In the Parliamentary hearing about media misdeeds, Rupert Murdoch resembled his favorite American President.

During eight years in office, George W. Bush, who called himself the Decider, never took responsibility for anything that went wrong. At the low point of the Iraq war, he would go only as far as to admit, “Mistakes were made.”

In the same way, Murdoch and his son blame underlings for abuses of power, just as Bush let Scooter Libby, Alberto Gonzales and Karl Rove take the fall when things went wrong in such misadventures as the outing of Valerie Plame and the firing of U.S. attorneys.

This is a redefinition of Harry Truman’s “The buck stops here.” For today’s chief executives (call it the Enron principle), the buck, as blame, stops somewhere down there. Only the bucks, as the fruits of an enterprise, reach the top.

This separation of power and responsibility is endemic in the 21st century…


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  • acolorado1

    We can see this in a lot of areas.

    2001 – 2006: After claiming to have learned their lesson on spending and creating the “Contract with America”, Republicans control the White House, the House, and the Senate. They turn a $260 Billion surplus into one of the largest deficits in U.S. history.

    Many of the same R. legislators who voted for those increases are now (only after Obama was elected) claiming to be fiscal conservatives.

    Tea Party (R) supporters on Medicaid or SS who want the government to cut “welfare” programs. Not for them, of course, but for others who don’t deserve it – as SD put it, “Women, Jews, and Blacks, who all just want free money”.

    Family values candidates such as Newt Gingrich – who just can’t live up the same standards they set for everyone else. We see this time and again.

    G. Bush: I didn’t know about torture, it was unauthorized – ok, I knew about torture but I didn’t authorize it – ok, I knew about it and I authorized it. All the while Republicans are scandalized that anyone would question Bush’s integrity or honesty.

    Obama is a Muslim, not born here, and why hasn’t he shown his birth certificate to disprove the crazy rumors we started. Now even conservatives who used to ask me why he wouldn’t show his certificate claim they never believed the rumors.

    I think this is just part of a political ideology that believes the rules are made for others. Dishonesty is at the root of this belief system – dishonesty with self as much as with others.

  • dduck

    OK, Obama, let’s show the world how you contrast with Bush and admit it when things go wrong, or god forbid you have made a mistake. (Oh, they haven’t yet so you don’t have to. Swell.)

  • JSpencer

    Modern conservatives appear to have pretty well succeeded in purging the concept of accountability from their philosophy. Why admit mistakes if you can turn your back on them, spin them, or (better yet) figure a way to blame someone else? Make a huge mess, then hand it over to someone else to clean up! Maybe nobody will notice.

  • dduck:

    It took a nanosecond to find these three examples of Obama admitting he had made a mistake:

    February 2009: In mishandling the nomination of Tom Daschle to be secretary of Health and Human Services.

    October 2010: In making tactical mistakes in trying to get legislation passed.

    November 2010: In discussing Republican mid-term election gains, he admitted that he had lost touch with the American people because he was too absorbed by policy-making in his first year.

    There are many other examples.

  • dduck

    And, probably a few not admitted. Why is this partisan? All politicians, commit, and seldom admit.
    Do we still have to cry that there’s a Bush behind every bush.
    Burn, baby burn.

  • Allen

    Don’t forget “Brownie”.

    What you describe is; lack of integrity.

  • DaGoat

    I guess I’m the only one who read the link, which has nothing to do with Murdoch passing the buck and everything to do with David Cameron. But hey when it comes to Bush-bashing why should one bother with trying to back up your point with a legitimate link?

  • roro80

    DaGoat, I can agree that the link wasn’t helpful as far as the point, but are you disagreeing that what Robert said happened actually happened, or just that it wasn’t described in the link? Drawing the comparison between what Murdoch did at Parliament and what Bush did about everything is reasonable point even if the link provided didn’t give evidence for it.

  • DaGoat

    roro, yes Murdoch blamed his underlings and yes Bush was way too unwilling to admit his own numerous mistakes. As far as I’m concerned the era of presidents taking personal responsibility ended a long time ago. But this is sloppy journalism from a guy who claims to support professional standards.

  • roro80

    I’ll go with sloppy — even if he had planned to link to a different article he may have had open at the time.