[Apologies to Gene Kelly for my butchered title above… man, I miss being able to see great dancing on the big screen, don’t you?… BTW, Gene’s Gotta Dance number with Cyd Charisse from Singing in the Rain is like the Genesis Chapter 2 of American dance. Rent this film immediately if you’ve never seen it.] I debated whether I had anything important to say this week. (Probably not, but here I go anyway…) I also debated whether to take on weird high school fashion (Ugg boots and shorts? Thanks a lot, Britney!), or a whacked-out U..S. immigration policy, or my “losin’ ugly” local baseball teams.
And the winner is: Rupert Murdoch and his NewsCorp/Fox media empire! If this conservative Australian isn’t the Attilla the Hun of the 21st century, I don’t know who is. His unsolicited $5 billion offer to buy the influential Wall Street Journal shows about as much class as Jake Blues’ inquiry: “How much for the women?”, in that hilarious French restaurant scene. Except Rupert’s not the least bit funny.
He owns the Fox televison network, whose ongoing support of The Simpsons
does not even begin to make up for the societal punishment that is American Idol. Murdoch also owns cable’s resident whore, the Fox News Network, the Voice of Big Brother for the new millenium. Heck, he’s even bought MySpace now. (What… you thought that guy Tom was really your Friend? Ha. The real Tom’s probably 55 years old, and spending his dough living on a yacht down in Costa Rica, trying to pick up 22-year-olds.)
Oh yeah, let’s not forget: Big kudos to the Dow Jones company and the Bancroft family for kicking old Rupe to the curb, thereby committing to some form of journalistic integrity. ‘Just say no’ to greed. After years of coveting the Journal, Murdoch made a huge, over-valued, and probably very tempting offer, but the WSJ’s soul is not for sale (or at least not to him).
I don’t read the Journal, but my wife subscribes to Smart Money magazine, published by the same company. It’s a pretty good read at times, at least for a glossy rag wholeheartedly devoted to helping the rich get richer. (Full disclosure: I’m rich, by almost any honest, worldwide standard… all the more reason to champion the poor and bite the hand that feeds me. I wanna share the wealth and blessings… but not with the likes of Murdoch.)
So, the Chicago Tribune company is finally considering selling the Cubs, and somebody said no to a big Australian bully. Maybe there’s hope for American media companies, and for Western Civilization, after all. Just bring back the great movie musicals, and then we’ll know for sure.