Story highlights If the latest episode of “Succession” is any indication, things aren’t looking up for the Murdochs.
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Proving he’s not one to miss an opportunity to break some timely news, President Donald Trump shut down the House floor for a little TV-free drama on Wednesday night as his former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, was indicted on charges of money laundering, fraud and obstruction of justice.
The charges stem from a probe into whether Manafort illegally conducted lobbying work on behalf of Ukrainian politicians in 2014 while working as a political consultant. It’s the latest in the ongoing saga surrounding the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia in the run-up to the 2016 election. Manafort served as Trump’s campaign manager from August until mid-September, and has since been indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
The Manafort charge, according to CNN, suggests “surveillance, intimidation and coercion” is among the techniques the government is investigating. Plus, they allege that Manafort arranged $10 million in loans through companies set up solely to get money, which are documented within the indictment.
Trump and Manafort have also been accused of working together to negotiate a peace plan for Ukraine. They met about two months before Manafort, who was cooperating with prosecutors, was charged.
CNN reported last month that Manafort is expected to cut a deal with Mueller, leading to his indictment to be dismissed. He has remained under house arrest in Virginia.
The Manafort news on Wednesday seems to be a sign of the trouble things are looking up for the Murdochs of media.
In the latest episode of “Succession,” Showtime’s compelling drama about media baron Logan Roy and his “succession crisis,” mogul and newly ousted powerbroker Logan’s son, Wendi Deng (played by Diane Lane), flies off to London (where the show is set) to plead with Claire (Kiernan Shipka) to not sell the company to CEO and his father’s chief of staff Kyle. All three men are attempting to consolidate power in the family for selfish and ultimately complicated reasons.
The drama seems to be closing in on the siblings in this storyline, too, considering CEO Kyle’s secret child has been revealed, and Wendi’s suspicions that Logan is spending too much time at home, where his kids live. According to Dow Jones Newswires, the new show’s fourth season premieres on Sunday, July 15.
But the show is more than just family drama. It has a lot to say about the interconnectedness of all things media, the continued dominance of Murdochs and the increased demands of digital media.
What we’ve learned from past “Succession” episodes? That there’s no such thing as media neutrality. Whether you believe that traditional media should be free to cover political issues as they see fit, or you’re against illegal and unethical lobbying, you can’t deny that the Rupert Murdochs are there to sell.
This isn’t surprising. According to John Moore, Senior Video Editor at The Atlantic, ” ‘Succession’ is coming right at the peak of the media boom. The amount of money spent by digital media right now, compared to traditional TV, is insane, and it will only get bigger,” Moore told CNN Style last year.
“The thing that’s very evident is that a Murdoch is always going to be living in the shadow of his father, because they take themselves so seriously. But there’s also an inevitability about how much they’ll achieve and succeed.”
You can stream the series over the top now on Showtime and Amazon Prime.
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