By John Pilger
Information Clearing House
In Scoop, Evelyn Waugh’s brilliant satire on the press, there is the moment when Lord Copper, owner of the Daily Beast, meets his new special war correspondent, William Boot, in truth an authority on wild flowers and birdsong. A confused Boot is ushered into his lordship’s presence by Mr Salter, the Beast‘s foreign editor.
“Is Mr Boot all set for his trip?”
“Up to a point, Lord Copper.”
Copper briefs Boot as follows: “A few sharp victories, some conspicuous acts of personal bravery on the Patriot side and a colourful entry into the capital. That is the Beast policy for the war . . . We shall expect the first victory about the middle of July.”
Rupert Murdoch is a 21st-century Lord Copper. The amusing gentility is missing; the absurdity of his power is the same.