Sunday, 8 May 2016

Rupert Murdoch's crusade against science

Kiss the Sciences Goodbye: Murdoch Destroys National Geographic

2 May, 2016

I have to say, this truly pisses me off. When I read last year that Rupert Murdoch had acquired National Geographic, I thought; well how can he screw that up? Here’s the answer.

The very name National Geographic has always been your first clue what they’re about…a periodical that takes you to exotic places—”Geographic”—you’re not likely to go in your lifetime. That was especially true before air travel became available to the masses, but it’s remained their goal ever since. Articles about the steppes of Siberia, the Pampas of South America, deep sea exploration with Jaques Cousteau, entire issues dedicated to space exploration—places you’ll just never go, NG took you there.

And now we have a National Geographic television special on the story of God. That’s arguably the least “natural” concept I can conceive of, and something the old NG recognized as well outside of their bailiwick. No more.

Speaking as an atheist, I’m not “anti-God.” I believe folks have a right to believe whatever the hell they want, provided that right doesn’t collide with someone else’s belief. If you want to worship Elvis’s bidet at Graceland? It’s a free country.

As someone who’s watched the right-wing oligarchs taking over more and more media in our society, I’m alarmed by it, and the influence they have on the sciences. And reality itself.

Rupert Murdoch owns right-wing rags from Perth to Paris. Twenty years ago, he brought his batshittery to the States in the form of Fox News where it’s served as the media arm for the Republican Party ever since. When he bought the Wall Street Urinal a few years back, few thought it could have gotten any worse than it already was. It did. The Koch boys promising to dump $900 million in the coming election, and Sheldon Adelson buying up newspapers everywhere from Tel Aviv to Las Vegas so that he can further expand his own selfish interests.

There are several commonalities between all of these men. They’re strong supporters of deregulation of industry (particularly the petroleum industry, including fracking), they’re huge proponents of gun rights, they scorn science, and they all… ALL laugh at the concept of climate change. Because in their world, profits come first. The planet will just have to fix itself.

And this latest obscenity, the National Geographic, of all publications, taking on “the Story of God” just shows how powerful these monied interests are.

Religion is supposed to be a personal belief system. Something between you and your deity. Something you share in the privacy of your home and with fellow believers in your church. NOT something told as a “story” by a periodical that’s been dedicated to teaching the natural sciences for nearly 130 years.

We’re losing, folks. The oligarchs are winning. And shame on Morgan Freeman for allowing himself to be a part of this travesty.

Bruce Lindner, Staff Writer

American News X

Rupert Murdoch Takes Over National Geographic, Then Lays Off Award-Winning Staff

November 3, 2015 

Murdoch’s Got Plans For National Geographic.

The memo went out, and November 3rd 2015 came to the National Geographic office. This was the day in which Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox took over National Geographic. The management of National Geographic sent out an email telling its staff, all of its staff, all to report to their headquarters, and wait by their phones. This pulled back every person who was in the field, every photographer, every reporter, even those on vacation had to show up on this fateful day.
As these phones rang, one by one National Geographic let go the award-winning staff, and the venerable institution was no more
The name now belongs to Rupert Murdoch, and he has plans for it. The CEO of National Geographic Society, Greg Knell, tried to claim back in September that there “there won’t be an [editorial] turn in a direction that is different form the National Geographic heritage.” Murdoch’s move today only served to prove Knell’s words hollow, with hundreds of talented people now served their pink slips. And with the recognition thatMurdoch’s other enterprises do not reflect the standards held by National Geographic, and with Murdoch’s history of changing the editorial direction of purchased properties, today’s move indicates that we can expect a similar shift for National Geographic.
National Geographic‘s weakness has been its cable channel. While it does feature many pieces on scientific endeavors, it also has featured shows such as Doomsday Preppers and Chasing UFO’s which lacked much of the respectability of the print magazine. They have since been removed from the schedule, but the damage to the channels reputation remains, and reflects poorly upon National Geographic itself.
The National Geographic Society has long stood for science, research, and investigation. Murdoch’s companies have long stood against all three. The two positions would be in conflict, save Murdoch’s company is firmly in control. The editorial changes will therefore be severe, and erode the 127 years of publication excellence. For the men and women who brought National Geographic to worldwide prominence, the termination of employment is a tragic end both for hard-working people, and for National Geographic itself.

NZ - Silencing Science

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