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July 17, 2011



'The thing is that the Tin Man had a heart all along, the Scarecrow had a brain and the Lion had courage.'

Osborne & Miliband come to mind for the first and last, but I'm not sure about the second.


The Wizard of Oz was actually written as a monetary allegory for the period when William Jennings Bryan (the cowardly lion) was campaigning for president on a platform of monetary expansion by adding silver to circulation as well as gold.

The tin man is the manufacturers. The Scarecrow is the farmers. The Wicked Witches of the East and West are the banks in New York and Chicago. The yellow brick road and 'Oz' refer to gold and ounces, respectively. All Dorothy has to do is click her silver slippers together to save the day.

Funnily enough, Dorothy's silver slippers were changed for ruby ones in the film adaptation - to obscure the analogy perhaps?

Charles Wheeler

Those from the corporate media arguing that the corporate media have little effect involves quite a bit of circular reasoning. I hear people parroting what they've read in the paper that day all the time. Is this simply because the media reflect or reinforce their own views on immigration, healthcare, foreign policy, etc.?

Of course, those propagating these views have an interest in claiming they are simply neutral intermediaries, but this isn't very convincing. Many people get almost all their economic and political information from media owned by plutocrats whose interests diverge from their own. It would be remarkable if they just happened to share those opinions independently.

The current crisis, for instance, caused by a profligate and out-of-control financial system, which has captured government, has been revised to have been caused by government action, government spending, government control. The ease with which this revisionism has been almost universally accepted would indicate the power of the media to shape political discourse.

Of course, if you had a vested interest in the status quo, you would want to deny the possibility of such manipulation. As soon as propaganda is revealed as such, it loses its power - just as pulling back the curtain revealed the impotence of the Wizard. But that just underlines the power of the illusion.

Can it really be that Fox News is a simple reflection of American public opinion?


"The current crisis, for instance, caused by a profligate and out-of-control financial system"

The _financial system_ made government borrow more than it can repay? How?


Your quaint UKcentric view is showing again. Murdoch has media interests across the globe. BSkyB might be of some importance to an English person, but most of the world has never heard of it. Another way to look at this, is to ask whether there is another country in the world where a rag like the News of the World could operate for such a long period of time.

Richard Gadsden

The _financial system_ made government borrow more than it can repay? How?

By going bust and forcing the government to bail it out while simultaneously bankrupting the economy and crashing taxes?


It's not often I disagree with you Chris, but I think you're totally wrong on this one.

I'd revisit what you've read about ideology - Mark Fisher's Capitalist Realism is a good place as any to start: http://www.o-books.com/obookssite/book/detail/358

But on a more concrete level, look at the MPs expenses row last year. There were dozens of institutions that deserved a stiff dose of transparency. What about the fund-holders who own voting shares in banks? What about commercial pressure groups, lobbyists, private contractors engaged in outsourced public works? They were all better candidates for demands for transparency than MPs (and almost no actual corruption was flushed out in that one either). But MPs fiddled dominated the news agenda for months - and the advantage wasn't *party* political as much as it delegitimised regulators.

This is not just something that Murdoch is behind - it's almost the whole press corps in the UK.

Murdoch has heavy vested interests in confounding EU regulators and uses his leverage to promote personal objectives. He has established the fact that any politician who gets in the way of *those* objectives is finished, and most politicians will give you examples of colleagues who were quietly knifed in one way or another after stepping over this line.


Liam Dutton Is Wot did it..... Fascist rain monger.


Paulie : 11.06am

Yes, this strikes me as being closer to reality than the article. I think also that Murdoch's dominance of his staff has led to the News International papers vying for supremacy in who can do most in their reporting to support and flatter their leader, and his outlook on the world.

As a result, is it really that much of a surprise, since the Times takeover at least, that there has been nurtured a whole army of Rupert-clones, who have brought a similar malignant narcissism to the positions of influence into which they have propelled themselves?


I've heard several commentators after today's Murdoch hearing using this exact same analogy. I think this goes to show the alarming power and influence S&M now wields.

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