All Hail Arianna Huffington, Queen of All Media!

Gian Paul, Astrology Mundo’s “Brazil bureau chief,” had predicted Nov. 4 would be a great day for Republican John McCain and conservative media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

Given that Democrat Barack Obama won the Presidential election, the media titan who is sitting pretty this morning is Arianna Huffington. She runs the liberal news aggregator, The Huffington Post, that has been pro-Obama throughout election season.

Huffington has been the subject of profiles by Astrology Mundo, Star IQ’s Michael WolfStar, and Vanity Fair. I called the Greek immigrant a modern-day Betsy Ross.

WolfStar, top-notch investigator that he is, learned that there are two birthdays reported for Huffington: July 7, 1950 and July 15, 1950. He likes the latter, and it’s available, thanks to his calculations here.

Rupert Murdoch and Election Day: The View from Brazil

Here’s the latest report from Gian Paul, our fearless Brazil bureau chief. Gian Paul and I don’t agree on everything, but we both consider Rupert Murdoch to be one of the most powerful men in the world. Over to you, GP:

Rupert Murdoch is a man who fits America like a glove, astrologically speaking. Whoever dislikes him should either not read what follows or read it twice. As the saying goes, “Know your enemy.”

In my life, at least, nothing happens without some stellar connection. Monica was recently teasing me about having rightist tendencies. This is not true at all. I was once a member of a Swiss Communist cell in my youth. I admit that my wallet has subsequently drifted a bit to the right, but not my open mind.

I suspect that Murdoch, the Australian-born media mogul, soon will be in the news himself, and not because of his own making, this time at least. I formed this opinion after studying his horoscope and a few other related ones.

Murdoch was born in Melbourne, Australia on Mar. 11, 1931, at 11:55 p.m. His ascendant is 1 degree 31 minutes of Capricorn. Other features of the chart include a very strong Jupiter/Pluto conjunction in Cancer (like another corporate titan, Warren Buffett) that receives a potent Mercury/Sun trine and a Saturn opposition natally.

What gives Murdoch the punch everybody in the media business either fears or appreciates is Uranus conjunct the North Node in Aries, which squares his natal Jupiter/Pluto. Squares with Uranus, for the fearless at least, are extremely productive, and Murdoch has proven that throughout his life.

One reason why Murdoch’s fortunes are so closely tied to those of the U.S. is that his natal Pluto falls on America’s Mercury in my preferred chart. In my experience, the chart that has always yielded very good results is the one set for July 6, 1775, at 11 a.m. LMT in Philadelphia.

Using this chart, Murdoch’s visionary Neptune conjuncts the U.S. Neptune and Mars. His Ascendant conjuncts America’s Pluto while his Venus opposes the U.S. Venus. This may explain why Murdoch’s adversaries say his chief motivation is money.

Now, to unveil a bit of the mystery about why I think Murdoch will soon be making headlines: On Nov. 4, he will experience the following transits: Pluto will be at the midpoint of his Moon and Ascendant. Meanwhile, the Moon will be conjunct his Saturn and opposite his Mars.

In addition, Venus will be conjunct his Moon. Jupiter will be almost exactly opposite his Pluto and natal Jupiter. And finally, Uranus will be conjunct his Mercury/Sun, while Saturn will be making a favorable trine his Saturn. Thanks to his control of The Wall Street Journal, Fox News, and what have you, Murdoch around Nov 4 will experience a sense of power that he could never have imagined, even though he is a dreamy Pisces.

Thanks, Gian Paul. We’ll keep our eyes firmly focused on Murdoch as Americans go to the polls on Election Day and Saturn in Virgo opposes Uranus in the sky. By the way, Sky is the name of one of Murdoch’s TV properties.

If you’d like to read a post that I did on Murdoch that gives a lot of background about his life, you can find it here under “Citizen Murdoch.” G’day, mate!

Did Ryan Seacrest Jump the Shark?

Over in London, where competition among newspapers is still fierce, editors have an expression for the dog days of summer, when there is no real news and wacky stories get prime placement. They call it the “silly season.”

