July 15, 2011

It's not really about what everybody says it's about

A Place to Stand notes James Delingpole's reaction to the sudden freakout in Britain over the half-decade old scandal involving one of Rupert Murdoch's tabloids hacking into voice mail accounts:
Because the purpose of Murdoch’s BSkyB bid is essentially so that he can set up a UK version of America’s most popular news channel Fox News.

On Jerry Pournelle's site, Neil Craig explains the business/political background 
This is purely my opinion, but I believe the story, which has been quietly a well known secret for years with almost all papers, including the Guardian, which broke this, hacking at some time or another, is now such a major storm. The BBC's virtual monopoly of British broadcasting is being threatened by Murdoch’s expansion of his control of Sky, the satellite broadcaster, so they are pushing this story hard. 
Last night (Thurs) the BBC news was almost entirely devoted to the hacking story story; followed by Question Time where all the questions selected by the BBC except for 1 in the last 3 minutes were the same; followed by Andrew Neil on the same. 2 1/2 hours on this story and virtually none on the rest of the world’s news That would be justified if we were seeing a breaking news story like 9/11, but for nothing less. 
Broadcasting in Britain is essentially a monopoly of the BBC and people they approve of. This monopoly is legally committed to “balance,” but is in fact the propaganda arm of the British state (along with the Guardian, which survives on government advertising). Murdoch’s attempt to buy all of Sky would weaken that monopoly slightly. 
I do not consider it a coincidence that this scandal, which journalists of all newspapers have been guilty of for years, has suddenly broken on Murdoch’s head alone."

56 comments:

David said...

In case anyone is misled by claims about the 'virtual monopoly' of the BBC, it is arrant nonsense. There are four main TV broadcasters in the UK: the BBC; ITV (a group of large commercial advertising-funded stations); Channel 4, which has a mixture of advertising and subsidy; and Channel 5, which is advertising-funded. In addition, there are numerous cable and satellite channels, including BSkyB, which is already effectively controlled by Murdoch's News International. The BBC is the largest and most respected individual broadcaster, but a 'monopoly' it isn't, unless you have a very strange definition of monopoly.

eh said...

..., which journalists of all newspapers have been guilty of for years,...

?

Le Sigh said...

No, it's a big story because Murdoch's soldiers hacked into the phones of murder victims and the families of dead soldiers. I've been over here for only a few weeks and I can feel the public anger.

In one case, News Corp reporters hacked into the voice mail of a missing 13 year old girl (since found dead) in order to listen to frantic calls from family members. Unbelievably, they then began deleting the messages when the voice mail was full. This gave the family hope that she was still alive and listening to the messages.

John Foster said...

Presumably, in similar fashion, the NY Times is flogging the story because of Murdoch's connection to the Wall Street Journal.

Marlowe said...

Neo-conservative whining: they don't like it when others do unto them as they do unto others.

A few facts: the BBC is not the 'propaganda wing' of the British state - it has been at loggerheads with successive British governments (both of the left and right) since its creation in the 1920s. It has not possessed a monopoly since the establishment of ITV - Britain's commercial, independent broadcaster on 22 September 1955. Channel 4 followed decades later in the early 1980s. BSkyB has the dominant share of cable & satellite broadcasting in the UK which has grown hugely in the last 20 years to rival traditional broadcasting (further weakening the BBC ability to set the news agenda). Many British people today rarely watch the BBC channels. However, the BBC does still retain a large influence on the British public and has a strong bias in favour of left wing positions on a broad spectrum of issues because these are the ones held by its staff.

Anonymous said...

Making poor little Rupert Murdoch into a victim of the big, bad BBC and Guardian is one of the most laughable attempts at spin yet. Nice job, managing not to actually mention what the Murdoch papers did that's got everyone so angry (hacking the phone of blameless victims of terrorism and a murdered child) and trying to play it off with a mumbled "well, everyone does it."

Nice try.

Dutch Boy said...

The fact that Rupert Murdoch Inc. is considered an "alternative" to state-sponsored news explains our predicament eloquently.

Luke Lea said...

California might be an ideal place to try out the concept of "affirmative action for all." After all, what could be more diverse than student bodies that reflect the full ethnic and racial diversity of California? Quotas for all discriminates against no group.

SF said...

