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Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Murdoch a la Trudeau

From the MediaGuardian UK:

Five years after he first appeared on the Simpsons, Rupert Murdoch has been given rather less sympathetic treatment in another American cartoon institution - Doonesbury.

The News Corporation chief is said to be "amused" by his portrayal in the strip, which has long been the scourge of presidents and the American establishment.

In the cartoon Mr Murdoch is featured taking part in a phone-in about Outfoxed, a US documentary that claims to expose the bias behind Fox News, the US news channel owned by the media mogul.

"Mr M, the film shows in detail how Fox News has effectively become the broadcast arm of the Bush White House," says anti-war activist and radio DJ Mark Slackmeyer in the cartoon.

"Well, that's right Mark," replies Mr Murdoch. "No administration has ever had its own network before. We saw a need." Asked where he got the idea, he replies: "Well, I own media in China."

In today's strip, when the DJ accuses Fox News of "telling its reporters what to say and how to say it", Mr Murdoch retorts that it's "not because of a political agenda".

"Why then? asks Slackmeyer. "Look, these people aren't very bright, okay? Show them some love," replies Mr Murdoch.

Anyone who has a shred of respect for the constituionally dictated role the press should have in AMerica can simply not stand idly by while Murdoch, specifically, and his ilk, generally, destroy journalism in the name of greed and ideology. Hats off to Gary Trudeau, again.

Now, that said, I know someone out there has access to the very first of Mr. Trudeau's cartoons, from back in the day at Yale. A scan of it would certainly be very much appreciated.

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