Information Landmine

"The Americans keep telling us how successful their system is. Then they remind us not to stray too far from our hotel at night." - An un-named EU trade representative quoted during international trade talks in Denver, Colorado, 1997.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


Reports have been coming out that global media tyrant Rupert Murdoch has been throwing ever-more of his not-inconsiderable weight behind the Obama campaign. Now media circles are all-a-flutter with stories of how he's been trying to broker a truce between Obama and the attack dogs at Fox news. And now, sure enough, he's going to appear on the O'Reilly factor just before John McCain makes his acceptance speech at the RNC.

Now, first off this is all very interesting in itself. Watching how O'Reilly goes at Obama when the message coming down from on-high is that Murdoch is probably backing him should be a fascinating bit of viewing for those of us who spend our time wondering just how much direct control Murdoch actually exercises. My personal feeling is that we can take anything less than full-on, rabid wing-nuttery from O'Reilly to be evidence of Murdoch's iron-fisted rule. Watching how Obama tackles it should be equally interesting.

There are also, of course, the Tony Blair parallels, although, as the Guardian points out above:

Murdoch courting Obama marks something of role reversal from the mid-1990s, when UK prime minister-in-waiting Tony Blair actively courted Murdoch as part of his bid for power.

"This is a leap for Murdoch. Murdoch has traditionally liked politicians to come to him. His historic shift in the 1990s to Tony Blair came after Blair made a pilgrimage to Australia," wrote Wolff.

"Obama, on the other hand, was snubbing Murdoch. Every time he reached out (Murdoch executives tried to get the Kennedys to help smooth the way to an introduction), nothing. The Fox stain was on Murdoch."


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