Since the mid 1990’s the Murdoch organization has been slowly taking control of the National Geographic TV and Magazine. In September the Murdoch organization took full control and made the former nonprofit a for-profit operation.
The background for this takeover was the steady decline of the magazine and the pathetic ratings of the TV program with guaranteed revenue on the cable networks. The magazine went from 15 million subscribers when Murdoch got interested in it to under 3.5 million currently. You could call that suicide in the magazine business.
The press for the past few weeks has been at near hysterical levels of clothes rending and outrage about the rightwing takeover of their sacred institution.
I’m here to tell you that the National Geographic was far from a sacred institution in my experience.
I knew one National Geographic photographer and one writer. I joined the photographer and his wife on a trip to the mountains of Idaho where he had previously shot a story on bighorn sheep. The photos were incredibly beautiful, and the reality even more so.
The way Geographic operated with photographers in the 1980’s was to send a suitcase with the cameras, lenses and film. The photographer labeled the rolls of film as they were shot and sent the whole package back undeveloped when finished.
In this instance, my friend the photographer was an environmentalist and wrote an article about the winter grazing range problems of the bighorns.
National Geographic picked the most beautiful photos to illustrate ITS OWN article about the beautiful sheep and how interesting they are. Nothing about the environmental problems.
My writer friend wrote an article on the Islands of Palau. Remember the photographer and writer are usually separate and often don’t meet each other. The writer told about the capital city of Ngerulmud and the American efforts to write a constitution for this American protectorate.
She was emphatic about the extensive native slums, the ruthlessness of the tourist industry and the widespread poverty.
That’s not the worst of the National Geographic fraud.
Over many years Geographic has done stories with beautiful photos of ‘Palestine’. The coverage is always pure Lefty pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli.
I am happy to see a decent business (Murdoch) take over this scandalous misanthrop of an organization. Farewell to an evil publication. Hello to a hopeful respite.
I’ve never seen the TV part of Nat. Geo. So I have no comments.