The Rise of the Murdochs is a crime drama: Anatomy of an evil empire.

Rupert Murdoch has been a Mafia don in plain sight for decades. And it hasn't stopped yet...

“The News of the World was like having a division of the SS at your beck and call. It could be sent into action and it would execute your orders to. the fucking. full stop. Everyone’s life would get destroyed and whatever you asked to be delivered would be delivered. You had to break the law. You conned people. You lied to almost everyone you came across to do with the story.”

That quote, spoken by Graham Johnson, Reporter for the News of the World from 1995 to 1997, was one of the most striking in a collection of striking quotes during episode one of the BBC’s documentary series ‘The Rise of the Murdoch Dynasty’.

Straight after Johnson’s quote, the documentary cut to a clip from Wogan where Rupert Murdoch himself asserted:

“We don’t believe that people who set themselves up… as public role models… we’re living in a democracy, our readers want to judge people by their character.”

The audience laughed at his cheek, at his front, at his brazen doublespeak. It seemed almost unbelievable that the devil was sitting in front of them and sharing quips with Wogan. Look! Satan can pretend to be human.

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Later in the same episode, Nigel Farage speaks admiringly of the way Rupert Murdoch, through the slack skinned puppet of Neil Wallace, then editing The Sun while the actual editor was on holiday, made Tony Blair commit to a referendum on entering the Euro, and effectively stymied any democratic discussion of that issue:

“The price of Rupert Murdoch’s support for Tony Blair was that Blair promised he would not take us into the European currency without first having a referendum. If Rupert Murdoch had not done that, we would have joined the Euro in 1999 and I doubt Brexit would have happened.”

Farage, a man with gangsterish tendencies himself, respect the Mafia Don moves that Murdoch makes. In his segment, Farage goes on to make a performative show of saying that he asked Murdoch’s permission to appear in the documentary:

“To be honest with you, I did ask him whether I wanted to do this and, if he’d said no, I wouldn’t have done it. And I think historically, some of this stuff is really important.”

That says it all. We know Murdoch has no interest in democracy, however, his papers twist and shout like they do. His only interest — as Alastair Campbell, of all people — says in the episode is Rupert Murdoch, Rupert Murdoch’s business interests, Rupert Murdoch’s legacy, Rupert Murdoch’s children, Rupert Murdoch’s enemies (who are sometimes also his children), and Rupert Murdoch’s ego.

Go back to the first quote I used in this newsletter, from Graham Johnson, and look at how he compared a place he worked at with the SS — the Nazi’s most ruthless, murderous, and heartless regiments. They were the soldiers who wore death’s heads on their uniforms. They were some of history’s most unequivocally evil bastards. And that’s where Johnson thinks he worked — a place that was evil to its core.

Yes, The News of the World was killed off, but it didn’t die. Its body was destroyed but its soul hopped seamlessly to The Sun on Sunday which launched the following week. Following the revelations about phone hacking by News Corp papers, including hacking the voice mails of a murdered girl, Murdoch grotesquely pantomimed before a parliamentary committee saying:

“This is the most humble day of my life.”

I don’t believe Murdoch is physically able of feeling humble. The whole thing was a grim farce. It was like Don Corleone popping up to say he was sorry about the whole cannoli business.

I’ll review future episodes of this fascinating crime saga in the newsletter. Let me know what you thought of the show and which bits most interested you. Thanks for reading as ever.