Sunday, November 12, 2006

# Posted 10:46 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

"MURDOCH'S GAME: WILL HE MOVE LEFT IN 2008?" Around a month ago, before the Democrats tasted the euphoria of victory, John Cassidy published a profile of Rupert Murdoch in a special issue of the New Yorker devoted to the media. The driving force behind the article is the question in the subtitle. Will this bete noir of the left turn around and help the Democrats retake the White House?

For Americans who only associate Murdoch with Fox News or the New York Post, the question may seem absurd. But for our British readers, the question will seem perfectly logical. Murdoch was a proud Thatcherite but swung the weight of his media empire behind Tony Blair in 1997, helping Labour return to power after almost 18 years in the wildnerness.

According to John Cassiday, Murdoch may be laying the foundations for a surprise turn in favor of Hillary come 2008:
[Murdoch's] fund-raiser for Hillary Clinton took place on July 17th, at News Corp.’s midtown tower, which houses the Post and Fox News. Among the News Corp. executives who attended were Roger Ailes, the veteran Republican operative who runs Fox News, and Col Allan, the pugnacious, Australian-born editor of the Post. Clinton spoke for about twenty minutes, and then took questions. The breakfast raised more than sixty thousand dollars for Clinton’s senatorial re-election campaign—neither Ailes nor Allan contributed any money—and it led to speculation that Murdoch was preparing to endorse Hillary in the 2008 Presidential campaign.

Appearing on “The Charlie Rose Show” on July 20th, Murdoch said that an endorsement was “unlikely,” which didn’t exactly reassure conservatives. In August, they became more agitated after Murdoch played host to Bill Clinton and Al Gore at a News Corp. retreat in California. “The nature of the event . . . confirms our suspicion that Murdoch may be moving left as the 2008 U.S. presidential election approaches, and that he may bring his ‘conservative’ news properties with him,” Cliff Kincaid, an editor at Accuracy in Media, a conservative watchdog group, commented on the organization’s Web site.

Murdoch likes to keep people guessing about his intentions.
I was hoping for a little more elaboration on that final point. It seems to me that Murdoch does not simply want to keep people guessing, but that he wants to make sure that no one takes him for granted. If he ultimately supports the GOP, he wants to make sure the party knows that Murdoch had a choice, and that if it doesn't pay him his due respects, he can go elsewhere.

Cassidy doesn't venture a prediction about where Murdoch will head, but it will almost certainly be an interesting journey to watch.
(2) opinions -- Add your opinion

When all is said and done Murdoch is a business man who is ultimately concerned with influencing policy to his best intrest. So if he believes that the democrats look to be the policy makers of the next phase of the American political landscape. Then it would only be logical for him to move closer to them.
If he does, what happens to Fox News? Imagine the possibilities...Bill O'Reilly replaced with Keith Olbermann, Sean Hannity with Al Franken? Through the looking glass.
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