Is a Boycott of Murdoch and News Corp. Possible?

By Eric Stoner 07-22-2011

1100722-murdochboycottWith the scandal around Rupert Murdoch growing by the day, a full-fledged boycott of News Corp. has been launched on the internet, according to the Washington Post.

The website Boycott Murdoch also has Facebook and Twitter pages. While the boycott has received coverage on many mainstream news outlets, it has yet to gain much traction. The Facebook page has less than 700 fans and the Twitter page is approaching only 1,000 followers. To make even a small dent in Murdoch's bottom line, the boycott will need to metastasize, and quickly.

One thing that makes a complete boycott of all things Murdoch difficult, is the breadth of his holdings. As NPR explains, if you don't want any of your money going to Murdoch, here are a few things that would be off limits:

  • You couldn't go see Brad Pitt and Terence Malick's critically acclaimed art house film The Tree of Life. It's distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures, a subsidiary of Fox Filmed Entertainment and News Corp. (That means you couldn't watch Natalie Portman in Black Swan either.)
  • You couldn't watch any of your favorite sitcoms on the online video site, which is a News Corp. joint venture with NBC Universal and Disney.
  • You couldn't watch Dog Whisperer on the National Geographic Channel. (Fox owns a majority share of the network.)
  • You couldn't read the Wall Street Journal or the New York Post.
  • You couldn't attend a Los Angeles Lakers or New York Rangers game, since Murdoch has partial ownership in both of those major league sports teams. (He also owns parts of the Staples Center and Madison Square Garden; so no Lady Gaga concerts in the Big Apple either.)
  • You couldn't watch American Idol on Fox or buy any albums or singles by the winners and contestants of the show. That means you, Crystal Bowersox fans.
  • You couldn't buy any book published by HarperCollins [or Zondervan] since News Corp. owns that company as well. So forget picking up an extra copy of a J.R.R. Tolkien book.
  • If you're Australian, you couldn't attend a National Rugby League game, or read GQ Australia.

While this list is only partial, boycotting Murdoch's empire is far from impossible. It simply would mean making some sacrifices, which is necessary for all nonviolent action, and choosing more carefully which news, entertainment and sports to watch or read.

[This article appears courtesy of a partnership with Waging Nonviolence.]

Eric Stoner is a writer based in New York, and an adjunct professor at St. Peter's College. His articles have appeared in The Guardian, Mother Jones, The Nation, In These Times, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He is on the national board of the War Resisters League, and the advisory board of the Center for Peacemaking at Marquette University. Visit his website at:

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