Nobody thought it was a big deal when reporters listened in on conversations between Prince Charles and Camilla.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Steve it is a strange dichotomy.
Murdoch is generaly hated by the British establishment, yet British Prime Ministers literally grovelled at his feet for decades, permitting any act of self-abasement in order to curry favor with the man only slightly less powerful than God in their eyes.
The last week has seen a cathartic orgy of head-stomping on a fallen man - most notably by one Gordon Brown - a man who a few yeras ago would have sold his mother to appease Murdoch, now standing up in Parliament with a litany of half-truths to blacken the Murdoch devil's name.
The British political class ot in the open for all to see in their treachery and back-stabbiness.
It all started around 30 years ago.Previously the Daily Mirror was the working-class flat cap wearing man's paper of choice.Labour supporting and supported it was always in the back pocket of the men who built Britain, form builders to factory workers, from miners to mechanics, with its pithy mix of working class politics, racing results and irreverance.The Sun (Murdoch's main vehicle), was an upstart lauched in 1969 that aped the Mirror, but only with bare tits on every page and hard right politics.With the industrial troubles that gripped Britain in the 1970s and which lead to the literal death of the working class and the not unconnected rise of Thatcher, The upstart Sun beat the old master and dominated the political discourse in Britain with a horrible chauvinistic bigoted jingoism typified by editor Kelvin MacKenzie, who once staed his formuls was 'to keep the wogs out and the Tories in'.
The Sun, with general downmarket, trashy shift of Britain's newspaper industry (it's all now 'celebrities' on the front page, tossers like Jordan, David Beckham, Robbie Williams etc, in the 50s the Mirror used to editorialize about Suez), symbolizes the chav culture of modern Britain, yet the leading politicos treated it like it was a sacred text.
MacKenzie often boasted of destroying two Labour Party (in the days when it actually was a 'labor' party) leaders in a row through incessant 'monstering'.
There were the saintly Michael Foot (a gentle, white-haired, aged left-winger, the biographer and acolyte of Bevan*), and the amiable Neil Kinnock.

*That requires another post in itself.

Anonymous said...

Aha, I figured it was something like this. Good to know my cynicism was justified.

Kylie said...

I suspected by the ongoing front-page coverage of this on The Grauniad that the primary objective must be the left fighting (by any means necessary) to maintain control of the UK media.

Anonymous said...

These articles are written with the assumption that Murdoch is the antithesis of the BBC.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this perspective. I am not certain that you are right, of course.

I was and am a bit perplexed about this "scandal." The tabloid offense just did not strike me was so egregious. They hacked the phone of a dead and gave false hope to the parents--not a nice thing to do, for sure but, so what?

I can't work up the outrage over it.

Anonymous said...

I'm really surprised at you Sailer. Murdoch is pro-imperialistic wars, pro-fascism. You are supposedly offering the opposite point of view at least wrt "invade the world, invite the world". Did you write this post? Are you ill?

Anonymous said...

The vast BBC organization likely do have their fears about Murdoch but his pool of enemies in Britain is wide and deep after 40yrs of bullying the educated classes and pandering to the worst vices of everyone else. From reading the British media and readers' comments it seem like only a handful of Britons actually wish him well. Left, right, centre, old, young, male female; all the Munchkins seem to be getting ready to sing about the house that fell on Wicked Rupert.

Anonymous said...

Murdoch has actually done some good in his career.
For Example The Times newspaper (founded in the 18th century, it si perhaps the world's oldest and most prestigious newspaper, the prototype on which all other daily papers are based), hasn't turned in a profit in over 30 years and continues to this day to lose cash massively.
In fact the 'bums 'n' tits' Sun (chav central UK),which does turn in a profit cross-subsidizes The Times by almost exactly the same extent it turns in a profit.
Without Murdoch 'the thunderer' would have closed years ago.His chavs are being mulcted to benefit the high-brow 'great and good' Times readers.

Anonymous said...

