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Friday, July 22, 2011

There are pies, and then there are pies
DC Larson

By this moment, all have heard about it: Rupert Murdoch, testifying before Parliment, unceremoniously decorated with a shaving-foam pie. It's been the topic of hard infotainment chatter --assailed by some, cheered by others.

From a tactical standpoint, it was counterproductive. It shifted focus from larger and more substantial matters, making Murdoch a sympathetic figure (for some), casting his wife Wendi as heroic defender, and giving the Fox friends something else about which to fill airwaves.

Remember, though, we're dealing here with people who've amassed international fortunes from manipulating images, constructing "realities," channeling public sentiment, and choreographing photo ops to arouse desired emotions. It's what they do and they're quite good at it. They know well its effectiveness.

Behind that, is it really hard to conceive of Team Murdoch, their characteristic Jolly Roger a-flap in the political-press current, contriving the attack? After all, the wizened, media baron bullfrog couldn't have hoped for more felicitous results. Yes, critics and investigators continue to hound him. But he has melted some hearts.

Now, it is true that the simplest answer is often the correct one. And perhaps it was just as it appeared: an unknown comic, seeking the front page-moment's luster, uncaring as to circumstances or his shenanigan's impact on weighty issues.

But maybe -- just maybe -- we've all been played again. Duped onlookers to the latest example of news media diversion, Rupert Murdoch style.


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