There is a version of modern political and cultural history which goes something like this: the global media operation of Rupert Murdoch, and its dark influence on the governments of the great Western powers, have gone a long way towards destroying this thing we call liberal democracy.
I mean, it seems a bit crude, does it not? A tad simplistic?
And yet… watching the first of three parts of The Rise of the Murdoch Dynasty on BBC2, it was increasingly hard to find the flaws in that generalisation.
Instinctively, I would want to correct it here and there - because it has been said so often, and with such emotional conviction that I assume there must be something essentially wrong with it. There usually is, with these sweeping judgements.
For example, there are aspects of Murdoch and of Murdochism in general that are obviously not all bad. For example, due to Sky Sports' coverage of the Premier League, he permanently transformed what used to be known as Sunday into Super Sunday, or even Grand Slam Sunday. And that was an unambiguously good thing, a clear improvement on the way we used to live.
Nor is it exactly a new thing in our civilisation for a media mogul to be exerting a sinister influence on whatever government is relying on his organs for support. Indeed it can be said for Murdoch that he would still regard himself as 'a journalist', that he really knows and likes newspapers. And that he's put out a few good ones in his time.
Which helps to explain why he was so maddened by what he saw as the forces of the internet basically stealing his work and that of most other journalists too.
That's what he saw, and he saw it before most people - and he was right.
Yes, the paywall was another great shout of his, from the man who inherited just "a small newspaper empire" in Australia from his father, and then lost most of it through legal tomfoolery. But he got it all back, and built a few more media empires too for himself - and along the way, he became a crucial player in two other empires in which he does much of his business, those of Britain and the United States.
Because once you get those 'positive' aspects of Murdoch out of the way (and there are some who wouldn't even agree that Super Sunday is better than the old Sunday), that massive statement at the top of this piece is holding up with disturbing accuracy.
Like a lot of the bad things of our time, it started in earnest with Thatcher - who allowed Murdoch to buy up much larger chunks of the British media than was right and proper, in exchange for his rabid support for her, and his equally rabid attacks on Labour.
He controlled many MPs anyway with the dirt he had on them, and generally terrorised the political class in a way that Alastair Campbell likened to "a wild dog in the corner of the room. And it's sort of there the whole time… and you just want to keep it quiet".
This is what Campbell himself and his comrade Tony Blair did, or tried to do, reasoning that no Labour government could possibly get elected without Murdoch's support. Which was probably true.
But the wild dog dragged out of them a commitment that Britain wouldn't join the euro without a referendum - a move which Nigel Farage himself in this programme magnanimously claimed was the first crucial step in what later became the catastrophe (not his word) of Brexit.
Likewise the same wild dog, more than any other beast, made Trump the president of the USA, and is doing all it can to keep him there, providing him with a full-blown 24-hour propaganda operation in Fox News.
And it helped to drag both Britain and America into the Gulf War, giving ceaseless support to Blair and Bush in every wrong step they took, every line of unmitigated bullshit about Weapons of Mass Destruction and the like.
So even if we leave aside the Thatcher years, and the general polluting of the culture of the UK and the USA every day of the week, we can say without fear of contradiction that three things at least probably would not have happened without the bullying by Murdoch - Trump, and Brexit, and Britain in the Gulf War.
That's quite a collection there, that's some trifecta.
And yes, while I have enjoyed some top Premier League action over the years, I'm looking again at that big claim - that the Murdoch empire has gone a long way towards destroying this thing they call liberal democracy.
And I have to say, what liberal democracy?
Sunday Indo Living