The News of the World was a pile of shit from start to finish.
I don't know if there's an American equivalent, but all it did was basically to pay women of loose sexual morals (prostitutes to be frank about it), large sums of money for 'blow by blow' accounts of what their footballer 'boyfriends' did to them in bed the other night.
Yes.Basically that was it.Week after week, yera after year.Plus the odd sensationalist 'story' about witchcraft (that was a very 70s obsession), and much other guuff about Maltese pimps, Paul raymond and Soho.Perhaps it says a lot about the British national character that this shit sold by the million on the Lord's day.
Of lat the NoW overreached itself and got too cocky.That 'fake sheikh' bastard actually used won a 'journalist of the year' prize for his deceit, entrapment and dubious methods.This only encoraged top brass to do more of the same, as he ws never pulled up (nobody wanted to defend his victims who admittedly were all wrong uns).
The publication of the paedophile names and addresses was another outrage they got clean away with - again no one wanted to defend the 'nonces'.
The NoW, in their quest for circulation, and with the passivity of the regulators started to manufacture the news rather than report it.A specialism was the complete non-story of putting a plant in the Royal household and then writing an 'exclusive' on the lines of 'How a terrorist could have got a job at the palace'.
It was all complete wank.

Anonymous said...

MacKenzie often boasted of destroying two Labour Party (in the days when it actually was a 'labor' party) leaders in a row through incessant 'monstering'.
There were the saintly Michael Foot (a gentle, white-haired, aged left-winger, the biographer and acolyte of Bevan*), and the amiable Neil Kinnock.

*That requires another post in itself.

7/15/11 7:48 AM

M. Foot was a raving Communist in cahoots with the First Directorate of the KGB.

They loved him so much they recorded his sentiments on tape. They are now archived.

In them you can hear Foot railing against capitalism and pledging his fulsome loyalty to Moscow.

Modern Russia gets a real thrill up its leg every time they get to expose just what a legion of naves they'd turned during the Cold War.

BTW, via cut-outs, it's now known that the First Directorate launched both Gordon Brown and Tory Blair into politics; it funded their early careers!

-----

WRT the BBC: it's the broadcaster with the massive tax subsidy.

So its propaganda carries on solely by catering to those in government.

Even the Conservative Party would rank way left of the Republican Party.

At this time Britain has no central or right...

It starts mildly left and keeps on going...

Which is why state control of the British economy is so sky high.

This First Financial War of the World is going to bust that structure down.

Indeed, like the Great War (WWI) it should come to pass that all of the major players are undone.

Marlowe said...

Taxing peasants to support the aristocracy is what it's all about isn't it?

Laban said...

I see that Republican Congressman Peter King has expressed his shock at allegations that News International operatives may have listened to the voicemail of 9/11 victims.

Quite right to be outraged, too. But the outrage would be better coming from someone who hadn't been supporting murderous IRA terrorists for the last thirty years.

Anonymous said...

it's a big story because Murdoch's soldiers hacked into the phones of murder victims and the families of dead soldiers.

BS. Hacking into peoples phones was a common practice among the British press. Why the sudden urge to hang Murdoch about it?

Anonymous said...

News Corp reporters hacked into the voice mail of a missing 13 year old girl

There is no such thing as a "News Corp reporter" and since I'm sure you are not so stupid as to believe that there is, I have to conclude that you're a pathological liar.

Anonymous said...

Nice job, managing not to actually mention what the Murdoch papers did that's got everyone so angry (hacking the phone of blameless victims of terrorism and a murdered child) and trying to play it off with a mumbled "well, everyone does it."

Everyone DOES do it. That would seem to be an important fact, unless you're preprogrammed to go after Murdoch no matter what.

Marlowe said...

The British Conservative party has embarked in government on a series of cuts to state expenditure (including a massive reduction in spending on the armed forces) that US Republicans would find unacceptable.

Anonymous said...

The News of the World was a pile of shit from start to finish.

A fairly typical newspaper then.

Anonymous said...

In case anyone is misled by claims about the 'virtual monopoly' of the BBC, it is arrant nonsense. There are four main TV broadcasters in the UK: the BBC; ITV (a group of large commercial advertising-funded stations); Channel 4, which has a mixture of advertising and subsidy; and Channel 5, which is advertising-funded

You omit to mention that the BBC has a lot more than just one television channel. It has the following;

BBC 1.
BBC 2.
BBC 3.
BBC 4.
BBC News ( a dedicated news channel)
BBC Parliament (a channel dedicated to politics)
CBBC Channel ( a childrens channel)
CBeebies (another childrens channel)

This is just British broadcasting - the BBC also has a number of foreign operations, such as BBC World News.


All of which are funded via a "television license" which all television owners must purchase. It's a corrupt racket.

