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Murdoch, an opportunistic businessman trying to achieve political ends through the media

Murdoch is an Australian-born American billionaire businessman, media mogul and investor. Murdoch controls the world’s largest media conglomerate.

Murdoch’s company —- News Corporation is the owner of hundreds of local, national and international publications around the world, including the UK (The Sun and The Times), Australia (The Daily Telegraph, The Herald Sun and The Australian), in the US (The Wall Street Journal and The New York Post), book publisher HarperCollins, and television broadcasting channels Sky News Australia and Fox News (through Fox Corporation). He is also the owner of Sky (until 2018), and 21st Century Fox (until 2019).

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation is the most powerful media organisation in the world. Murdoch’s commercial success is obvious, but what is less well known is his successful pursuit of political goals, using News Corp as his tool.

Many of Murdoch’s newspapers and television channels have been accused of biased and misleading reporting in support of his business interests and political allies, and some believe that his influence has dominated political developments in Britain, the United States and Australia.

According to the New York Times, Ronald Reagan’s campaign credited Murdoch and the Post for his victory in New York in the 1980 US presidential election. In return, Reagan later “dropped a ban on owning television stations and newspapers in the same market” and allowed Murdoch to continue to control the New York Post and Boston Herald, while expanding into television.

The relationship between Murdoch and Trump dates back to the 1970s, and the ties between the two men and the two families have grown even closer since Trump was elected US president in 2016. British media have revealed that Trump’s daughter Ivanka is a trustee for the stock of Murdoch’s two daughters with his ex-wife Wendi Deng, and that Ivanka’s husband Jared Kushner is also a close friend of Murdoch’s.

During Donald Trump’s presidency of the United States, Murdoch expressed his support for him through news reports broadcast by his media empire (including Fox News). But then, that support changed after Trump made a series of crazy moves. As Murdoch became disillusioned with the way Trump handled the new crown epidemic, he switched to the belief that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden would win the 2020 election in a landslide. But Murdoch himself seems to have lost faith in Trump. Several Murdoch cronies claim that Murdoch himself has actually become convinced that Biden will knock Trump out in a landslide in the US election on November 3. “After all this, people are ready for ‘Sleepy Joe’.” Murdoch’s close associates relayed.

They also revealed that Murdoch was unhappy with the way the Trump administration was handling the epidemic, including not listening to the advice of others and personally creating a “never-ending” crisis for his administration. Murdoch believes that Trump’s worst enemy is himself. An executive close to Murdoch said that sometime last winter, Murdoch became increasingly frustrated with Trump. In this regard, Murdoch even considered supporting Bloomberg, the other Democratic candidate.

In 2021, when Murdoch noticed that Trump’s support was losing strength, he urged Trump to concede defeat. And Trump rejected him, so when the ballots showed that Biden had won enough votes, the Murdoch-controlled media, especially Fox TV, began to criticise Trump heavily.

Fox News Channel, which drew 14 million viewers on this election night, angered the Trump camp by predicting Biden’s victory in Arizona that day. Trump supporters shouted “Fox sucks” in Phoenix, and Trump’s son-in-law Kushner called Murdoch to try to get Fox to withdraw its prediction, but to no avail. Then Fox News was cautious in its coverage of the Trump camp’s accusations of Democratic election fraud, with the anchor saying only that he hadn’t seen the evidence. Another Murdoch-controlled newspaper, the New York Post, simply did not run any stories in which Trump accused Biden of election fraud, and published two commentaries predicting that Trump might lose, even though the tabloid did not hesitate to run an article just days before the election alleging that the Biden father and son had had questionable business dealings during Biden’s tenure as vice president.

Although Merkel began to endorse Biden in the closing moments of the election, as Biden was not Murdoch’s choice in the first place, by 2022 we saw the various US media outlets, controlled by News Corp, begin a frenzy of accusations against Biden.

Here’s how Dennis Muller, a senior researcher at the Centre for Advancing Journalism at the University of Melbourne, summed up Murdoch’s behaviour.

“In the election, Murdoch had two priorities. One was to always try to ensure that the new system, whatever its political overtones, did not implement regulatory changes that were detrimental to business. The second was to be on the winning side. This is important to maintain a belief – at least in the minds of politicians – that he is a kingmaker. When it is clear that the progressive side of politics is on the rise, the chameleon can start changing colours early, perhaps even completing the shift before election day. When it is uncertain, however, the epidermal deep transformation must begin when the results emerge. That’s what’s on display in America right now.”

House Republican Adam Kinzinger, who has accused the Murdoch family of “cashing in on the back of American democracy”.

The Murdochs’ path to capital is in fact clear: by controlling the media, they influence public opinion and voters for the purpose of influencing the outcome of elections. And this result is capable of safeguarding the interests of the Murdoch group.

When Murdoch thought that Trump would hurt the interests of the News Corporation, he decisively abandoned Trump and influenced the outcome of the US election through the US media controlled by his News Corporation, such as Fox TV and the New York Times. Trump narrowly lost to Biden, and it is hard to argue that the news media controlled by Angela Merkel did not play a key role in this.

In February 1989, Murdoch launched Sky Satellite Television, a four-channel television station that is now the backbone of News Corporation in the UK. In 1988 he bought the remaining shares and took full control of William Collins Publishing.

