The UK boasts universal healthcare, tea flowing like wine, and Conservatives who sound like our Democrats when it comes to gun control and reproductive justice. A foreigner unfamiliar with the journalism landscape in the UK would have no reason to question the country’s progressive values.
The Sun is the UK’s widest-circulation newspaper and is read by more than two million people every day. It is published by News UK, a subsidiary of News Corps, and owned by Rupert Murdoch – i.e., it’s about as far right as the UK gets. I never purchased The Sun, but for the entire four years I lived in the UK I saw it most days I ventured out of my house; it’s absolutely everywhere. The paper costs £2 (just under $4.00), boasts amazing sports coverage, celebrity and political news and a TV guide. But where The Sun sharply diverts from newspapers we’re used to in America is on its third page. Page 3 is a cultural institution: in every issue for the past 40 years, there has been a topless young woman on the third page, referred to as “Page 3 girls.”
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When I first saw Wendi Deng Murdoch spike that foam-pie-throwing comedian-protestor’s head like a volleyball, I giggled with glee. Then I sighed with relief. Here, finally, was a portrayal of an Asian woman I could embrace. No timid China doll or obedient geisha, no mere trophy wife, Deng was the tiger wife, defending her assets – er, I mean husband – with a single, long-armed swipe.
But now I’m torn. While positive, tiger wife is still a stereotype, “a popular belief about specific social groups or types of individuals,” in this case Asian women of a certain age, and a tidy media invention banking on the popularity of Amy Chua’s tiger mother, and perhaps the Chinese phrase, lao hu, old tiger, said of ferocious older women. A stereotype with international appeal, and yet another one I’ll have to battle sooner or later. Keep reading »
“She interpreted for me as we went around China. Who wouldn’t fall in love with a beautiful woman like her? I fell in love with her asked her and she said ‘no.’ It took me a long time to persuade her. She is very tough, very tough. A successful man needs a critical wife. It brings him down to earth … She has taught our two little girls to speak perfect Mandarin. Everybody at home speaks Mandarin except me. So they only tell me what they think I need to know … She is a wonderful mother who has given me two beautiful daughters and she’s a very good business woman.”
—Rupert Murdoch talks to the Chinese television show “Dialogue,” about his wife Wendi Deng, who has become an internet sensation this week after getting a hit in on a guy who attempted to cream her hubby in the face with a pie while he testified to Parliament about the News of the World scandal. Rupert and Wendi just happened to do this first joint interview a few weeks ago, and in it they come off like an odd couple in love. I also thinks it’s really cool that Rupert appreciates the qualities that so many guys would dismiss as ‘bitchy.’ [Telegraph] Keep reading »
The U.K.â€™s daily newspaper, The Sun, proudly runs a bare-breasted model every day called the Page 3 Girl. A brainchild of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, itâ€™s been a topless tradition since the fitting date of 1969 and the magazineâ€™s sales rose 40% in a year. As we all know, sex sells. Ryan Air, a budget European airline, was also hoping to bank on sex appeal with a new ad for spring breakers that featured a model dressed in midriff revealing schoolgirl uniform. Unfortunately, the totally safe for work ad has raised libidos and concerns from the British Advertising Standards Agency. Ryan Air, who has had a whopping nine ads banned, tops the ASAâ€™s list of offensive advertisers. The agency claims this ad inappropriately sexualizes underage schoolgirls, but oh baby, baby, didnâ€™t Britney Spears already do that a decade ago? A spokesperson for Ryan Air released a statement giving the ASA the proverbial middle finger and refused to withdraw any of their ads. [Brand Republic via Jezebel] Keep reading »
Former book publishing exec Judith Regan found a way to get back on top of both her former lover and employer in one move. Nope, it’s not some kinky position from the Kama Sutra, it’s just good old-fashioned extortion. After being fired from News Corp in December 2006, the woman responsible for giving porn star Jenna Jameson a book deal ended her wrongful termination lawsuit for about four times her initial $6 million settlement offer from Rupert Murdoch. How did she do it?! By threatening to expose a confidential phone convo she had with Giuliani’s goon and her ex-main squeeze Bernie Kerik that could damage the Republican’s Presidential bid. After bad break-ups with both Kerik and her boss man (who publicly accused her of being anti-Semitic), she’s managed to clear her name and break their bank account. You go girl! Blackmail may be bad, but karma’s a real bitch named Judith Regan. [Alley Insider]
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