Now, with the triumph of tabloid journalism in a media world that only Rupert Murdoch could have created, some would argue that it’s the silly season all the time, and I wouldn’t disagree.

However, this headline takes the cake: Ryan Seacrest Bit By Shark! For more details, here’s the link:
http://www.usmagazine.com/Ryan-Seacrest-I-Was-Bit-by-a-Shark

Folks, I think this is a fish tale and that Seacrest, the host of Fox’s American Idol and his own radio show on KIIS-FM, has jumped the shark! For more information on the origin of the expression “jumping the shark,” see this Wiki entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jumping_the_shark

I’m not much of a television watcher so it’s no surprise that I only recently learned that jumping the shark is synonymous with pushing the envelope too far in the plot of a TV series. I’ve been looking for a way to work in the expression somewhere and now I’ve got the perfect opportunity.

The Ryan Seacrest shark bite story seems like a Hollywood publicist’s wet dream. All you have to do is say the word “shark” in the middle of summer and you’re headline news. I know Seacrest is a reliable Capricorn, but this sounds mighty suspicious to me!

Making it even more questionable is the fact that this is “Shark Week,” a much-ballyhooed annual event that generates some of the year’s best ratings at the Discovery Channel. I went looking for a link between Murdoch’s Fox Network, which broadcasts Idol, and the Discovery Channel but I couldn’t find one, so I’ll have to lay that conspiracy theory to rest.

I’ve actually got Seacrest’s chart in my files, though I’m missing a birth time. Why don’t you look at the chart and see if you think he got bit by a shark over the weekend? (Beth Turnage at Astrology Explored, that means you!)

Here’s the link, courtesy of Astrodienst: http://www.astro.com/cgi/chart.cgi?rs=3&btyp=w2gw&&cid=41laaaa19347-s971800598&nhor=261

Citizen Murdoch

I used to work for an Australian who had a chip on his shoulder. Let’s call him Stephen. He was convinced that he faced discrimination in New York media circles because, get this, he was Australian. I thought this was hilarious since so many Aussies, including News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch, have done quite well for themselves in Gotham.

Stephen was an unlikely Australian. He drank sparingly, laughed little, and dressed very neatly. Even though he was born in a country where they like to say, “No worries, mate,” Stephen worried all the time. In essence, he was the opposite of the Aussie stereotype. Stephen had been a reporter for the New York Post, a paper owned by Murdoch, and was obsessed with his fellow countryman. (Yeah, I know, Murdoch’s got an American passport, but his Australian upbringing is apparent in little things like the name of Fox 5’s morning show, Good Day, New York,  as in “G’day, mate.”) 

I never found out what was behind Stephen’s obsession with Murdoch, and it never occurred to me to ask. My impression was that he thought the American media were giving the media mogul a free ride, not really questioning  how a publicly traded company was being run as a family business. On Wall Street, they would say that Stephen had some concerns about News Corp.’s “governance issues.” 

Stephen ended up at the Wall Street Journal, which was recently taken over by Murdoch. Now that’s irony, if you ask me. I can’t imagine that the self-hating Aussie is happy about Murdoch’s meddling with the WSJ‘s winning formula. That interference led to today’s resignation of Marcus Brauchli, the paper’s managing editor. Here’s a link to an AP story about Brauchli:

http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/080422/wall_street_journal_editor.html?.v=11

Murdoch’s also been in the news the last couple of days for his plan to buy Newsday, the profitable Long Island tabloid that has been losing circulation under the stewardship of Tribune Co.  

Now, Murdoch has done so many things in his life, and News Corp. owns so many different properties that you could write a book. Others have, but I don’t have time for that right now.  I’m going to settle for a quickie astro reading.

Like some other present and former media moguls (John Malone, Michael Eisner), Murdoch is a Pisces. He was born Mar. 11, 1931 in Melbourne, Australia, at 11:55 p.m. His Sun is conjunct Mercury, the planet of communications, and those two Pisces planets make a favorable trine to a stellium of Jupiter, Pluto, and Mars in Cancer. All that Cancer usually means an emphasis on roots and family. Sure enough, Murdoch has expanded a business he inherited from his father and has involved his children in News Corp.’s operations.

