With two of the week's biggest news events centered on perilous battles with formidable and widely loathed men — Harry Potter's archrival Lord Voldemart and media baron Rupert Murdoch — it would seem odd if the media didn't make the connection. Even relatively staid news outlets wove the comparison into their hard news pieces, to varying degrees of success, notes The Washington Post's Sarah Anne Hughes. Here, some of the better Murdoch-Voldemort parallels:
The stars align
Murdoch's downfall and Harry Potter's box office triumph is "an amazing cosmic convergence," says Patrick Goldstein in the Los Angeles Times. "No media magnate bears a closer resemblance to Potter archvillain Lord Voldemort than Murdoch, who for decades has been the chief overlord of the dark art of tabloid media skulduggery."
In an alternate universe
Murdoch gained his immense power because "his talents and brilliance are equaled only by his amorality," says Tina Brown at The Daily Beast. If he'd used those talents ethically, "he could have been [Albus] Dumbledore crossed with Harry Potter. But he's Voldemort, and he's not vanquished yet."
If Murdoch is Voldemort...
... then crusading Guardian reporter Nick Davies is Harry Potter, Rebekah Brooks is loyal Voldemort minion Bellatrix Lestrange, and Andy Coulson is Lucius Malfoy, say Gabriel Debenedetti, Alex Klein, and Matthew Zeitlin in The New Republic. Potter/Davies has left Voldemort/Murdoch licking a "damaging wound," but "with his soul split across newspaper and TV horcruxes around the world, Murdoch needs only to bide his time."
Speaking of horcruxes
"Brooks has resigned!" tweets science journalist Ed Yong. And Murdoch has killed off News of the World and dropped his bid for broadcaster BSkyB. "Only four horcruxes left to go and Murdoch will be mortal again!"
Adult in the room
The "groupthink glee with which liberal commentators are referring to Murdoch as Voldemort," says Brendan O'Neill in Britain's Telegraph, says less about Murdoch than it does the "sad, overgrown Harry Potter fans who will expire on the spot if they don’t get their daily fix of black-and-white, good-and-evil, suitable-for-seven-year-olds moralism."
Sorry, Star Wars
The fact that Murdoch is being "described in Potteresque terms" is significant in itself, says Howard Richler in Canada's The Globe and Mail. It means "we are indeed living in a Potter universe," and that "it's time to finally bury Darth Vader as the apotheosis of evil."