(15 MARCH 2023. BEWARE THE IDES OF MARCH.)
AS OF WEDNESDAY MORNING, I HAVE RENEWED CONTACT WITH THE WEB COMPANY. I'LL TRY TO ADJUST TO NEW CONDITIONS IN NEXT FEW DAYS.
THANKS FOR THE NOTES, YOU HARDY FEW WHO NOTICED I HAD BEEN DISAPPEARED.
TO BE CONTINUED. MAYBE.
IT IS, AFTER ALL, THE IDES OF MARCH. GV
Rupert Murdoch's star agitator, Tucker Carlson, is sharing the secrets of his squirrelly heart, via internal e-mail. He says he hates Donald Trump, as opposed to the slavish adoration he shows on Fox Fables.
How to explain this?
Your explanation is welcome on Comments. (below)
Meanwhile, Alex Murdaugh is locked up, permanently.
Rupert Murdoch may be out a billion dollars or more for emitting falsities about the Dominion company and called it "journalism," when he actually admits they are lies.
I was wondering about the two blokes with similar names a couple of weeks ago, wondering if they are related, so I looked it up.
“Originally, the name was a nickname for a person associated with the sea,” says the website, House of Names. The name Murdoch derives from one of two Gaelic names which have become indistinguishable from each other. The first of these, Muireach, means belonging to the sea or a mariner. The second name is Murchadh, which means “sea warrior.”
As for the other man in the news: The name “Murdaugh” is “an altered form of Murdoch,” according to “The Dictionary of American Family Names.”
I do not mean to make light of the terrible events in South Carolina that sent Alex Murdaugh, a so-called scion of an old family off to prison in handcuffs, convicted of the murders of his wife and younger son. And there are other deaths in the backdrop, including a Murdaugh family housekeeper who died, perhaps from falling downstairs, or perhaps not. (At the very least, the scion stole her insurance money.)
That is a tale of privilege and money and also the contemporary usage of drugs. I wouldn’t have minded seeing an occasional mention of the family that profited from OxyContin (and the doctors and pharmacists and flat-out criminals who doled them out like candy, hooking thousands of poor people as well as a lawyer and “scion” with too many toys in lowland South Carolina.)
We are left with the image of a wife apparently on the verge of separation, and one son (“the little detective”) discovering more piles of OxyContin, both murdered, and the older son sitting in court, thinking, what?
Also in the news is the similarly-named Murdoch, Rupert, who has been infecting public discourse going back to his origins in Australia. He brought his sniggering style of “journalism” to Great Britain and then to the United States.
I still remember when a quirky liberal tabloid, the New York Post, morphed into a Murdoch property in the 1970s.
Soon we were treated to the Page Six gossip of a lightweight real-estate poseur who would brag about the women he had slept with, allegedly. For many, that was the first time they ever heard the name “Trump.” So we have Rupert Murdoch to thank for that.
Recently, in the manner of ganglords, Rupert Murdoch turned on Donald Trump when he began losing at the polls. A Post headline referred to “Trumpty-Dumpty” after recent congressional elections.
However, Fox television continued to make money from blather by its commentators – most scandalously in the wake of Jan. 6, 2021, when Trump’s legion of thugs attacked the Capitol. The most famous names on Fox – I cannot even type their names, and of course I never, ever, watch them – stuck with their on-air position that Jan. 6 was a picnic for gentle tourists.
In their spare time, however, these paragons of Fox journalism ridiculed some of the buffoon lawyers supporting Trump, and they acknowledged that Trump did lose the 2020 election. But tell that to their viewers out there? People like Tucker Carlson worried about the company profits.
“They endorsed,” Mr. Murdoch said under oath in response to direct questions about the Fox hosts Sean Hannity, Jeanine Pirro, Lou Dobbs and Maria Bartiromo, in a $1.6-billion defamation lawsuit by Dominion Voting Systems, the New York Times reported.
“I would have liked us to be stronger in denouncing it in hindsight,” he added, while also disclosing that he was always dubious of Mr. Trump’s claims of widespread voter fraud.
Now he tells us.