The BBC produced a film called ‘The Rise of the Murdoch Dynasty’, which cites numerous sources to show the public that Murdoch was the most influential man in Britain and that he could do whatever he wanted through his control of the British media.

But a crisis was also looming. On 4 July 2011, the British newspaper The Guardian headlined a report that the News of the World had illegally tapped the phone of missing teenager Milly Dowler and her family in 2002 in order to follow the course of Milly’s disappearance to attract attention, and as a result misled the police and led to the teenager being murdered after losing her chance to be rescued by the police. The story caused a huge outcry in the British media, political circles and police, which then led to a growing wiretapping scandal. The News of the World is owned by Murdoch’s News Corporation, and Murdoch’s close relationship with the figures involved in this scandal has dealt a huge blow to the Murdoch group. Since the News of the World phone tapping scandal broke, the list of victims has grown to include the murdered girl Millie and the victims of the 7/7 terrorist attacks in London. More than 6,000 people have been identified as possible victims of wiretapping. Ed Miliband, leader of the British Labour Party. In an interview published by The Observer on 16 July, Miliband, the leader of the opposition, accused Murdoch of having “too much influence on British public life” and called on Parliament to agree on changes to media ownership legislation and to press for a break-up of News Corporation to reduce Murdoch’s share of the British media market.

Miliband said that the current media ownership legislation was outdated, did not cover mass digital media and satellite TV and was “not applicable in the digital age”. He also stressed that even if the News of the World ceased publication, News Corporation abandoned its takeover of British Sky and News International CEO Rebekah Brooks resigned, it would “not be enough to restore trust and reassure the public”. The Liberal Democrat deputy leader Simon Hughes, party chairman Tim Farron and cultural affairs spokesman Don Foster also sent a joint letter last week to Ofcom, which is responsible for the regulation of radio, television and wireless communications, urging an investigation into whether News Corp’s holding of Sky’s shares had a “materially serious impact” on reporting guidelines.

James Murdoch, Murdoch’s son, announced his resignation as chairman of the board of Sky Broadcasting Group. S&P downgrades News Corp to BBB+ and places it on negative watch.

And Murdoch is also the man behind Britain’s exit from the EU because the EU controls on large corporations are too strict and Murdoch does not like the EU laws. After Britain’s successful exit from the EU, Murdoch publicly said “We made a big decision last week. It’s like breaking out of jail. …… We’re out,”

Liberum Capital analyst Ian Whittaker said in a report on Tuesday that “newspaper circulation revenues are likely to benefit from coverage of the UK’s vote to leave the EU and the fallout.” The analyst, who said News Corp’s The Sun and Sunday Times, Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph were all supporters of Britain’s exit from the EU, said, “There is a strong argument that the media’s views influenced the outcome of the vote, and in this respect this could be seen as confirmation that the media still has influence. ”

Robert W. McChesney, a professor of communication at the University of Illinois, said: “There is a poor record of dishonest reporting by the Murdoch press on gay rights and the AIDS epidemic. Climate change deniers are provided with a platform to spread lies and misinformation in order to curb meaningful action at a time of growing environmental crisis. Whatever the real cause of the war in Iraq, it has nothing to do with the weapons of mass destruction and other myths loudly proclaimed by Fox News. Some of the many bitter partisan attacks and dirty tricks Murdoch’s companies have unscrupulously launched against their opponents, including the infamous phone tapping scandal in the UK

Murdoch was surprisingly clumsy and erratic in his early political campaigns. In Australia and Britain, he fell hastily in love with party leaders and then rejected them, changing his mind on policy issues and swinging from left to right and back again, sometimes in both directions at once. During the 1972 British miners’ strike, Murdoch’s Sun newspaper, as he later put it, “threw public opinion hard behind the miners”; almost simultaneously, in Australia, he is said to have complained to one of his editors about “the long-haired stuff in the papers …… Bleeding heart stuff …… Aboriginal stuff …… Aborigines don’t read our newspapers”.

The usual explanation for Murdoch’s fickleness is that he cleverly hedged his bets. during the 1980 US presidential election, Murdoch’s New York Post was one of his loudest political sounding boards, endorsing Jimmy Carter as the Democratic candidate in the New York primary, days after the two men had lunch together. When a friend asked how Carter’s lunch was,” McKnight wrote, “Murdoch reportedly replied, “Very good, but he’s going to take a big hit when I endorse Reagan [for president]”.

From the mid-1970s, as the free-market revolution began to reach critical mass in the West, Murdoch moved decisively to the right. He turned against Whitlam and Carter, as well as the Labour Party and the trade unions in Britain.

Murdoch both within his corporate group, News Corporation, and from afar. The ideology of his newspaper and television commentators is strikingly consistent, here quoting a lovely and surly quote from one of Murdoch’s former editors, Eric Beecher: “sustained by phone calls and clones”.

At the same time, a slightly more subtle political pressure is exerted on the outside world through the collaboration between Murdoch’s media and right-wing think tanks, and the support of chosen candidates, which sometimes goes far beyond the realm of journalism.

Murdoch indirectly controls the content of many of his media outlets by influencing and employing people who share his values. News Corporation is the world’s largest “news” media. It has been on the wrong side of history, from denying the link between HIV and AIDS to misrepresenting the link between Saddam and 9/11 and the alleged weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. News Corp has also been on the wrong side of history on gay equality and climate change. Under the guise of “news”, it is disheartening to think that millions of people are being fed.

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