(photo: jardenberg/flickr)

Its always heartbreaking when it comes time to take away Grandpa’s car keys; no one wants to do it, but after that little incident with the fire hydrant(s), we know it’s for his own good.  Sadly, when the Grandpa in question is Rupert Murdoch, such potentially life-saving steps not only cannot be taken, but the heirs and hangers-on invariably do the opposite.

It’s an imperfect analogy of course, since there’s no evidence Murdoch has been in the front seat of a car since the days of Maggie Thatcher, but really, who thought it would be a good idea to get him a Twitter account?  It’s been a disaster from tweet #1, but today, as the Guardian delicately puts it, the ol’ coot, shaken by the latest on many revelations about his sleazy company, took to typing in the “early morning hours,” and the result is something of a cross between Ginny Thomas and Mr. Magoo.   Tweet #1:

Seems every competitor and enemy piling on with lies and libels. So bad, easy to hit back hard, which preparing.

Okay, you dyspeptic old geezer, put down the smart phone and the bottle, in that order.  “Lies and libels?”  Evidently he thinks nobody has ever seen Fox News.  And when the latest revelation is a worldwide pattern of criminal skulduggery to bankrupt his dwindling and scattered “competitors and enemies,” it would have been smart to leave that part out, too.  But no, and then he ends with an incoherent threat of the sort commonly heard in nursing homes on Jello Night, and about as scary.  The babbling continues:

Enemies many different agendas, but worst old toffs and right wingers who still want last century’s status quo with their monoplies.

I had to look up “toff,” but it is evidently slang for rich asshole, and thus beautifully completes an unflattering portrait of….  Rupert Murdoch.  You know, the hip, 21st century guy who never saw a “monoply” he didn’t want for himself.  At this point, while some harried servant is undoubtedly wiping the dribbled brandy off his bib, the rheumy thumbs tap out a final, impassioned cri de coot:

Let’s have it on! Choice, freedom of thought and markets, individual personal responsibility

And I’ll have what he’s having, although I have some catching up to do.  Choice?  What percentage of the British news media are controlled by News Corp?  Freedom of thought?  Has anyone  read the post-Murdoch Wall Street Journal?  Markets?  How does that fit with such blatant anti-competitive, possibly criminal behavior?  Individual personal responsibility?  Words fail me.  But, if Murdoch wants to silence his enemies, this clearly isn’t the way to go about it; he’d be better off just having his wife continue sucker-punching them one by one.

Fortunately, Great Britain has a unique legal standard for news media owners, something we sadly don’t have here, which requires them to be “fit and proper.”    That is, exactly what this projectile twitterrhea proves Rupert Murdoch is not.  He’s a #toff.