By Robert Kane Pappas
I have been trying to get my mind around the “death of privacy” and what this means and portends personally, politically and economically.
Yesterday, when Michael Moore was interviewed by Susan Sarandon in front of a packed auditorium at the Tribecca Film Festival, I asked a question from a hand held audience mic:
“Hi,” (and then briefly tried to jog Mike’s memory; he had once recommended my film on his website) “I made ‘Orwell Rolls In His Grave’ and I would like to ask both of you whether – because of your work – you feel that you are under surveillance?”
The Huffington Post, The Daily Beast and the Guardian have each led their stories with my question. Both Sarandon’s and Moore’s responses were striking and personal but the Huffington Post missed the key response from Moore. However, the Daily Beast and the Guardian highlighted it: namely, that Mike addressed the Murdoch UK hacking scandal and predicted that the hacking that had been going on over there has also been going on here in the US.
I have believed for some time that one of the coins of the realm of political control is blackmail.
Murdoch deals directly with government leaders around the world. Years ago, I interviewed his chef and housekeeper, who had on a lark, flipped through his rolodex. They gushed; “every name was a leader of this or that country or people like Michael Milken, every telephone number the person’s private number. One day the President of China’s daughter showed up with her entourage.”
Murdoch had also given her a book contract (like Gingrich) to write a book about her father. He now has a strong presence in the Chinese media. Thank God Rupert is such a patriot!
The idea of such access to leaders, coupled with a huge organization which has been shown to be capable of accessing private information, and publicizing it around the world instantly – such power is unprecedented. Plus, the other major networks follow News Corp’s lead. Stories can be driven and kept alive, careers made or destroyed, the public can be influenced. Consider Roger Ailes, and the fact that GOP candidates running for the Presidential nomination had contracts with FOX.
The mainstream news outlets have been mumbling that the News Corp hacking story hasn’t “Jumped the Atlantic.” Yesterday, Michael Moore tried to help import it.