It’s kind of sad that we’re at the point where we need to root for one multi-billion dollar corporation to be benevolent enough in stopping another multi-billion dollar corporation. Insert your ‘late stage capitalism’ jokes here.
According to Variety, Disney could buy Sky News as part of their 21st Century Fox acquisition if it will ease fears over the channel’s independence from Fox News. Currently, Sky News’s ownership, especially in the UK, has been a contentious issue. The channel is generally pretty well received in terms of its coverage and avoids the propaganda bullshit of Fox News (it is still prone to some of its pseudo-sibling’s worst aspects, such as shows with lots of blowhards screaming at each other). Given the past several years of British media, from the phone-hacking scandal to issues of questionable press neutrality, it’s understandable why major politicians like Ed Miliband are so vocal on making sure Sky doesn’t go full Hannity. Happily, Fox News stopped broadcasting in the UK because we didn’t fucking watch it enough. Rule Britannia!
A statement from Fox welcomed the idea of Disney buying Sky News to keep those divisions clear: ‘The Walt Disney Company…has expressed an interest in acquiring Sky News, with a view to adding it to Disney’s existing portfolio of television channels, whether or not Disney’s proposed acquisition of 21CF proceeds.’
Disney issued its own statement backing the idea. ‘If the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport agrees, and Fox acquires Sky, Disney would buy Sky News and agree to sustain the operating capital of Sky News and maintain its editorial independence. The divestment of Sky News to Disney is separate from, and not conditional on, Disney’s acquisition of Fox.’
Fox have also proposed another idea: Establishing Sky News as a completely independent entity with its own board, but this is something they previously tried to do when they originally put in the bid to buy out the 61% of the channel they don’t already own.
Basically, we should do everything in our power to prevent Rupert Murdoch from fucking up democracy and bastardizing the concept of journalism any more than he already has. I’m just sad that means we have to pretend Bob Iger and company are the ‘good guys’ when really, anyone with that level of increasing media monopoly can never be truly ‘good.’
(Image of Disney CEO Bob Iger totally not spying on you from Getty Images)