Posted at 02:40 PM ET, 07/15/2011

Rupert Murdoch is Voldemort, and other ‘Harry Potter’ references in the news


Rupert Murdoch and Lord Voldemort. (PETER MACDIARMID/GETTY IMAGES; WARNER BROS. PICTURES)
There are a lot of important news stories this week: News of the World shuttering over an ever-increasing phone hacking scandal at News Corp.; the looming default as the debt ceiling debate trudges onward; Libya, Syria and Egypt still battling themselves.

Judging by news headlines, though, the most important story of all is the final “Harry Potter” movie out this week. The boy wizard has successfully sucked up our collective attention as quickly as you can say “Accio.”

Like a mother sneaking zucchini into brownies, a number of media outlets have taken to referencing the magical tale in hard news pieces. Here are some of the more amusing attempts:

The Murdoch scandal is getting the largest amount of Harry Brown love:

“He could have been Dumbledore crossed with Harry Potter. But he’s Voldemort, and he’s not vanquished yet,” Tina Brown, editor of Newsweek, wrote on whether Rupert Murdoch, who owns News Corp., can recover from this latest debacle.

The New Republic has created a slideshow comparing players in the News Corp. scandal story to “Potter” characters. Nick Davies, the Guardian writer who investigated the story, is likened to Harry, while Murdoch is cast as Voldemort: “The scuppering of his BSkyB acquisition at the hands of Harry Potter/Nick Davies will prove a damaging wound. But, with his soul split across newspaper and TV horcruxes around the world, Murdoch needs only to bide his time.”

Jack Shafer, media critic for Slate, wrote a satirical piece reporting that Murdoch was going to buy the Daily Prophet, the fictional paper created by J.K. Rowling.

In an editorial about Murdoch’s conduct, the Globe and Mail writes, “Rupert Murdoch may or may not be an avatar of Lord Voldemort.”

Freelancer Ed Yong reference the latest bit of news in the story — the resignation of Rebekah Brooks — in this tweet: “Rebekah Brooks has resigned! Sky bid dropped! [News of the World] extinct! Only four horcruxes left to go and Murdoch will be mortal again!”

Brendan O’Neill for the Telegraph is apparently not a fan of the Murdoch-Voldemort comparisions, as he shows in his piece, “Murdoch is a Voldemort substitute for overgrown Harry Potter fans who need a daily fix of infantile moralism.”

Don’t worry. The debt ceiling debate is getting some “Potter” love too:

Bloomberg Television correspondent Lizzie O’Leary tweeted that she would be at Capitol Hill asking “lawmakers to define ‘aggregate demand.’ ” And ... “I will also be sorting members of Congress into Hogwarts houses.”

“Fox & Friends” created a mashup of scenes from the film with news footage in a segment called, “Hugely Partisan and the Deathly Debt Ceiling.” Media Matters was not amused.

Let us know if you see Harry Potter cropping up anywhere else.

By  |  02:40 PM ET, 07/15/2011

 
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