Rupert Murdoch Isn't Going Anywhere - The Friday AM Quickie 9/22/23

After reading this Neuralink investigation, I can only express my hope that Elon Musk returns as a lab monkey in his next life. Have a nice weekend, folks, talk to you on Monday! - Corey

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Big News for Nepo Baby Lachlan Murdoch

His cable news network helped give America President Donald Trump and still cheers on his fascist movement. His tabloid minions ran a shockingly brazen hacking-and-blackmail operation for years in the United Kingdom, corrupting democratic governance at the highest levels. He parlayed his inheritance, a single newspaper in southern Australia, into a global empire, ruthlessly spearheading the consolidation of media companies and pushing each new property he acquired to promote his own boorish reactionary politics. He has been, in short, a world-class scourge. And yesterday, at the age of 92, Rupert Murdoch announced his retirement.

Sort of.

Murdoch, who will take on the title of "chairman emeritus" at Fox Corp and News Corp, will also retain "near-controlling stakes" in both companies -- "which to be honest gives him the same power whether he is in the saddle or on the deck chair," as one analyst put it. In his ostensible retirement letter, Murdoch said he "plan[s] to be here to participate" in coming years, including "reaching out to [employees] with thoughts, ideas, and advice" and remaining "involved every day in the contest of ideas." Despite his new title, he warned, "you can expect to see me in the office late on a Friday afternoon." The terrible tycoon claims to be "in robust health," alas.

Politico media columnist Jack Schafer doesn't believe Murdoch is going anywhere, and he's probably right. "The word retirement deserves prominent quotation marks because nowhere in Murdoch's letter announcing his move to chairman emeritus does he actually use it," Schafer writes.

"The idea that Murdoch would give up power before he dies defies everything we've learned about him. The idea that he would give up power even after he dies is equally preposterous. Murdoch didn't build his media empire only to have his children piss it away after he passes."

Eldest son Lachlan Murdoch is nominally taking over the family business, but again, only sort of. According to the Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal, Lachlan, formerly co-chair of News Corp, will become sole chair; and he will "continue" as Fox Corp executive chair and CEO. So the heir's job remains the same. "Like most CEOs, it's not clear what Lachlan actually does," notes Crikey, the Australian news site that defeated the younger Murdoch in a libel lawsuit he brought for being called Trump's "unindicted co-conspirator" in treason. Lachlan's leadership will likely be challenged as soon as Rupert eventually dies, on account of the way the Murdoch companies are structured, as the Financial Times explains. I'll save the Succession comparisons for people who actually watched the show (I only saw a couple of episodes). Politically, though, "there's not a lot of daylight between" Lachlan and his dad. So despite this torch-passing ceremony, you can expect more of the same old sh*t from Fox News and its overpaid stable of deranged blowhards.

2024 Watch: GOP Money Makes Messes for Dems

  • AIPAC Recruits Centrist Challengers to Black Progressive Incumbents The Congressional Black Caucus "has been silent on the AIPAC bid to challenge at least three of its members who are part of the so-called Squad." via the Intercept.
  • Hedge Fund CEO Who Lost to Dr. Oz Will Try Again for Pennsylvania Senate Seat Republican David McCormick, who "appears to live in Connecticut," hopes to unseat Democratic Sen. Bob Casey, and boasts the endorsement of insurrectionist lunatic Doug Mastriano. via the New York Times.
  • 15,000 People Register with No Labels in Arizona, Which Biden Won By 10,000 Votes The sketchy bipartisan third party "has so far refused to name how it is funding its work, saying it follows federal law and wants to protect the privacy of its donors." via the Associated Press.
  • DeSantis Upstaged By Antivax Navy Vet, Fiddle-Playing Congresswoman on Pathetic Iowa Tour Multiple "people close to the [Florida] governor say he has to perform well [in the Iowa caucus] or his campaign is effectively over," but he still fails to excite the Trump-loving base. via the Washington Post.

Intel: Indian Diplomats Had Role in Assassination

CBC News reports that "both human and signals intelligence," some provided by Canada's allies in the Five Eyes surveillance network, indicates the direct involvement of Indian government officials, including visiting diplomats, in the June assassination of secessionist Sikh leader and Canadian citizen Hardeep Singh Nijjar outside a temple in British Columbia. In an escalatory response to liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's accusation, India's far-right BJP government yesterday announced that it would stop processing visas for Canadians. The Financial Times reports that President Joe Biden privately "expressed concern" over the killing to Narendra Modi at the G20 summit earlier this month. Publicly, however, Canada is receiving only "muted" support from allies, the Associated Press reports. "As long as the West needs India to counter China, it is likely to look away," one foreign policy expert in New Delhi explains.


  • White House Begins Shutdown Preparations as House GOP 'Burn[s] the Whole Place Down' Donald Trump (surprise!) is egging on the extremist Republicans pushing for a government shutdown, calling this "the last chance to defund these political prosecutions against me and other Patriots." via the Associated Press.
  • Louisiana Cops Ran 'Brave Cave' Torture Center "It's essentially an unmarked interrogation warehouse where Baton Rouge citizens have been getting taken for years, strip-searched and sometimes beaten," says attorney Thomas Frampton, who represents two victims of police brutality. via NBC News.
  • Bolsonaro Tried to Rope Military Into His Coup Attempt, Former Aide Tells Investigators "'It's time for Jair to get ready for jail!' tweeted the leftwing lawmaker Guilherme Boulos in response to what he called the 'bombshell' reports about Brazil's former far-right leader." via the Guardian.
  • FTC Sues Private Equity Firm That Jacked Up Healthcare Prices in 10 States Lina Khan's case against U.S. Anesthesia Partners "represents one of the strongest moves by regulators to address complaints that the large doctor practices being built by financial firms are boosting U.S. medical prices." via the Washington Post.



That's how many people are employed by Mexican drug cartels, according to a study published yesterday in the journal Science, based on incarceration figures and drug war casualty reports. If accurate, that would make the cartels the country's fifth-largest employer. However, as the Los Angeles Times reports, the study's "model fails to capture the number of police officers, military personnel, politicians and other officials on cartel payrolls."


9/22: It's Casual Friday! Sam and Emma speak with Matt Duss, executive vice president at the Center for International Policy, to round up the biggest stories in foreign policy this week. Then, they're joined by comedian Judy Gold, host of the Kill Me Now podcast!


"F—K YOU FASCIST!" Students Confront Right-Wing Bigot

Not a lot of Charlie Kirk fans at Northern Arizona University.

Boebert's Beetlejuice Buddy Won't Get Second Date

"I'm here to provide levity, and lift burdens off of people," she says.  


"Identify ALL who are pushing the false narrative and lie that I 'turned' on President Trump... I have no idea why I was subpoenaed... I do know that whatever the DA asks me, I will speak the TRUTH... I support President Trump 117%!!!"

-- Former Trump lawyer, Jan. 6 coup plotter and QAnon whackjob L. Lin Wood, in a reassuring message to his Telegram followers after Fulton County, Georgia District Attorney Fani Willis revealed in a new court filing that Wood will serve as a witness for the prosecution in her sprawling racketeering case.

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