Tuesday, December 12, 2006

More On Murdoch

As I noted in response to a great comment about this post, I am going to follow up on the issue of trying to revoke the U.S. citizenship of Rupert Murdoch; I know this qualifies as perhaps the most quixotic thing I may ever do, but I'm giving it a shot anyway.

What follows is a draft of the letter I plan to send to Congressman-elect Patrick Murphy and Senator-elect Bob Casey. I'm trying to construct some legal or procedural pretext that would give them the opportunity to investigate, and again, I know it's the longest of long shots.

I would like to begin this correspondence by congratulating you on your electoral victory on November 7th. I have no doubt that you will faithfully execute the duties of your office on behalf of the people of this state (for Patrick Murphy, specify the 8th district).

I am writing to you ultimately because of the war in Iraq and the turning of the tide of public opinion against it, to say nothing of the most important issue of all which is the well being of the men and women in our armed forces.

With all of this in mind, I would like to bring up the report of the Iraq Study Group headed by James Baker and Lee Hamilton. As you know, the report advocated redeployment of our forces and its findings have been welcomed by more Democrats than Republicans. This recognizes the fact that this country has turned decidedly against the war because of the lack of a coherent strategy for victory and complete and total absence of post-invasion planning.

Despite that fact, many people still support this carnage. That is their right, but I believe it is another matter entirely when those in our media misrepresent the war and ridicule those who are trying to make sense of this disaster; individuals who run media companies have, I believe, a special obligation to properly inform the citizens of this country with reliable information obtained through adherence to sound journalistic standards and responsible adult conduct.

This leads us to Rupert Murdoch.

As you may know, Murdoch’s New York Post recently published an edition with a cover page showing two simians with faces superimposed over each one; one showed the face of Baker and one showed the face of Hamilton, and the caption appearing beneath the picture said “Surrender Monkeys,” recalling some of the trite, childish name calling that stirred up initial support for the Iraq war and (I would argue) has contributed in no small way to our current nightmare.

This kind of irresponsibility by a figure of Murdoch’s notoriety calls into question his basic judgment as someone whose corporate empire is responsible for communicating news throughout the world, and in this country in particular. Because of this, I thought it would be prudent to conduct a rudimentary investigation into his background and business dealings.

As noted by the online reference service Wikipedia, Murdoch became a naturalized American citizen in September of 1985, which allows him to own American television stations. However, Wikipedia also notes that Murdoch “may have bought out the Turkish TV channel, TGRT, which was previously confiscated by the Turkish Board of Banking Regulations, TMSF. Newspapers report that Murdoch has bought TGRT in a partnership with Turkish recording mogul, Ahmet Erteg√ľn and there are alleged reports that Murdoch has acquired Turkish citizenship to overcome the current obligations against capital sales to foreigners.”

So what exactly is Murdoch’s citizenship at this point? In the event that he is trying to acquire interests in Turkey and has pursued Turkish citizenship, why should he be allowed to have dual American and Turkish citizenship?

Besides, Section 349 of the of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended, states that U.S. citizens are subject to loss of citizenship if they acquire the nationality of a foreign state in which they’re accepting employment (surely ownership of Turkish media interests would meet that requirement).

These are some of the questions I have surrounding Rupert Murdoch, and I believe some investigation is required at the very least, especially in light of his childishly propagandistic attempts to influence public opinion on the urgent question of what this country should do about the Iraq war (there must be some legal ground for pursuing this against someone who has made public his desire to act against the best interests of this country). I would appreciate it if you would make all necessary inquiries with the State Department on this issue.

I would be grateful for your response in this matter. Thank you for your time and attention.
If anyone has any suggested edits, please leave a comment and let me know. Otherwise, I'll plan to forward the letters to Patrick Murphy and Bob Casey by the end of the week.

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