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Murdoch's Politics: How One Man's Thirst For Wealth and Power Shapes our World

Reagan negotiated with Gorbachev regardless. For a time, post-cold war American politics seemed to baffle Murdoch, too. In the presidential election, he vainly favoured the erratic TV evangelist Pat Robertson as the Republican candidate. In the contest, he abandoned the Republicans for the independent Ross Perot, who came third. Even in Britain, in the 90s there were hints that the Murdoch era might be drawing to a close.

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Thatcher's successor, John Major , was increasingly appalled by Murdoch's commercial and political power and wanted to diminish it: "If I had a majority of ," he said privately in , "I would crush Rupert Murdoch and make sure he had no newspapers at all. But Murdoch's vulnerable phase did not last long. In he launched Fox News , with its fiery round-the-clock readings of the conservative gospel, and his influence on American politics was reborn. In Tony Blair was elected, his government considerably less hostile to Murdoch than Major's, and Murdoch lent it strong, if conditional, support.

In , shortly after Murdoch had switched his allegiance back to the Tories, Blair became godfather to one of Murdoch's children. For all the outward, often blatant signs of Murdoch's influence, there remains an opaqueness to his political role. Partly this is a sign of his status, and of the congruence between his thinking and that of so many western politicians during the long free market ascendancy from the 70s to the 00s. McKnight quotes the former Australian prime minister Paul Keating: "You can do deals with [Murdoch] without ever saying a deal is done. But there is a deeper mystery about him.

Counting the Cost - The Murdochs: Money, power, influence

What sort of political animal is Murdoch really? A crafty player of the game for its own sake; a self-interested businessman simply seeking more corporate freedom; a restless seeker after heroes and ideological certainties; a chippy anglophobe; a rebel against an establishment father; or just a powerful, opinionated man surrounded by unquestioning courtiers, a little like Prince Charles?

Murdoch is probably a bit of all these, and McKnight doesn't ever quite establish the respective proportions. But as an anatomy and record of the reign of Murdoch this book is brave and valuable. And one day, when Murdoch is gone, it will help explain why so many obeyed him. An important part of this was Murdoch's alliance with New York Democrat mayor Ed Koch … " Frustratingly but probably wisely, McKnight offers no firm conclusion about the precise electoral impact of the Murdoch machine, such as the Sun's notorious assault on Neil Kinnock and Labour in Topics Politics books.

How One Man's Thirst For Wealth and Power Shapes our World

Reuse this content. Order by newest oldest recommendations. Show 25 25 50 All. In total, News Corporation papers amount to In Europe, it wholly owns Sky Italia, which has 4 million subscribers, and partly owns Sky Deutschland. It also owns major assets in India and China.


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In the US, News Corporation is one of only five companies that own the vast majority of all media. It also owns ten hugely profitable film companies, including 20 th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight Pictures. McKnight argues that Murdoch set out to shape the world. Throughout his career he has engaged in an array of direct political activities — some overt, some secretive — which are secondary to his business interests.

He has funded right wing think tanks and anti-communist groups. In addition to funding and supporting favoured political candidates, he uses his personal connections with political leaders to shape policy. In Britain today it would be almost unthinkable for a party to form a government without the support of the Sun and the Times. He ensures that books by political allies are published, regardless of the profits they make, and his titles provide a soapbox for writers who share his particular brand of conservatism.

McKnight argues that Murdoch has a clear political vision.


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  • He champions anti-statist neoliberal capitalism, coupled with a pro-American, militaristic foreign policy. Nowhere was this more evident than in his support for the US- and British-led invasion of Iraq in As pressure mounted on the Saddam regime in Baghdad, Murdoch media across the globe trained their sights on those who still held out against full-scale war. Fox News hammered home the nightly warnings about weapons of mass destruction across the US. Thatcher, Bush, Reagan and Blair were seen to court him and his editors.

    The translation of his personal values into government policy appears to be accepted as part of the pact he makes with those who will be supported in his media.

    Murdoch's politics: how one man's thirst for wealth and power shapes our world - Dimensions

    One has to be thankful for the distance that is more generally kept between media and politicians here and in many other European countries. The relationships may not be perfect. But they are less likely to be subversive of democracy, and they are closer to the ideal set out by Burke in for the respective roles of the press and those who hold political power. We use cookies to personalise content, target and report on ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic.

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