Elsewhere in my rants and writings, I have mentioned the Weekly Standard and Bill Kristol, its neocon founder and editor. According to Right Web, the Weekly Standard is also “a magazine closely linked to the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).” To top that, Rupert Murdoch, through the News Corporation, owns the Weekly Standard. For more on the relation between Bill and Rupert, checkout the “Neocon Corner” at the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. Here are some excerpts from this article concerning the Rupert Murdoch/Bill Kristol relationship:
One reason Kristol was able to help create this [Iraq] war was the fact that he had a ready-made platform, courtesy of the Australian press lord Rupert Murdoch, who underwrites Kristol’s magazine, The Weekly Standard. …
… After the Republicans took Congress two years later, Kristol approached Murdoch to propose that he finance The Weekly Standard. Since then, the magazine has made no significant increase in circulation from the original 60,000. A large part of this figure includes gratis mailings of the magazine, all subsidized by Murdoch.
… Kristol operates a think tank that boasts big-name scholars and former government officials, and is a regular figure on Murdoch’s Fox News Channel. …
Most recently , Murdoch spent $6.6 billion to purchase a controlling interest in DirecTV, the nation’s largest home satellite television service. This gives him the ability to promote Kristol and his other favorites into 11 million U.S. homes.
As mentioned above, there’s Fox News, another one of Mr. Murdoch’s 175 media holdings. Here is what Right Web reported from other sources about Fox News:
… Murdoch’s personal involvement has helped to ensure that almost all of his news organizations “have hewn very closely to Mr. Murdoch’s own stridently hawkish political views, making his voice among the loudest in the Anglophone world in the international debate over the American-led war with Iraq,” as one commentator put it (New York Times, April 7, 2003).
Fox News, which eclipsed CNN in 2002 as the top-rated cable news network in the United States, has frequently been singled out for criticism because of its blatantly one-sided coverage of the war in Iraq and for printing unsubstantiated stories about the conflict. When CNN reporter Christiane Amanpour blamed Fox for creating “a climate of fear and self-censorship” regarding coverage of Iraq, a Fox spokeswoman shot back, “Given the choice, it’s better to be viewed as a foot soldier for Bush than a spokeswoman for al-Qaida” (USA Today, September 14, 2003).
Relative to his other holdings, here is more on Mr. Murdoch’s influence on his media holdings:
Gene Kimmelman of the Consumers Union told the New York Times: “[Murdoch] has extended the most blatant editorializing in the entire world through his media properties, and that is exactly the example of what we need to worry about when any one entrepreneur owns and controls too many media outlets” (April 7, 2003).
Said Murdoch of the war, “The greatest thing to come out of this for the world economy, if you could put it that way, would be $20 a barrel for oil. That’s bigger than any tax cut in any country” (Guardian, February 1, 2003).
The comic writer Al Franken once wrote of Murdoch: “There’s one important thing you should know about Murdoch. He’s evil. I defer to the … Columbia Journalism Review: ‘Murdoch uses his diverse holdings … to promote his own financial interests at the expense of real news gathering, legal and regulatory rules, and journalistic ethics. He wields his media as instruments of influence with politicians who can aid him, and savages his competitors in his news columns. If ever someone demonstrated the dangers of mass power being concentrated in few hands, it would be Murdoch.'”
One British newspaper opined: “You have got to admit that Rupert Murdoch is one canny press tycoon because he has an unerring ability to choose editors across the world who think just like him. How else can we explain the extraordinary unity of thought in his newspaper empire about the need to make war on Iraq? After an exhaustive survey of the highest-selling and most influential papers across the world owned by Murdoch’s News Corporation, it is clear that all are singing from the same hymn sheet. Some are bellicose baritone soloists who relish the fight. Some prefer a less strident, if more subtle, role in the chorus. But none, whether fortissimo or pianissimo, has dared to croon the anti-war tune. Their master’s voice has never been questioned” (Guardian, February 17, 2003).