Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Tuesday, July 19, 2011 8:25 pm

Too big to govern? There’s an app for that.


Having a job and all, I did not watch Murdoch’s Parliament testimony today except briefly while my flat tire was being fixed (pictures, no sound), nor did I have time to read much about it. But I gather one of his defenses was that News Corp. is so big he couldn’t possibly be expected to know about a vast, wide-ranging illegal electronic surveillance program that victimized, at a minimum, upwards of 4,000 people, evidence of which Scotland Yard somehow managed to sit on for more than five years.

(This is, of course, the same defense offered by Alberto Gonzalez for allowing the United States Department of Justice to be converted into a wholly-owned subsidiary of Karl Rove to root out U.S. attorneys who refused to gin up fake, politically motivated criminal cases: The department employs more than 100,000 people, he couldn’t possibly be expected to know what they’re all up to, yadda yadda yadda.)

Let’s manually disarm our BS detectors for just a moment and do something utterly counterintuitive: Let’s take Rupert at his word.

What, then, are the implications?

Rupert Murdoch is 1) the world’s pre-eminent media baron and 2) utterly incapable of detecting, let alone preventing, a years-long, widespread, continuing criminal enterprise within the company he supposedly runs — because that company is too large. Accordingly, we must conclude that if he, with his vast skills and knowledge, can’t keep crimes like this from occurring in such a large enterprise, then no one can.

Therefore, no such large enterprises can be allowed to exist, and those that exist now must be broken up into much smaller, more governable entities, so that even the typical, not-especially-brilliant CEO can run one without running afoul of RICO. Heck, we’ve even had a mechanism on the books for a century that would go pretty far toward allowing us to do that.

So, OK, Rupert, you’re right. Lesson learned. Off you go.

(**turns BS detector back on**)

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