Friday, June 29, 2012

Chairman Rupert finds a way for newspapers to thrive ...

(Above: Uncle Joe).

Delusionalism is a naughty word, which shouldn't really exist (though amazingly you can find people willing to elevate it into a philosophy).

But the condition does, and it usually resides amongst delusionalists, which gets us on to the safer dictionary turf of delusional. Here's a few handy definitions:

1.a. The act or process of deluding.
b. The state of being deluded.
2. A false belief or opinion: labored under the delusion that success was at hand.
3. Psychiatry A false belief strongly held in spite of invalidating evidence, especially as a symptom of mental illness: delusions of persecution.

Adj. 1. delusional - suffering from or characterized by delusions
psychoneurotic, neurotic - affected with emotional disorder (here)

Now here's a classic example of a delusionalist being delusional:

Now if you've been properly trained - perhaps you were alive in the time of Joe Stalin, or Chairman Mao, or any of a string of North Korean dictators - y0u might agree with that header, and marvel ...

Is there anything that Chairman Rupert can't do? At last someone has found a way to make newspapers thrive ...

Sad to say, this would make you as delusional as the delusionalist who wrote the header in the hope that the spin would fly.

If you could be bothered to evade the paywall, and burrow into the heart of the story, you'd find a beaming chairman Rupert holding up a newspaper:

No doubt as a result of just looking at the image, the hearts of some admirers stopped for forty, fifty or even sixty seconds, and for others it brought back fond memories of the good old days:

Put in this context, it's easy to see why an old man clutching a tree killing rag priced at 50p should arouse heroic sentiments in the hearts of the faithful, as they valiantly struggle against internet infidels, traitors and lickspittle 'tubes lackeys.

And the spin within the actual piece, amusingly placed in the "media - non-futurist, true believers" section, showed that kool-aid drinking was alive and well:

He (Murdoch) said each company "would benefit from enhanced strategic alignment and increased operational flexibility with respect to an unparalleled portfolio of assets, brands and franchises".

In a statement to all staff, Mr Murdoch said News Corporation's publishing businesses were "greatly undervalued by the sceptics".

"Through this transformation we will unleash their real potential, and be able to better articulate the true value they hold for shareholders," he said. (google this text for the link)

Transformation! Unleash! Real potential! Better articulate! True value!

Corporate gobbledegook of the first water.

News Corps true colours, and that's why we love you.

Meanwhile, if you head off to the field of soursobs tended by cynical farmers, the news for newspapers isn't so solid. Even the header is a downer, News Corp confirms split as Rupert Murdoch steps back from papers.

Steps back from papers? But, but, but, billygoat, he's found a way forward, a way for papers to thrive ...

Industry analysts say the faster-growing TV side would be valued more highly by new investors not willing to buy shares in a company burdened by newspapers, an industry facing structural decline.

Structural decline? Lordy, lordy, is there any other bad news to think about?

A question remains, however, about which of the two new companies would bear the financial risks of the ongoing fallout from the News of the World phone-hacking scandal, which has already cost News Corp more than £100m.

Besides legal costs, News Corp also faces a potential investigation and fines in the US under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which punishes companies that have bribed officials abroad.

In terms of risk management, it's just a statement of the bleeding obvious, but over at News Ltd in the media section, the bleeding obvious is that which dare not speak its name, not when an euphoric outburst over a glass or two of kool-aid is required.

As part of the restructuring, Murdoch will be taking a step back from newspaper publishing, the business that is closest to his heart. He will remain as chairman of both new companies but will act as chief executive of just one – the media and entertainment business. (here)

Yep, Chairman Rupert has found a way forward for newspapers, by leaving them to their own devices and to a new CEO.

Quick, is anyone in the family to hand and available and willing? Lachlan maybe, after a seven-year absence? Maybe, or maybe not:

Others being mooted for the job include Tom Mockridge, the chief executive of News International who was parachuted in from Sky Italia in July last year to replace Rebekah Brooks when she was forced to resign at the height of the phone-hacking scandal.

What about the nattering naysayers of negativity?

Murdoch said he was convinced the publishing company had a bright future. "I am convinced that both of these new business will be able to reach new heights."

It's just that I'll be safely on the plains ...

He added that he had not doubt the "naysayers" would see the announcement as a reflection of concern for the future of newspapers.
"Nothing could be further from the truth," he said. "People will pay for news. It is the most valuable commodity in the world.

You have to admire the old fox, and the way he conflates the future of newspapers with the future of news. People will pay for news, and they will pay for opinion, but the days of paying for news and opinion in a tree-killing newspaper are on a short leash.

Deep down the ongoing outrage at News Ltd about the NBN rolling out probably came from the realisation that each new town, suburb and city that was wired took Australia that bit closer to the end of hard copy news ...

Does any of this complexity penetrate the denialism at work in The Australian?

Nope. Delusionalism is all the go, including Christopher Joye's bizarrely irrelevant defence of proprietor rights in Editorial stance a right of media owners, behind the paywall, swept up into the coverage ...

Today the equity in Fairfax is worth about $1.3bn, based on Bloomberg data. If the Fairfax board is right, and its readers passionately believe that Fairfax should deliver a specific media product -- one that is determined exclusively by Fairfax employees rather than the business's owners -- then they have the legally enshrined right to buy the business and control it for themselves. And since the share price is sitting near record lows, this might be an opportune time to do so.

A populist management staff public buyout so the commune can continue to flourish? Um, what was that we read about an industry in structural decline?

Should we also be doing a staff-management-frequent flyers takeover of Qantas in the name of better cabin food?

The point, I guess, is, if you're in the business of wholesale transformation, you need to indulge in a little distraction, the key skill of the magician. So when covering the bad news for newspapers in the Murdoch empire, drag in Joye giving Fairfax a hard time, drag in a story on Seven, drag in a story about Malcolm Turnbull being natteringly negative, and top it all off by throwing in Chairman Rupert with a new vision and a new way forward. Bob's your uncle, or perhaps Peg is your aunt.

But what's the bet that hearts are beating a little faster in The Australian, the most vulnerable of the Australian rags, always reliant for support from the much more successful tabloids? How long before a bean counter runs a counter over their profit and loss columns?

Will it be time then for The Australian to go tabloid?

Well it being Friday, the pond has a way forward for the rag. It's called the Lara Bingle bump.

Sorry, after the trauma of the last few weeks, the pond is a little light-headed.

There was Tony Abbott saying this very morning that he was disappointed that stubbornness and pride had been on display in the past week in federal politics.

And he said it straight-faced to the mike, without a hint of shame. Truly a python can swallow a goat ... and a moral pygmy can pretend to be an elephant.

But did the pond shriek and howl?

No way, it's Friday, and so it's back to the Bingle bump, and a little harmless trolling of men who click mice with their penises.

Already the bump has turned the hits on this site into a mega force, doubling daily visitors.

Now if we just throw in the magical SEO words "Lara Bingle nude in the bath", watch the moths head to the flames ...

I know, I know, it's shameless trolling, but is it any more shameless than running a story with the header Murdoch finds a way for papers to thrive?

Even the Lara Bingle bump isn't that delusional ...

(Below: point of order. While there is no visual evidence she's nude in bath, use your imagination, as viewers of the third episode of Being Lara Bingle were required to do, with gratuitous titillation being the climactic aim of each episode. Bummer dude, all that way for nothing).

1 comment:

  1. Chairman Rupert loves newspapers and "The Australian" truly. And I'm not bullshitting about that! He just loves power and money and influence much, much more...


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