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AdLib On March - 11 - 2014


This Sunday saw the debut of the new incarnation of Carl Sagan’s remarkable and remembered series, “Cosmos”. This new version is hosted by the brilliant and congenial Neil deGrasse Tyson. If you missed it, here’s a taste:

Having a show about science on Primetime network tv is something to be very pleased about, considering the decline of education and graduates when it comes to science in the U.S. (and considering the programming alternative of a reality show about meth dealing snake handlers who need help with their failing restaurant and are all eligible bachelors with great singing voices). But…Cosmos was broadcast on 10 different Fox Broadcasting outlets in the U.S..

Yep, Fox. As in Fox News, your number one source for hatred of science and scientists.

One might ask how Rupert Murdoch could be running one network that includes in its mission, casting doubt, hostility and suspicion on all of science while running another network that presents a series that’s all about promoting scientific knowledge and a respect for science.

Perhaps the only science Murdoch truly believes in is the calculation of tv ratings and advertising rates. On one hand, Murdoch rakes in the ratings and revenues by having his propaganda network Fox News attack Climate Change science, economic science, social science, evolution and portrays scientists as evil, godless enemies bent on the destruction of religion. On the other hand, Murdoch’s Fox Broadcasting offers programs that are irreverent when it comes to religion and in the case of the first episode of Cosmos, unflinchingly explain how religious leaders had “heretics” killed just because they believed that the Earth went around The Sun (and were founding the study of science).

Where humanity finds itself now, with pollution gradually destroying the water, land, air and climate of the planet, with supplies of energy and life giving resources being greatly diminished, there was never a more important time for science to be valued and advanced. And yet, Murdoch, The Kochs and their fellow corporate greed-mongers happily invest their massive fortunes into brainwashing a section of the public so they will reject science and those who support it (and replace science with personal opinions and beliefs). By feeding the fire of division, their power and fortunes can flourish and the public’s ability to come together to avert a worsening future are disrupted. There could be no greater example of greed than those who would carelessly destroy the future simply to have even more money than they could ever use today.

Sometimes though, the fact that the greedy have no principles can work against them. When chasing money is all that matters, what happens when there is a trail of money that leads through broadcasting a tv series intended to celebrate and share the study of science?

If Cosmos is a hit, bringing in ratings and revenues for Murdoch and Fox, it will continue and Murdoch himself will have ended up becoming his own enemy, supporting the propagation of science while attacking the propagation of it through Fox News. Considering Murdoch’s goal of keeping the public in constant conflict with itself, turnabout would only seem to be fair play.

Written by AdLib

My motto is, "It is better to have blogged and lost hours of your day, than never to have blogged at all."

29 Responses so far.

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  1. AdLib says:

    We’ve been so focused on the plutocratic pursuits of the RW, we’ve forgotten about the anti-democratic pursuits of government entities like the CIA.

    The CIA is supposed to be overseen by Congress but they see themselves as an independent government, able to do whatever the hell they want including destroying evidence in their wrongdoing and spying on and trying to dominate Congress.

    This is a big deal, it represents a kind of invisible coup that has taken place. Congress needs to bring the CIA leadership down and fight to restrict this rogue agency ASAP…since Obama appears unwilling to do so.

    • choicelady says:

      Have Snowden and Greenwald been attracting our attention to the NSA that has been the focus of both court and legislative actions to reinstate warrants so that we will take our eyes from the CIA that has never EVER been successfully corralled?

      I am beginning to wonder since a lot of “facts” that supposedly come from the purloined documents turns out not to be so accurate whether they are the dog and pony show that deflects us from ‘the man behind the curtain’. It is and always has been the CIA that is the biggest threat to liberty in this country. No president or Congress has been able to stop it.

    • kesmarn says:

      AdLib, I’ve had those same concerns about the possibility of the CIA having gone rogue. When it was revealed that Angela Merkel’s personal cell phone had been hacked, I know that President Obama made a personal phone call to her to try to explain the situation.

      I’ve always wondered if what he said to her was that he himself had no idea that her phone had been hacked. Could the CIA simply have taken it upon themselves to do that without even consulting him? I wouldn’t be surprised. And of course, if he had said that publicly, it would have looked terrible — as though he didn’t have control over his own government. Nor did it look good for him to say he’d known about it and condoned it. He really was in a terrible position there.

      And I have to ask whether it might have been the CIA who put him in it.

      • choicelady says:

        Her phone was hacked in 2007. I would not doubt it still may be and yes by the CIA that has always been the most dangerous force in our nation. We have never successfully curtailed its over-reach. NEVER.

      • AdLib says:

        Kes, it is hard to believe that Obama would be as devious as ordering the bugging of the EU’s phones.

        The CIA seems to be operating as a stealth government unto itself yet Obama is cooperating with their with them in many ways to avoid Congressional oversight. After all, the CIA is part of the Executive Branch so Obama is their ultimate boss. Does the CIA have collected confidential info on Obama that they use to pressure him to go along with their wishes or does Obama really believe in a CIA that is answerable to no one?

