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Murdoch is not a “conservative” or “political opportunist,” but a “businessman.” And that’s good for news consumers. 5/6/08

Posted by Steve Boriss in Murdoch.

While News Corp’s Rupert Murdoch is disdained by many journalists, the names he is called often reveal more about his accusers than about Murdoch himself. He is called a “conservative” by those who are liberal. He is accused of wanting to tart-up the Wall Street Journal with London Sun’s “Page 3” girls by those who insist newspapers must be serious and humorless. We are warned about the dangers of Murdoch controlling editorial opinions among those who believe journalists must never defer to their business owners.

When Slate’s Jack Shafer denied Murdoch was a conservative, but a political opportunist instead, he had it almost exactly right. Yes, Murdoch tends to support candidates of any party if he thinks they might win — or hedge his bets in case they do. But, he’s simply acting as a “businessman” in these instances, and it is the fault of politicians, and not Murdoch, if someone like Murdoch feels he has to play this game in order to prevent government from infringing on his business plans. Actually, Murdoch’s cold, calculating, profit-minded, dispassionate political behavior is a plus for consumers. He is focusing on giving consumers what they want, not what politicians or journalists want. Why would anyone have a problem with that?


1. chris b - 5/7/08

I remember an interview with one of the major casino owners in Vegas who said that their enterprise usually gave money to both sides in an election, and then would give the winner a bonus afterward. I’ll bet Murdoch does pretty much the same thing.

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