Paddy Pantsdown said...

Regarding the epic struggle between the Guardianista/BBC forces of light and goodness versus the evil Murdochian Empire and its orclike minions, for some reason I keep thinking of what Kissinger said about the Iran V Iraq war: "I hope they both lose".

anonymous @ 7:48 AM Beckham is no tosser. We produce vast numbers of footballers who are outrageous tossers. But Beckham is a nice bloke. Even Jeremy Clarkeson says so.

Marlowe said...

Americans will no doubt find this all very interesting but for the sake of giving a complete picture - ITV has multiple channels as well - helpfully labelled 1, 2, 3 & 4. Channel 4 has a separate movie channel called Film 4 and Channel 5 has a channel dedicated to USA content. SKY broadcasting on cable & satellite has channels rivaling the BBC in number including Pay TV sports & movie channels. The BBC while large has plenty of competition. The majority of the British public probably still supports the existence of the BBC funded by the TV license (although dissent, especially on the right, is growing, mainly because the BBC does have a clear left bias) and none of the 3 main UK political parties have proposed scrapping it. Argument instead concerns how much it will cost, how the revenue gets spent and how to deal with the bias of its staff.

Anonymous said...

In addition to its extensive collection of television stations, the BBC owns about a dozen radio stations as well.

Pravda would have loved to have such reach.

gwood said...

What's a tosser?

Whiskey said...

Like him or not, Murdoch was the only alternative to the hard-left control of the British Media. Orwell modeled the 1984 society and Ministry of Truth on the BBC, where he'd worked. And Orwell was initially a man of the Left who sympathized with the Anarchists and Catalan Separatists.

However, Murdoch is likely to sell out in the UK, which is basically not a major profit center. The Times of London will close up without subsidies from the Sun. If no buyers can be found Murdoch can simply close up the entire operation, which is a rounding error in his global media empire (Film and Fox News account for most of his revenue).

BUT ... that will just leave blogs/internet sites as the main alternative to the Stalinistic State Media, which pushes PC, Diversity, and Gay stuff 24/7.

gordon-bennett said...

Have a look at this site for a lot of data and quotes about the leftward bias of the bbc.

http://www.biased-bbc.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

off topic, but an HBD angle:

Non-whites are 'missing out on genome resolution' because research concentrates on Europeans

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2014842/Non-whites-missing-genome-resolution-research-concentrates-Europeans.html

ben tillman said...

In one case, News Corp reporters hacked into the voice mail of a missing 13 year old girl (since found dead) in order to listen to frantic calls from family members. Unbelievably, they then began deleting the messages when the voice mail was full. This gave the family hope that she was still alive and listening to the messages.

Amazing! After all this time, Le Sigh has finally made a worthwhile comment.

That is truly outrageous conduct.

ben tillman said...

Yes, Steve it is a strange dichotomy.

Murdoch is generaly hated by the British establishment, yet British Prime Ministers literally grovelled at his feet for decades


Literally? Are you sure?

Andrew Gilbert said...

"a UK version of America’s most popular news channel Fox News."

Last I checked, Fox News is the most popular cable news channel, but it still only gets a fraction of the viewership of the fading network broadcasts. It can drive the political discussion, but Fox News is hardly a ratings juggernaut compared to CBS, ABC and NBC.

Brent Lane said...

And now, for something completely related...a little pop cultural reference to the subject at hand from three decades ago. And yes, according to the comments, that's a copy of NOTW that he's holding at the beginning of the video:

They wouldn't print it if it wasn't true...

Glaivester said...

Andrew Gilbert:

Calling Fox the "most popular news channel" is still valid, as there is no such thing in the US as a broadcast news channel - broadcast channels are essentially multi-show type.

airtommy said...

Dutch Boy said...

The fact that Rupert Murdoch Inc. is considered an "alternative" to state-sponsored news explains our predicament eloquently.


AMEN!!!

Londoner said...

The article you quote is pure pro-Murdoch spin, Steve.

In addition to tampering with the voicemail of the aforementined 13 year-old girl, News of the World reporters have hacked the phones of grieving relatives of terrorist attacks, soldiers killed in the various neocon wars that Murdoch did so much to promote, the parents of two little girls murdered by their school janitor, and so on, ad nauseam ad infinitum. When the story originally broke five years ago people thought it was only worthless celebrities and arrogant politicians who had been hacked, and the public had no sympathy for any of them. Now that it is becoming clear that defenceless, vulnerable people were also targeted, people are genuinely disgusted - this isn't something that has been purely "got up" by Murdoch's enemies in the media.

