Portrait Of A Corporate Media Lord
By C.P. Pandya add ins by Ryan Dawson (in blue)
It looks like Rupert Murdoch has some competition. Advocates of free and independent media have long-used Murdoch and his company News Corp as a prime and glaring example of what is wrong with corporate news making. Murdoch’s virtual monopoly of broadcast airwaves and his politicking for a pro-business, pro-war agenda have indeed served as a blueprint for what the fourth estate should not be. While Murdoch is certainly not alone in pushing corporate interests in mainstream journalism, few media tycoons have reached household name status among independent media advocates (and their enemies).
Now, Lord Conrad Black, ex-chief executive and current chairman of Hollinger International Inc., is giving Murdoch a run for his money (and political ties). Canadians have a long and contentious history with Black. While at the helm of Hollinger - which began as one small Canadian paper and at its height in Canada accounted for 42% of the country’s daily circulation - Black authorized job cuts while pocketing millions in cash and bonuses. But it is his recently uncovered dealings with the U.S. defense elite that is propelling Black to Murdoch-like infamy.
Hollinger’s list of major news publications spans at least three continents and includes the U.S.’s Chicago Sun Times, Israel’s The Jerusalem Post and the U.K.’s Daily Telegraph. In total, the company owns over 380 newspapers worldwide, down from nearly 620 in the late 1990s. (each served us war propaganda in the lead up to the war with Iraq)
More interesting than Black’s far-reaching empire is the recently-resigned (fired)
CEO’s private business dealings using his public company’s funds. Closest to Black in these partnerships have over the years been none other than U.S. military advisors Henry Kissinger and Richard Perle. The three men have developed an influential marriage of money, power and politics, which has at its heart a venture-capital firm called Trireme Partners. The firm invests in homeland security technology such as encryption devices and x-rays and lists all three men on its board. Little else is still known about this private company but details are slowly coming out about its monetary inflows and outflows. (James Robert Thompson III from the 911 commission is also on the BOD and they got contracts for companies that Trireme invested in even while Perle was still in the DOD)
The breakdown goes as follows: Hollinger’s board under Black’s direction, donated $2.5 million to Trireme, which is co-managed and owned by Perle and which lists Kissinger as a member. Also worth mentioning is that Black serves on Trireme’s "Strategic Advisory Board," meaning he helps decide where money invested should be re-invested. Should the head of a media corporation take money from his company’s coffers to invest in an outside firm that he in turn helps control?
The obvious answer is no, but Black had many motivations to do so.
Together, media-mogul Black, former secretary of state Kissinger and Perle, the former head of the influential Defense Policy Board, teamed up to make decisions on what companies should receive money to develop the U.S.’s domestic and foreign "security" machinery. In addition to serving the hawkish political interests of all three men, the business dealings also may have proved lucrative for at least one in this magnifenct trio. As co-owner of Trireme, Perle is entitled to a 5% commission for finding investments as well as a management fee.
You scratch my green back and I’ll scratch yours. For Black, a man who has routinely come out in favor of stifling dissent and promoting free-market conservatism and further arguing that there isn’t enough of it in the media, the position on Trireme’s board and his relationships with Kissinger and Perle helped cement him among the conservative elite.
"[Black] did not want news stories that irritated business leaders, certain interest groups and top civil servants... He wanted a newspaper that was less critical. I could not bring myself to accept that Le Soleil, which was a respected newspaper, be turned into nothing more than a publicity pamphlet," Claude Gravel told The (Montreal) Gazette on March 9, 1993. Gravel quit as editor of Le Soleil, (formerly owned by Hollinger) after less than two years of Black's ownership.
In addition to Hollinger, another big contributor to Trireme has been Boeing, the aerospace and military technology company who cites the Pentagon as its biggest client. Boeing donated $20 million to Trireme. If furthering its access to influential mainstream media and the Pentagon is what Boeing wants, then what better way than to give $20 million to a firm headed by a media mogul and two Pentagon advisors?
Such business dealings between the government and U.S. defense companies could fill up the columns of an entire newspaper and then some. (Actually Perle was more than an advisor he was still a chairman of the Defense Policy Board in the DOD. Remember that they got a fat check of 87 Billion dollars to distribute how they wished)
What the Boeing-Trireme partnership highlights, however, is the undeniable influence and monetary capabilities of this venture-capital fund and its exclusive ties. The situation is replete with irony. As Hollinger’s many journalists struggled to cover post-September 11 public policy and its backlash (including the Patriot Act), their boss was busy giving a company money to encourage civil liberties-defying homeland security technology.
