16 July 2011
by Bridgette P. LaVictoire
Larry Flynt is not exactly the kind of person that one thinks of when thinking about morality and virtue. This is a man who sells pornography for a living. So, when he says that what Rupert Murdoch has done is wrong, eh, maybe it’s a good idea to listen to him.
In the Washington Post, Flynt wrote, in part,:
One of the few values Rupert Murdoch and I share is the importance of a free press.
I’m sure we would both agree that it is an unimpeachable right, especially in a day and age when few pure freedoms still exist in this country. We recognize that, if we lose free expression in the media, we will have lost everything. And, perhaps most important, we understand that in the quest to protect this freedom, boundaries must be pushed.
The way in which we push those boundaries, however, is where we differ. I test limits by publishing controversial material and paying people who are willing to step forward and expose political hypocrisy. Murdoch’s minions, on the other hand, pushed limits by allegedly engaging in unethical or criminal activity: phone hacking, bribery, coercing criminal behavior and betraying the trust of their readership. If News Corp.’s reported wrongdoings are true, what Murdoch’s company has been up to does not just brush against boundaries — it blows right past them.
One cannot live off the liberty and benefits of a free press while ignoring the privacy of the people. People such as Murdoch and I, as heads of publishing conglomerates, have a responsibility to maintain and respect this boundary. While Murdoch may understand the significance of what we do under the umbrella of free speech, he may fail to recognize the liability attached to publication. Simply put, he publishes what he wants, apparently regardless of how he gets information and heedless of the responsibility associated with the power he wields.
Rupert Murdoch has no morals. He has shown a willingness to get rich at whatever cost. In the cliffhanger Doctor Who episode “A Good Man Goes To War”, the Doctor states that “good men have no need for rules.” This is because good men will do what is right for others no matter what. Bad people need rules, but the truly horrible people are those like Murdoch who ignore the rules for their own gain. They do not care who they hurt or destroy in the process.
When a man who made his fortune selling pictures of naked women says that someone is immoral, you have to wonder, just how immoral someone has to be to be below the moral compass of someone like Flynt.
While Rupert Murdoch is busy apologizing to the world for his wrongdoings, the reality is that he has not learned anything from this. He feels no real guilt, remorse, or shame. In the end, all he cares about is saving his empire.
Indeed, he is not that different from a different emperor who wanted nothing but power and took what he could, when he could, where he could and did not care who died in the process…yes, I’m talking about the fictitious Emperor Palpatine.
Take off the hood, and they look remarkably similar don’t they?