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Lucid, forceful. I am most impressed by the way he grasps the central truth of the incapacity of our institutions to cope with Murdoch.
Rupert Murdoch ruined my life. I'm not a famous soap star, celebrity, politician, rival company or former employee, so he didn't do it deliberately. But slowly, insidiously, over thirty years his influence on my world, my culture, my books, my friends, my professional world, and the politics of my nation has been nearly all to the bad.
The Fall of the House of Murdoch began life as a blog on the leading US left-wing website the Daily Kos (which receives 20 million page hits a week). Inspired by the support I got for the blog, I decided to work it up into a book, a blow-by-blow account of the moment when Rupert Murdoch’s media dominance in the English speaking world was exposed and challenged.
I'm a dramatist, so The Fall of the House of Murdoch will have a dramatic structure, framed by those tumultuous 20 days in July when the News of the World collapsed, and the Murdochs were hauled before Parliament, and the most powerful man in my lifetime had to meet the people's elected representatives.
Murdoch senior’s appearance before the Select Committee on Culture and Media was like the climax of The Wizard of Oz. The progress of the hacking scandal, and then the 80 year old's stumbling, contrite, sometimes cantankerous performance, was the pulling back of a curtain to expose a frail old man with a large mouthpiece. The fear was gone: the mystique exposed. The power has begun to evaporate...
But each chapter will also flash back over the 30 years to chart the rise of the most powerful media magnate in history; his relationship with Thatcher and Reagan and the deregulation of the markets and the rise of international cross platform monopolies; his collision with the Royal Family; and the slow degradation of a model of journalism that 'speaks truth to power'.
Due for publication in Spring 2012, I call The Fall of the House of Murdoch an alternative Leveson report, because it will make international, political, economic and personal connections the official enquiry will not dare to.
Chapter One 4th July: Before the Fall
To say that Rupert Murdoch ruined my life, and probably ruined yours, is only partly hyperbole.
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