By weaponizing "news," Rupert Murdoch set the stage for Brexit, Donald Trump's election, and the eruption of neo-Nazi violence in Charlottesville. Murdoch is one of the truly guilty men of our times, and he must be stopped.
NEW YORK – In 1940, with Britain standing alone against Nazi Germany, a short book called Guilty Men was published under the pseudonym of “Cato.” Its authors were the future Labour Party leader Michael Foot, the Liberal journalist Frank Owen, and the Conservative journalist Peter Howard. Guilty Men was a jeremiad that called to account the men – including Neville Chamberlain and Lord Halifax, then still members of Winston Churchill’s cabinet – whose appeasement of Adolf Hitler had helped to bring the United Kingdom to the brink of annihilation.
Today, it is again time to name names, and not only in the UK, where democracy is writhing with Brexit fever. In the United States, a fetid paranoia has taken hold, with the white supremacist aggression in Charlottesville, Virginia over the August 12 weekend – where a peaceful counter-protester was killed and many were injured – just the latest manifestation.
President Donald Trump, no surprise, doesn’t want to name names. It took him two days to condemn the racist groups that wreaked havoc in Charlottesville. And then he quickly backtracked, equating the Klansmen and “alt-right” extremists brandishing swastikas and chanting Nazi slogans with those who turned out to oppose them. In fact, Trump owes his presidency to the forces of rage and resentment on display in Charlottesville.