What does Murdoch’s chart say at first glance? That he is intuitive, fortunate, expansive, and ruthless. As a Pisces, he has a knack for living his life in tune with the zeitgeist, doing things like marrying a Chinese woman, Wendi Deng, just as China is becoming a global economic player.

I don’t think anyone really knows Murdoch, except maybe his mother, Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, who is still going strong at age 99. He’s got Moon in Sagittarius, and the Moon rules the women in his life. The moon is in the 12th house of the unconscious, which governs prisons, hospitals, and other institutions. I haven’t read all the Murdoch biographies, but I’d venture to say his mother has been the most influential person in his life. 

The Wiki says his father, Sir Keith Murdoch, died in 1952, while Murdoch was still in college.  I was also interested to learn that Dame Elisabeth is a tireless philanthropist who has championed such causes as improving conditions for prisoners, mental hospital patients, abandoned children, and addicts. Sounds like a 12th house Moon to me. Don’t you love astrology?

Here’s Murdoch’s chart, courtesy of Star IQ: http://www.stariq.com/Main/Articles/P0007881.HTM

Murdoch’s natal chart (a map of the planetary positions when he was born) is being lit up like Times Square by the current movements of the planets in the sky. He’s got transiting Pluto in Capricorn hanging around his Ascendant or rising. This is pushing him more heavily into business news. Some examples of this are the Dec. 13 acquisition of the WSJ,  the nation’s premier business paper, and the launch of Fox Business News on Oct. 15. Pluto didn’t move into Capricorn, which rules business, until January, but the timing is close enough for me. Murdoch is consolidating (Pluto) his position in financial media.

As electrical Uranus has made its way through Pisces, Murdoch has been awakened to the possibilities of the Internet, and News Corp. has gotten more interactive. As the company acquired the social networking site MySpace in July, 2005, for $580 million, transiting Uranus was trining Murdoch’s natal Jupiter. Oddly enough, $580 million is the amount that News Corp. is proposing to pay for Newsday. Maybe it’s Murdoch’s lucky number.

While my former boss Stephen may have believed that Murdoch was being let off easy by the media, that’s changing. Murdoch’s making enemies over at the Journal with his emphasis on shorter stories that appeal to the general public. He’s messing with a tried-and-true recipe developed by longtime WSJ managing editor Barney Kilgore (http://www.opinionjournal.com/about/kilgore.html), and the Journal’s defenders of the faith resent it.

The fears about Murdoch’s tabloid tendencies were behind an April Fool’s Day parody of the WSJ featuring a bare-breasted photo of conservative poster girl Ann Coulter (thanks to the wonders of PhotoShop). The satire was designed to skewer Murdoch’s conservative politics and his appeal to the lowest common denominator, as evidenced by the racy photos that appear in his British tabloids.

Here’s the link to the sendup: http://wsjparody.com/ 

In the small world department, the voice on the Web site that’s supposed to be Murdoch’s sounds like that of another former Australian boss of mine who also used to work for the Post, and no, I don’t think all Aussies sound alike. What kind of sheila do you think I am?

If you liked that sendup, here’s a funny riff on MySpace, another News Corp. property: http://americancomedynetwork.com/animation.html?bit_id=25239

O.K., back to business. On a macro level, Murdoch could run into some regulatory opposition to the Newsday acquisition because of the proximity of its Long Island base to the Post’s New York City territory. However, the Federal Communications Commission has been loosening up the laws regarding media ownership so maybe this won’t be a problem the way it might have in the old days.  

Certainly, there are a lot of people out there who think Murdoch’s global empire is beyond the control of any government or regulatory authority, and they’re probably right. With Saturn approaching Murdoch’s Virgo Midheaven, I think criticism of him is going to get louder. Will it bother him? Not in the least. That’s a great thing about being a Pisces. You can live in your own little (or in Murdoch’s case, big) world.