Furthermore, NotW reporters have had senior policemen - and not a few of them - in their pay for many years. They have been corrupting the supposed guardians of law and order. They have threatened to destroy any elected politican who goes after them, or any other part of Murdoch's empire, and have made good those threats. Murdoch placemen and women have been at the heart of British prime ministers' offices for decades. He has had a hand on the shoulder of every prime minister since Thatcher. The man and his minions are a malign presence in our national life and just because the BBC and Guardian are left-leaning bodies with vested interests in bringing him down (which they are) does not mean that he doesn't still deserve to swing for the things he's presided over with impunity for so long. His rags have made sport of persecuting and destroying ordinary people (see: Hillsborough victims, Denholm Elliott's daughter, thousands of others) for ages.

In any case, he has aged horribly in just the last year or so (a la Dick Cheney) and I wouldn't be surprised if he's dead soon - amazingly, his mother might outlive him. By the by, I always thought he bore a fairly strong resemblance to Prescott Bush (father of GHWB), which raised some creepy possibilities.

Le Sigh said...

There is no such thing as a "News Corp reporter" and since I'm sure you are not so stupid as to believe that there is, I have to conclude that you're a pathological liar.

???

If the reporters were from three of News Corp entities (the News of the World, the Sun and the Times of London), how are they not News Corp reporters?

Lucille said...

a dozen radio stations as well.

A dozen? Across the whole UK? That doesn't seem like a huge number. Where are these 12 radio stations located? Are they evenly distributed or do they concentrate in major markets?

neil craig said...

There are 5 main terrestrial channels in Britain of which only the first 2 are owned by the BBC and government funded through a tax on TV owners, so why do I accuse them of having something close to a monopoly?

Channel 5 basically doesn't do original programming just rerruns of CSI and the like.

Channel 4 is largely government funded through a levy on ITV (Channel 3) & has a very similar ethos to BBC - slightly looser in that they broadcast 1 programme doubting catastrophic global warming some years ago, which is 1 more than the BBC have ever done. Legally the BBC are required to show "due balance" on all subjects but as that example shows they make little pretence to do so.

All the non-BBC terrestrial channels are regulated by a government office, Ofcom, which takes the BBC ethos as gold standard.

There is a revolving door of personell between them, as indeed there would have to be - who else has the job experience.

So not quite a monopoly but close.

The BBC has disagreed with politicians, including those in government and indeed influences the careers of politicians by the regularity with which they appear. An extreme example being that they give the Green Party 40 times more coverage per vote, all of it friendly, than they do for UKIP, (anti-EU membership and the closest we have to the Tea Party), less supportively.

Government is never an entirely unitary phenomenon and my opinion is that the BBC is not so much the representative of whichever party is in government so much as the broadcast representative of the civil service bureaucrat "consensus".

You do not have to believe in the benevolence of Murdoch to think that this domination of the most important news media should be open to his competition.

"It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest." Adam Smith - and the same applies to news - perhaps even moreso.

Anonymous said...

What, the BBC has anything to offer other than Top Gear?

Anonymous said...

AS they say, two wrongs don't make a right. This is disgraceful, though yes, BBC has its share of crooks too.

Anonymous said...

Last I checked, Fox News is the most popular cable news channel, but it still only gets a fraction of the viewership of the fading network broadcasts. It can drive the political discussion, but Fox News is hardly a ratings juggernaut compared to CBS, ABC and NBC.

Apples and oranges to a large extent, no? Network sitcoms and such being the oranges?

Svigor

Anonymous said...

News of the World reporters have hacked the phones of grieving relatives of terrorist attacks

So have non NOTW reporters. For some strange reason this seems to concern you not at all.

Anonymous said...

Furthermore, NotW reporters have had senior policemen - and not a few of them - in their pay for many years. They have been corrupting the supposed guardians of law and order.


Poor pitiful guardians of law and order! If you were less of a bigoted hack you'd be at least as angry at the British government as you are at Murdoch. But in your telling the British government, along with those guardians of law and order, is just putty in Murdochs hands.

