It’s about time Gen Z gets acquainted with Linda Ronstadt! Ronstadt’s song “Long Long Time” looks like it could get the “Running Up That Hill” treatment since it appeared in Sunday’s episode of The Last of Us. However, in addition to possessing a massive, timeless discography, Ronstadt is a trailblazing icon for her public presence as well. Just watch her absolutely rip billionaire Rupert Murdoch to shreds in this 1983 interview.
Rupert Murdoch Was King Of The Tabloids
Today, the world knows Rupert Murdoch as one of the richest people on the planet. He’s the head of one of the largest media empires in the world, presiding over Fox News, The Times of London, The New York Post, and The Wall Street Journal. However, before he was the international media mogul that we know him as today, he was king of the tabloids.
Originally operating in his home country of Australia, Murdoch essentially invented the tabloid format that we all know and loathe today. The profession certainly made him a few enemies, including legendary musician Linda Ronstadt.
Before Murdoch renounced his Australian citizenship to launch a hostile takeover of some of America’s sleaziest news networks, Ronstadt was already publicly criticizing his work. In 1983, Ronstadt appeared on Australia’s Don Lane Show via satellite broadcast, and she was ready to give Australian journalists a piece of her mind.
“It’s amazing to me that people read stuff in People Magazine or The National Enquirer. Your press down there is really… I mean you gave us Rupert Murdoch! The most horrible man in the world,” Ronstadt said candidly. “Australia gave us Rupert Murdoch, thanks a lot you guys. Take him back, we don’t need him here.”
‘It’s Bad For Journalism’
By 1983, Ronstadt had certainly experienced her fair share of tabloid slander. She was the highest paid woman in rock, she was outspoken about political and social issues, and she had plenty of high-profile romances with the likes of Jim Carrey and George Lucas.
In other words, Ronstadt was one of the many celebrities with a target on her back. However, in that same interview, she pointed out that Murdoch’s signature style isn’t just damaging for the subjects, but for journalism as a whole.
“He’s very irresponsible, too,” Ronstadt went on. “You see these screaming headlines in his newspapers about politics or about a shooting or killing that are only meant to inflame terror and horror. It drives me crazy … It’s bad for journalism! It’s bad for the responsible journalists that are out there.”
It’s clear that Ronstadt was ahead of her time in more ways than one. Her genre-defying musical style made strides in the music industry, but her unapologetic outspokenness is refreshing even in today’s age.