The Murdoch Press and the left

From Five myths about Rupert Murdoch published in The Washington Post. Myth Number 1:

1. Murdoch is on the far right.

Fairness and balance aside, Fox News serves up some of the most conservative voices active in American politics. The Wall Street Journal publishes consistently anti-tax and anti-regulatory editorials and opinion pieces. Murdoch’s London tabloids beat the drums for the invasion of Iraq, while his Australian tabloids routinely mock the idea of global warming.

And yet, this is a guy who kept a bust of Lenin in his student chambers at Oxford University. Murdoch founded his native Australia’s sole national newspaper (the Australian) in 1964 and encouraged its reporting on conditions confronting aboriginal peoples. Even though he is hostile to government initiatives on climate change, groups that examine corporate carbon emissions have given News Corp. high marks for monitoring and disclosing its footprint; the company beat a five-year deadline that he set back in 2007 to become carbon-neutral. A naturalized American citizen, Murdoch supports more liberal immigration laws.

Over the years, he has moved to the right. But his cultural conservatism and skepticism of regulation are tempered by more progressive stands, influenced in part by his three adult children with his second wife. And his political instincts prove flexible. Although he went after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a leading Republican, last year for cozying up to President Obama in the wake of Hurricane Sandy so close to Election Day, Murdoch has made common cause with center-left Democrats such as the late New York City mayor Ed Koch and Hillary Rodham Clinton when she was a senator from New York. Similarly, he backed Labor’s Tony Blair for prime minister three times in Britain. He is simply not as conservative as Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes or the Journal editorial page.

And then there is this from Wikipedia:

 At the end of the Thatcher/Major era, Murdoch switched his support to the Labour Party and its leader, Tony Blair. The closeness of his relationship with Blair and their secret meetings to discuss national policies was to become a political issue in Britain.Former [Labour] Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s official spokesman said in November 2009 that Brown and Murdoch “were in regular communication” and that “there is nothing unusual in the prime minister talking to Rupert Murdoch”.

And in Australia.

Rudd certainly has a lot to say about the coverage of the 2007 federal election by this august organ’s parent company in his new book, Not for the Faint-hearted, released today:

True to the Murdoch newspaper and Howard government form guide … The Murdoch press continued with its breathless reporting …

We gave him a hard time in 2007? We gave him our endorsement. The Australian’s editorial, November 23, 2007:

Mr Rudd has spoken of recapturing some of the reform zeal of the Hawke and Keating years … We recognise that no change is free of risk, but we recommend a vote for Mr Rudd.

Rudd hated News’s coverage of his time at a strip joint in New York. Rudd’s memoir, yesterday:

Sure enough … I was hit with the full barrage of Murdoch front-page headlines, screaming RUDD’S STRIP CLUB SHAME and DRUNK RUDD CAN’T RECALL STRIP CLUB …

And our investigations into his multi-millionaire wife’s business dealings. Not for the Faint-hearted, continued:

The Murdoch press stalking her as if she was a criminal … This was a type of McCarthyism; where once a charge is made, then published and sensationalised, it becomes legitimate to publish any subsequent charge …

Didn’t stop our sister paper The Daily Telegraph from endorsing him. November 23, 2007:

The Daily Telegraph believes Kevin Rudd should be the next prime minister … we now believe Mr Howard has reached his use-by date …

As did Brisbane’s The Courier-Mail, November 23, 2007:

Kevin Rudd is a man for his time … he has the support of The Courier-Mail, only the second endorsement we have given federal Labor since the newspaper was established 74 years ago.

1 thought on “The Murdoch Press and the left

  1. Pingback: The Murdoch Press and the left - The Rabbit Hole

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