In addition to using Hollinger’s money to fund investments in such technology, Black (for an unknown number of years) invested $200,000 to the ultra-conservative magazine The National Interest, the conservative’s guide to conservatism. Of course, the magazine's contributors amount to a veritable who's who of self-promoters interested only in the elite's interest. Black is listed as the chairman of the magazine's editorial board and Kissinger as the co-chairman. Among the magazine’s editorial board members are Perle, hawk Daniel Pipes and columnist Charles Krauthammer. Former Secretary of State James Schlesinger publishes the quarterly periodical which dictates what is in the U.S.’s "national interest." Interestingly, Toronto, Canada native Black manages to fit right.
Black resigned (was fired and is on trial)
as CEO of Hollinger International in November after the company said its "independent" board had given Black and other top executives $32 million in unauthorized payments. These payments came on top of about $180 million in management fees awarded to Black and his top cronies in recent years. Despite not being chief executive of the newspaper publisher anymore, Black will remain the chairman, thus enabling him to continue making decisions on where the company’s money goes (into the hands of Perle and Kissinger, presumably).
The web of business dealings doesn’t end here. Indeed, it gets more tangled, more elusive. Acting as a co-chairman in a digital technology development offshoot of Hollinger, Perle invested $14 million in U.K. technology company Cambridge Display Technology. As a majority shareholder in a part of Black’s company, Perle was entitled to payment for finding an investment in Cambridge Display Technologies.
As a result of these and other questionable "investments," Hollinger said its value had decreased by $48 million in 2001 and by $40.5 million in 2002. For a company estimated to be worth $1.5 billion, a nearly $90 million decrease in value (along with the millions in gifts to Black and other executives) amounts to "cost cutting" measures at the lowest pay scale, meaning layoffs and salary freezes.
While busy with his conservative cronies and indulging in a notoriously lavish lifestyle, Black has - over the years - had time to dole out editorial advice. In Canada, Black became infamous for his distaste for journalists (even as the head of hundreds of newspapers) and often referred to them as "hacks." On one occasion, when the employees of one of his newspapers tried to unionize in the early 1980s, Black accused them of "their intent to run a crusading separatist socialist paper."
Black enumerated his philosophy of mixing business with journalism best in a April 9, 1994 speech to the Canadian Association of Journalists.
"Much the best course, in my judgement, and the one that we try to follow, as do many others, is to hire editors with whom the principal shareholder, where there is one, is in general agreement, to minimize internal frictions. But the proprietor [still] should exercise an influence," he said. Murdoch, watch out.
All quotes from http://www.blackenvy.8m.com
"Hollinger Investments Are Linked To Board’s Perle and Kissinger" The Wall Street Journal, December 3, 2003.
That is just one small example of these post 911 Iraq War Profiteers. The Meida (as a corporation) and the Military industrial complex fit hand in glove. And when you look at the Board of directors of Boeing who is tied to Trireme and Hollinger as the article points out, you will discover that its members also serve on the Board of Diseney which owns ABC and they sit on the BOD of several banks. For example over at Boeing: John H. Biggs sits on the board of directors for both Boeing and JP Morgan & Chase. How nice to direct both a company and two banks. John E. Bryson is on the BOD with Boeing and also He is a director of The Walt Disney Company, who owns ABC. Linda Z. Cook the CEO of Shell is also on the BOD of Boeing.
more on boeing here disgusting isn't it. Each network is owned by a media conglomerate which is tied up with the top brass defense componies in the MIC that get these no bid-contracts. This is why the Main Stream Media acts as war/occupation cheer leaders
CBS is owned by Viacom so is MTV, VH1, and Nickelodeon. It's not just the news but the sitcoms and such as well that are part of the propaganda. Viacom is owned by Sumner Redstone. (originally Murray Rothstein) CNN is owned by AOl-TimeWarner. Warner Brothers is owned by Gerald Levin who is also part of the Trilateral commission. ABC is owned by Disney. Disney is owned by Michael Eisner. Fox is owned by the Rupert Murdoch News Corporation. MSNBC is obvioulsy influenced by Microsoft who holds 18% of the company but it was founded by none other than the corporate welfare sucking G.E. (who is deeply invested in the Israeli occupation). GE Universal is run by Edgar Bronfman, Jr the son of Edgar Bronfman president of the World Jewish Congress.
I have broken down the media here
. What's behind the media
. That really is a must read. Now you understand why the media can not mention the occupation of Palestine or the simple fact that the aparteid wall that Israeli has built is not even on the Israeli borader but cuts into the West Bank in order to incircle the illegal Jewish-Israeli only settlements. The media can not use the two minutes it would take to clear up the Niger forgieries which prove the administration was consciously lying about the war in Iraq and upon digging further into that one would find these same Neocons. Cheney's little cabal for all it's rhetoric and ideology is actually about little more than positioning itself as the cash flow managers, the gate between the MIC and the government, and personally profiting. They create and exploit conflicts. It is one nasty ball of crooks all serving one another. And just to throw gas on the fire it is all being heavily invested in by tmulti-national, multi-billion dollar tax free institutions knowns better as Churches.