        That is the really troubling question.

        • choicelady says:

          PBO has expressed several times that he totally supports making the info on CIA crimes against humanity totally available to the public.

          It is, prima facie, NOT answerable to anyone. It never has been. Even after the Church committee hearings that blew the lid off the despicable things the CIA has done, it just got quiet; it did not stop. They could NOT care less who is president other than loving the ones such as Bush that gave them free rein. They do not believe they are accountable to a civilian government.

          Congress ultimately needs to corral them. One way is to open up their secret funding, but some of that -- and we have no idea how much -- comes from PRIVATE sources. They have been the handmaidens of private actions -- for corporate and religious groups alike -- and have been acting without a shred of authority from the government.

          John Perkins, a former secret op for the CIA, exposed a great deal of the incredibly complex funding and chains of directions in his book, “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man”. It is a critical source of information along with Jeff Sharlet’s “The Family”. These books expose the rogue nature of the CIA and its secret ops on behalf on NON governmental forces.

        • kesmarn says:

          I agree, AdLib, it seems totally out of character for him to order the bugging of EU leaders’ phones. I don’t think he did either. (Was that a carry over from way back in Dubya’s day?)

          On your troubling question: might I add a third possibility? Is there a great deal that has been going on all along that he was completely unaware of? Until the Snowden leaks at least? In which case, is Snowden the villain he’s been portrayed as? Or a hero?

          • choicelady says:

            Can’t answer below -- I think he learned it when SHE did, yes.

            The NSA has been curtailed quite a lot thanks to the ACLU (last good thing they did) and the courts and Congress. The CIA?


            They scare me -- and a lot of what I know came from books such as John Perkins’ “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” where I discovered that an organization with which I tangentially worked doing entirely innocuous things was the front for the CIA and was Perkins’ employer. Made me sick to my stomach.

            Too much Bourne Identity, but there is truth in it all. These are rogue people who do grave harm to our democracy all the time sneering AT that democracy in pursuit of the ‘bigger’ issues. People such as Cheney and private interests such as Halliburton and the Family direct a lot of their course of action. I have had friends killed by the thugs they set on course. They support gigantic global capital against every nation, every human being.

            They are the REAL issue I have, and I know how little any administration has been able to do to stop them. They need to be defunded -- but they go like Jerry Boykin and set up their own counter army of zealots.

            We unleashed them after WW II in our paranoia about commies. We may never be able to put the genie back in the bottle.

          • choicelady says:

            kes -- the bugging was in 2007. It is not from this administration.

            • kesmarn says:

              c’lady, I thought I recalled reading that this might have been the case! Thanks for verifying it. The question remaining then is the usual one: what did the President know and when did he learn it? My feeling is that it might have been right around the same time that Angela Merkel learned it!

  2. Dimbulb2 says:

    ST. MORITZ, SWITZERLAND—One hundred fifty of the world’s most powerful people in the fields of politics, banking, business, and media met this past weekend at an exclusive Swiss resort for the 54th annual invitation-only summit where they show each other their penises.

    This year’s meeting was chaired by a committee that included Rupert Murdoch, former U.S. national security adviser Brent Scowcroft, oil heir David H. Koch, and Japanese finance minister Yoshihiko Noda, all of whom presided over the traditional penis-showing ceremony that has for decades been a banner event for the most influential international power brokers.
    The resort where the conference was held.

    “I always look forward to this crucial and productive gathering,” said industrialist and banker Jacob Wallenberg of the Swedish Wallenbergs, a prominent European family that has wielded significant clout in global financial and political affairs for more than two centuries. “To see the penises of so many like-minded, forward-thinking men and to show them my own penis—this is what keeps the global wheels of industry and ingenuity turning.”

    “After all, these are inarguably the most important penises of our time,” Wallenberg added before unzipping his tuxedo pants and heading back into a scrum of other immensely powerful and wealthy men already gazing contemplatively at one another’s exposed genitalia.

    As it does every year, the ceremony followed a strict a system of seniority wherein members first reveal their sex organs to the seated committee and assembled invitees before the floor is opened up for general penis exposition. The honor of the showing of the first penis this year was given to billionaire real estate mogul Leonard Litwin, 95, the oldest member in attendance.

    The penis of Pope Benedict XVI.

    The annual penis-showing summit has a rich history, having first been held in 1957 at a Lake Tahoe chateau owned by American banker David Rockefeller, Sr. of the hugely influential six-generation Rockefeller oil dynasty. According to Rockefeller, the gathering was born of the simple idea that “the people who hold the most sway over the direction of world affairs ought naturally to have some sense of what each other’s penises look like.”

    Since that time, power brokers from every continent—including people from backgrounds as widely varied as Hollywood film producer Robert Evans and the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein—have attended the summit to see other great men’s penises and to put their own penises on display.

    “As the most junior invitee, when I had to stand in the middle of the ballroom and rotate slowly to show everyone my exposed penis after everyone else had showed theirs, there was a palpable sense of the history of all the great men’s penises that have been presented here over the years,” 26-year-old billionaire Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said. “And of course, to have my penis seen by luminaries such as [Russian prime minister] Vladimir Putin and [Saudi] King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud is just such an honor.”

