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Rupert Murdoch, Cinematized

Rupert Murdoch’s recent acquisition of the Wall Street
Journal has generated no end of controversy and dire prognosticating. The larger-than-life media tycoon, some fear,
will turn the sober, respectable Journal into something resembling the (Murdoch-owned)
New York Post, with its screaming headlines and giddy lust for blood and

Murdoch-induced paranoia – and the bashing it inspires – is
nothing new, as Jack Shafer explores on in an article and video that
discuss the various film and television incarnations of the media mogul. Shafer calls Murdoch-ian characters
"cinematic shorthand for filmmakers in a hurry to depict opportunism,
greed, vulgarity, and nastiness."

Here is Murdoch (played by Barry Humphries) in Selling Hitler, a 1991 British docudrama
about the forged Hitler diaries. And
here is someone very like him – Octopus Inc. CEO Rod McCain (Kevin Kline) – in Fierce Creatures.

Shafer mostly reserves judgment on the films until he gets
to Tomorrow Never Dies, which he calls
"an awful James Bond film" in which "the plot makes no
sense."  He’s not alone, but
Jonathan Pryce, in the role of Murdoch-esque Elliot Carter, is a lot of fun to

Instead of watching Fox News, why not have your own Murdoch Film Festival?

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