been following as closely: the epic pissing match over which enormous media conglomerate gets the privilege of throwing more money at Fox ruler Rupert Murdoch. Variety reports that the bidding war for Fox’s film studios and cable channels has just coughed up a fresh $71.3 billion offer from Disney, a significant raise over that $65 billion offer from Comcast, and one that puts Disney well in the lead for taking over all of Fox’s movies and TV series.


It’s a deal that would leave both Fox Broadcasting Company and Fox News to Murdoch to run from his new, standalone company, in addition to leaving Murdoch billions of dollars to put toward fortifying his state-run news network as it helps stoke sneering dismissiveness toward jailed and terrified children, as blithely as it does school shooting survivors. Indeed, it’s really the big question that’s on the minds today of anyone whose every minute isn’t predominantly haunted by America’s all-too-easy slide into bureaucratically excused ethnic cleansing: Which big fucking company will add Fox to its family and make Rupert Murdoch a lot fucking richer?

Speaking of families, popular Fox News host Laura Ingraham recently called the chain-linked detention centers where migrant kids are being involuntary cordoned off from theirs “essentially summer camps or boarding schools,” sparking a call for advertiser boycotts that Fox News today dismissed as “attempts to silence diverse viewpoints by agenda-driven intimidation efforts.” A similarly “diverse viewpoint” was expressed on the network earlier this week, when three knocks from the rafters indicated it was time for Ann Coulter to descend and call all those wailing toddlers “child actors.” 

And just yesterday, former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski appeared on Fox News to blow off a story about a 10-year-old girl with Down syndrome being among those frightened kids with a sarcastic, “Womp womp”—a controversially diverse viewpoint that Lewandowski later clarified, saying he hadn’t mocked the girl, but rather “mocked the liberal” who snowflakingly suggested people should feel sympathy for her.

Truly it is diverse, everything-must-be-considered viewpoints like these that have made Fox and Murdoch the bidding-war-attracting media powerhouses that they are today. This free and open debate over whether mentioning scared little girls was needlessly “politicizing” that whole separating-kids-from-their-families thing has allowed Murdoch—the inventor of the modern, scandal-and-rancor-driven tabloid that we just live in now, the same man who joshingly calls himself “a billionaire tyrant” because he has a sense of humor about it—to just sit back and be wooed by a cavorting cartoon mouse from atop the blood-throne he built incrementally from a generation of human misery, its burnt-femur-legs straddling the river of bile flowing through America’s sour gut that is Murdoch’s most lasting contribution to our barely hanging-together civilization.

Murdoch’s nursing of this troll dictatorship on his very own toxic teat has been called out a few times already this week, with current and former Fox employees like Seth MacFarlane, Paul Feig, Judd Apatow, and Modern Family’s Steve Levitan all releasing statements, of varying levels of disdain and conviction, distancing themselves from Fox and Murdoch. Some, like Apatow, have called upon other “Fox stars and executives” to also stand up and speak out against Murdoch—a noble outcry that would surely be like the buzzing of flies to him as Murdoch boarded his private jet while leaving them to become Bob Iger’s pesky moral quandary, Murdoch happily winging away to live out the rest of his life being fatted on the ever-widening revenue streams poured directly into his wattle.

In fact, Reuters wrote that one of the main reasons Murdoch favors Disney’s offer is because it provides Fox shareholders the option to accept Disney stock in lieu of cash—an exchange that wouldn’t require Murdoch to pay taxes on the deal right away. This loophole would thereby allow the Australian mogul to avoid actually taking some of those billions he’s scored off of exploiting America’s darkest impulses under the guise of patriotism, then funneling them back into nominally supporting it.


More importantly, it would make Rupert Murdoch one of the largest independent shareholders of Disney itself, meaning he would happily ever after profit from all those shiny, safely numbing Disney movies and TV shows you throw on just to distract your own kids from a world where sticking babies in a makeshift Wal-Mart jail can be touted as biblically enforced law, all while you hunch over your phone in sick disbelief that an executive order saying, okay, maybe they can share a cell with their parents is being pawned off as some form of benevolent mercy—and all while Fox News personalities are out here decrying this minor indulgence as the death of America. Murdoch would now profit from every single step of this vicious cycle of delusion and disgust.

Hey, maybe Rupert Murdoch could also help Disney collect some royalties off those screenings of Moana that government contractors threw on just to distract those kids from being held against their will in a Brownsville warehouse? Why, it’s the just sort of shrewd vertical integration Murdoch is known for—from crafting the paranoid and disorienting, pop culture-blurred-with-the-political landscape that paved the way for the rise of its Frankensteined monster child, to then serving as its most successful propaganda minister for all the reprehensible policies that flit through its cable-curdled brain during commercial breaks for Fox & Friends. Truly, Murdoch can now make use of every piece of this bloated, bilious American carcass, and he can ensure that not a moment of spite and suffering, nor of the escapist entertainment you use to blot it all out, ever goes by without all of it making him stupid fucking rich.


While a potential Disney/Fox merger won’t be decided until mid-July at the earliest—leaving time for Comcast to up its own offer to allow Murdoch to drink from a wholly different stream of corporate-sown torment—as The New York Times recently concluded, no matter what, “it is Mr. Murdoch who will be the real winner,” as fitting an epigraph for our age as any. But on the bright side, The Avengers might be able to team up with the X-Men now!