    “It really makes you feel like you’re having a major impact on the world,” added Zuckerberg, the tip of his penis just peeking out from beneath a crisply starched white dress shirt.

    (From The Onion (of course)

  3. Kalima says:

    Nothing surprises me about the two-faced Rupert Murdoch. Remember that he courted both Tony Blair (Labour) and Cameron (Tory)in an exclusive “Members Only” restaurant in London, and if it hadn’t been for the phone hacking scandal, would have bought BSkyB in the takeover backed by 100% by Cameron and his emailing buddy Jeremy Hunt who is now unfortunately the Health secretary instead of being sacked. Murdoch swings both ways when it comes to having more money and power. Why shouldn’t he when he has no conscience or principles?

    Everything this ugly, greedy old fogey does is aimed at profits, the people he sells to en masse are too dumb to notice the hypocrisy.

    • AdLib says:

      Kalima, great points about Murdoch. Murdoch is only about having power so he can get wealthier so he wants to have influence no matter which party is in power, he’ll try to own the PM whether he’s Labour or Tory.. And Blair was and is such a corrupt POS, being in bed with Murdoch is far from surprising.

      Indeed, Murdoch was on the verge of buying BSkyB when the phone hacking scandal broke, if that hadn’t happened, the Murdoch empire would have been even bigger.

      He can’t live forever and he can’t take it with him. Looking forward to that headline on Fox News.

      • Kalima says:

        The problem with the last sentence is that in my experience, the nastiest and most corrupted people seem to live the longest. I find that very strange in any part of our society but often have to wonder if the miserable, old filthy rich are having themselves cloned. 😉

        • AdLib says:

          Kalima, the nastiest people do seem to live longer than many good people. Maybe it’s because they have more to fear once they die? 😉

          • choicelady says:

            No, AdLib, it’s because they are living proof of the observation that those who live long lives have a purpose. Theirs just happens to be screwing over the rest of us. But hey -- just so you have a hobby, right?

          • What they have ,Ad, is lots and lots of money for the finest medical care that can be purchased. How many hearts has Cheney had now? Yet some poor person has to wait months and months and MAYBE get a donor, if he/she is extremely fortunate. GRRRRRR!

            • AdLib says:

              KT, that’s a great point, the wealthy can buy more years of life while the poor can’t always afford the medical care to live even to their full expectancy.

  4. pinkpantheroz says:

    AdLib and Kes,

    Isn’t it also the epitome of hypocricy that the National Geographic Channel is owned by 21st Century Fox? Justify those dichotomies, Rupe!

    • kesmarn says:

      PPO, that seems to be their style lately. I hear that Glenn Beck is now suggesting that people watch “A Face in the Crowd,” which is a prescient film that exposes the type of flim-flam man that Beck has always been. It seems to be his way of saying: “Look, if I were really a con artist would I be embracing this film?”

      As the old saying goes: “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.”

    • AdLib says:

      PPO, it’s sad that the rabid foes of Climate Change science own the National Geographic channel but the agenda makes sense. Any question that we won’t see or hear about Climate Change on NatGeo as we used to?

  5. kesmarn says:

    AdLib, it is weird isn’t it, how sometimes things done with a sleazy motive turn out — almost inadvertently — to result in some sort of common good? Like McDonald’s use of pink slime types of products resulting in a (justified) drop in business and a (coincidental?) drop in childhood obesity?

    I’ve often thought of this in terms of shows like The Simpsons, too. It has that irreverent lefty humor — just think of Mr. Burns and Ned Flanders when it comes to capitalist businessmen and religious fundamentalists.

    Do folks who watch both faces of Fox ever feel schizophrenic? (How could they not?)

    You can only hope that kids who grow up listening to Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Lisa Simpson will one day take a look at Bad Fox and ask the inevitable question: WTF??

    • AdLib says:

      Kes, Fox also has Family Guy which often ridicules religion and there are other irreverent animation and live action shows on Fox as well.

      It’s more intuitive than it may seem.

      Murdoch wants as much money as he can get.

      He wants the money of RW nut jobs and he wants the money of Progressives so he and his companies have different divisions that try to cater or pander to everyone to get everyone’s money.

      The difference is, he uses his news division to reach the RW and promote his class warfare. Only the entertainment shows have Progressive sensibilities. So the social impact serves him while he profits off those he is trying to politically dominate.

      • kesmarn says:

        Fiendishly clever, AdLib! One of the few ways to “beat” Murdoch then would be to boycott Neil Degrasse Tyson. That’s quite a dilemma. :-(

  6. Nirek says:

    Ad, science and the GOP/TP do not go together. Sorry. It must be a money maker or Fox would not show it.

    • AdLib says:

      Nirek, yep, that’s exactly it. Murdoch and Fox have no sense of social responsibility, they only chase their greed and if it leads them into broadcasting a science series, that’s what happens.

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