Rupert Murdoch has testified that he knew his stars really did not believe the lies they were spewing on-air. He sounds a bit dazed from recognizing reality. But his words are out there. Rupert Murdoch does not believe what makes him rich. So much for journalism.
Alex Murdaugh has been sentenced to two life terms. He’s yesterday’s news, sad and horrible news.
Rupert Murdoch created a media empire that disregards truth – a television network that helped send thousands of thugs climbing into the American capitol building.
Rupert Murdoch undermined a nation, leading to a Gaetz-Greene-McCarthy infestation in Congress. (Can he be deported?)
Now his empire is being sued. Apparently, over half the Fox stock is owned outside the Murdoch dynasty. If Murdoch’s acknowledgements ultimately hurt the product -- bad ratings = defections by sponsors – the Murdoch dynasty could be in trouble.
Your comments about the strange psycho-drama with Carlson and Trump, and the bizarre hiccups of reality from Rupert. Under "Comments:"
Measuring Covid Deaths, by David Leonhardt. July 17, 2023. NYT online.
The United States has reached a milestone in the long struggle against Covid: The total number of Americans dying each day — from any cause — is no longer historically abnormal….
After three horrific years, in which Covid has killed more than one million Americans and transformed parts of daily life, the virus has turned into an ordinary illness.
The progress stems mostly from three factors:
First, about three-quarters of U.S. adults have received at least one vaccine shot.
Second, more than three-quarters of Americans have been infected with Covid, providing natural immunity from future symptoms. (About 97 percent of adults fall into at least one of those first two categories.)
Third, post-infection treatments like Paxlovid, which can reduce the severity of symptoms, became widely available last year.
“Nearly every death is preventable,” Dr. Ashish Jha, who was until recently President Biden’s top Covid adviser, told me. “We are at a point where almost everybody who’s up to date on their vaccines and gets treated if they have Covid, they rarely end up in the hospital, they almost never die.”
That is also true for most high-risk people, Jha pointed out, including older adults — like his parents, who are in their 80s — and people whose immune systems are compromised. “Even for most — not all but most —immuno-compromised people, vaccines are actually still quite effective at preventing against serious illness,” he said. “There has been a lot of bad information out there that somehow if you’re immuno-compromised that vaccines don’t work.”
That excess deaths have fallen close to zero helps make this point: If Covid were still a dire threat to large numbers of people, that would show up in the data.
One point of confusion, I think, has been the way that many Americans — including we in the media — have talked about the immuno-compromised. They are a more diverse group than casual discussion often imagines.
Most immuno-compromised people are at little additional risk from Covid — even people with serious conditions, such as multiple sclerosis or a history of many cancers. A much smaller group, such as people who have received kidney transplants or are undergoing active chemotherapy, face higher risks.
Covid’s toll, to be clear, has not fallen to zero. The C.D.C.’s main Covid webpage estimates that about 80 people per day have been dying from the virus in recent weeks, which is equal to about 1 percent of overall daily deaths.
The official number is probably an exaggeration because it includes some people who had virus when they died even though it was not the underlying cause of death. Other C.D.C. data suggests that almost one-third of official recent Covid deaths have fallen into this category. A study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases came to similar conclusions.
Dr. Shira Doron, the chief infection control officer at Tufts Medicine in Massachusetts, told me that “age is clearly the most substantial risk factor.” Covid’s victims are both older and disproportionately unvaccinated. Given the politics of vaccination, the recent victims are also disproportionately
Republican and white.
Each of these deaths is a tragedy. The deaths that were preventable — because somebody had not received available vaccines and treatments — seem particularly tragic. (Here’s a Times guide to help you think about when to get your next booster shot.)
From the great Maureen Dowd:
As I write this, I’m in a deserted newsroom in The Times’s D.C. office. After working at home for two years during Covid, I was elated to get back, so I could wander around and pick up the latest scoop.
But in the last year, there has been only a smattering of people whenever I’m here, with row upon row of empty desks. Sometimes a larger group gets lured in for a meeting with a platter of bagels."
--- Dowd writes about the lost world of journalists clustered in newsrooms at all hours, smoking, drinking, gossipping, making phone calls, typing, editing.
"Putting out the paper," we called it.
Much more than nostalgia.