Monday, May 15, 2006

Gratuitous Mafia Comment of the Week

And the winner is...Arianna Huffington. The liberal blogger on CNN's "Reliable Sources" yesterday compared New York Post publisher and News Corp. owner Rupert Murdoch to Tony Soprano. She was talking about Murdoch's support for Hillary Clinton. Murdoch, a staunch conservative and a Republican, has publicly backed Hillary Clinton, a Democrat and a liberal.

Here's what Ms. Huffington had to say on CNN:

No, I think it's a question about power and access, and that's what this alliance is about. I mean, after all, Rupert Murdoch is the Tony Soprano of the right-wing media machine, and the idea that Hillary Clinton, who famously coined the phrase the vast right wing conspiracy, is now aligning herself with him is really very emblematic of who she is as a candidate, a triangulating, calculating, stand for nothing, try to please everybody candidate who cannot win.

You can read the full transcript here.

Now Rupert Murdoch is a lot of things. And you can disagree with his politics and his style of journalism, but to my knowledge he has never had anyone murdered. To equate him with Tony Soprano (a fictional Mafioso, but a gangster nonetheless and the embodiment of all things corrupt in most people's eyes) is gratuitous and inappropriate.

I think Ms. Huffington was trying to make the point that Mr. Murdoch is the "boss of all bosses" when it comes to right-wing journalism and politics. If this is the case, then her analogy does not hold up. Tony Soprano is not the "boss of all bosses," he's just the Capo Regime of New Jersey. If she wanted to be correct, she should have equated Mr. Murdoch with John "Johnny Sack" Sacramoni, the boss of the New York family Tony Soprano is associated with.

Still, invoking Tony Soprano sells papers (or in this case, blogs). But her analogy was wrong and gratuitous.

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