If the guy is as brilliant as you make him out to be we should make him Emperor of Earth.

Anonymous said...

In any case, he has aged horribly in just the last year or so

He's frickin' 80 years old! How young do you expect him to look?

He did marry a 30 yr/old wife recently. Maybe she's taking a lot out of him.

Like so many Brits, you're a very nasty, malcious and unpleasant person.

Anonymous said...

If the reporters were from three of News Corp entities (the News of the World, the Sun and the Times of London), how are they not News Corp reporters?

Because they don't work for "News Corp". Using your logic, I could claim that the terrorist Major Hassan "worked for" President Obama. He did, in a sense. But you'd laugh hysterically if anyone tried to hang Obama on that basis.

Besides, you're just exposing your ignorance of the matter at hand. Supposedly some reporters at a newspaper owned by News Corp hired a private investigator who illegally access the phone accounts in question.

Le Sigh said...

Supposedly some reporters at a newspaper owned by News Corp hired a private investigator who illegally access the phone accounts in question.

Don't want to get into a drawn-out thing here so I'll give it one more try:

Murdoch made Wade the head of his UK affairs in 2009 despite the phone hacking business emerging in 2006 (several reporters were imprisoned for listening to Royal phone messages). She was rewarded by Murdoch for what she had done.

He's fair game.

Londoner said...

Anonymous 9:58 - oh it does bother me, but we don't have much proof of it yet - which is surprising considering that the Murdoch-owned press has nothing to lose now by exposing it. Or maybe it does and there are even worse revelations to come? Wow.

Anonymous 10:12 - not emperor of the world, but he's had too much power over our governments for too long. As far as I know he's not achieved this amount of leverage over any other governments, fortunately for them. As for being "angry" with the British government, yes, I probably should be - but they've been so obviously working directly against the people's interests for pretty much my entire life that it's just weary resignation now.

Anonymous 10:19 (are you the same person as 9:58 and 10:12? - hard to tell) - being unkind to poor old Wupert am I? Aw, boo hoo. Perhaps I'd be more kindly disposed towards him if he hadn't turned much of our media into a meat grinder of ordinary people and a zionist, neocon megaphone. Since you ask, I expect him to look 80 years old, no more no less, but the point is that he's clearly finished physically - take it as a compliment to him in that he coasted along for ~20 years without ageing conspicuously.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps I'd be more kindly disposed towards him if he hadn't turned much of our media into a meat grinder of ordinary people

Again with the attribution of near-magical powers to him. How, specifically, did Murdoch turn "much" of your media into its current status as a synonym for sleaze?

he's had too much power over our governments for too long.

Give specific examples of this "too much power". Has he had more power over your government than the BBC has had over the British people? It would seem odd if he had.


As for being "angry" with the British government, yes, I probably should be - but they've been so obviously working directly against the people's interests for pretty much my entire life that it's just weary resignation now.

I see that Murdoch purchased The Sun in 1969, so it would appear that he has been doing .. whatever it is that you hate ... for pretty much your entire life also.

But I'm not detecting a lot of weary resignation in your attitude towards him. Curious, that.

Anonymous said...

Murdoch made Wade the head of his UK affairs in 2009 despite the phone hacking business emerging in 2006 (several reporters were imprisoned for listening to Royal phone messages). She was rewarded by Murdoch for what she had done.



Done? What "done"? What specifically are you alleging that she "done"?

Isn't it curious that the BBC has picked now to make a big stink about something that was known about five years ago?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:58 - oh it does bother me, but we don't have much proof of it yet

You have a lot more proof than you have for your screwball fantasy that Murdoch personally knew about and approved the phone hacking!

This all reminds me of the Abu Ghraib nonsense where the left pretended to believe that Bush and Cheney were personally ordering the whole thing, and by some accounts watching a live feed in the WH while masturbating.

This is the problem with you on the left - your hate makes you so crazy that you'll believe anything. In fact the more far-fetched a theory is is the more willingly you'll believe it.

Accorording to wikipedia:

Schizoid personality disorder (SPD) is a personality disorder characterized by a lack of interest in social relationships, a tendency towards a solitary lifestyle, secretiveness, emotional coldness and sometimes (sexual) apathy, with a simultaneous rich, elaborate and exclusively internal fantasy world.

You guys have lost the ability to tell the difference between the world as it is, and the world as you would like it to be.