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Interesting article on Rupert Murdoch

Paul McKenna
Ugly Redneck
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Taken from the Andrew Neil book, Full Disclosure
Murdoch Character/Persona
When you work for Rupert Murdoch you do not work for a company chairman or chief executive: you work for a Sun King. You are not a director or a manager or an editor: you are a courtier at the court of the Sun King - rewarded with money and status by a grateful king as long as you serve his purpose, dismissed outright and demoted to a remote corner of the empire when you have ceased to please him or outlived your usefulness.
All life revolves around the Sun King: all authority comes from him. He is the only one to whom allegiance must be owed and he expects his remit to run everywhere, his word to be final. There are no other references but him. He is the only benchmark and anybody of importance reports direct to him. Normal management structures - all the traditional lines of authority, communicating and decision taking in the modern Business Corporation - do not matter. The Sun King is all that matters.
The Sun King is everywhere even when he is nowhere. He rules over great distances through authority, loyalty, example and fear. He can be benign or ruthless, depending on his mood or the requirements of his empire. You never know which: the element of surprise is part of the means by which he makes his presence felt in every corner of his domain. He may intervene in matters great or small: you never know when or where, which is what keeps you on your toes and the King is constantly on your mind. "I wonder how the King is today?" is the first question that springs to a good courtier's mind when he wakes up everyday.
Even when the Sun King has not expressed an interest or shown any desire to become involved, or you think his attention is absorbed in another part of his vast empire, such is his omnipresence that you strive to keep in mind whatever you think his wishes are. The knack of second-guessing the Sun King is essential for the successful courtier: anticipation of his attitudes is the courts biggest industry. It is fatal ever to make the mistake of taking him for granted.
All Sun Kings have a weakness for courtiers who are fawning or obsequious. But the wisest - among whom we must number Murdoch - know they also need courtiers with brains, originality and a free spirit, especially in the creative media business. But the independence has its limits: Sun Kings are also control freaks - and they are used to getting their way.
He is a republican who, in private, leaves you with no doubt that he would sweep the Royal Family away tomorrow if he had the chance: he regards them as the apex of a class system that has held Britain back - and slighted him on numerous occasions. He is enthusiastic about proposals to replace the Queen as head of state in Australia with a president.
He believes that the future is in television.
His control is subtle.
He is too smart too ignore.
His competition has had to learn the hard way that he is one of the smartest men in business with a restless, ruthless brain that is more than a match for any British competition. With a mind that is always buzzing, always up on the issues and always original.
Political gossip is Rupert's stock-in-trade - give him some and he will go away happy.
Rupert is a highly political animal.
Business and politics are his only two passions: art, music, hobbies, poetry, theatre, fiction, even sport (sailing may be an exception) have no interest for him. He is fascinated by the politics for its own sake - but also because politics affects the business environment in which he operates.
Rupert expects his papers to stand broadly for what he believes: a combination of right-wing Republicanism from America with undiluted Thatcherism from Britain and stirred with some anti-British establishment sentiments as befits his colonial heritage. The resulting potage is a radical-right dose of free market economics, the social agenda of the Christian Moral Majority and hard-line conservative views on subjects like drugs, abortion, law and order and defence.
He is much more right wing than is generally thought, but will curb is ideology for commercial reasons.
One time when we (Andrew and Rupert) were talking about the need for the radical reform of welfare, I remarked that we still had to make sure there was a basic provision - a safety net - for everybody. "Yeah, yeah, maybe" he growled, "but it should be very low".
He loathes Bill Clinton.
He was determined to stop Chris Patten ever becoming Prime Minister: he thinks him too "wet" and bears a grudge against the Hong Kong governors tough line with Beijing, which had not been good for Rupert's business in China, where his Hong Kong based Star Satellite - TV service was trying to gain a foothold.
"It may be just my wallet talking," he said to me in 1993 (AN), "but I think Patten is making a hash of it. He's trying to make a name for himself back in Britain; but he's a lightweight who is screwing everything up".
Where political principle and business expediency clash, you can be pretty sure expediency will win. When his business interests force him into an expedient solution which goes against his political gain, a convoluted thought process then takes place to justify his position.
Yet Rupert has cosied up to China, another evil communist empire in the nineties.
There is no mystery why Rupert has changed his tune: he will always moderate his political fundamentalism if it suits his business strategy. He had no business interests in the Soviet Union in the eighties; he is selling satellite TV to the Chinese in the nineties.
Gus Fischer, a fellow senior employee of Murdoch's, says of him "I have never seen anybody more astute at manipulating politicians to his advantage than Rupert".
But he had a quiet, remorseless, sometimes threatening way of laying down the parameters within which you were expected to operate. Editors whose sole purpose is survival have to become adept at reading Rupert Murdoch: stray too far too often from his general outlook and you will be looking for a new job. It can be strangely oppresive, even when you agree with him: the man is never far from your mind. Rupert dominates the lives of all his senior executives.
Despite his privileged upper-middle-class background he sees himself as a anti-Establishment man of the people (which he once wincingly described on BBC TV's Wogan show as the common people) and believes his tabloids speak for their concerns, even though he has never had any real contact with Britain's "common people" and mingles largely with establishment types when he is in Britain.
As his empire in America has expanded he has grown out of touch with Britain.
The popular hatred for the poll tax, for example, remained a mystery to him.
Though it would grieve him to think so he has become an old fashioned Times proprietor of the type he used to sneer at, keeping the paper going at a loss for years because of the power and prestige it brings its owner.
Kelvin Mackenzie of the Sun endured almost "daily bollockings". From the man he always referred to as - the boss - a steady stream of transatlantic vituperation and four letter words was his regular diet for over 12 years, even though he ran a paper which netted his proprietor �70-90 million a year. "It treats the tabloid editors like dirt", confirms John Dux, who was managing director at Wapping in the early nineties. "Kelvin used to go into great depressions after Rupert's onslaughts. When you run the most successful tabloid in the World it is not nice being regularly told you are a fucking idiot by your proprietor".
The abuse did not get better with time. A depressed Kelvin called me in February 1992. "I have just had the worst ever four letter tongue lashing from Rupert," he informed me. "I came very close to resigning last night. I have told Gus Fischer that I can't take anymore from that Australian bastard". (Kelvin did quit) It took several days to talk Kelvin round to returning, with Rupert even promising, "I'll change."
Rupert got his way and treated Kelvin with more respect after that. But things were never quite the same again: the whipping boy had finally stood up to the boss - and the boss was unsettled by it. Kelvin was soon moved from his beloved Sun to Sky Television early in 1994.
Kelvin was not the only one to experience "bollocking". Patsy Chapman suffered a nervous breakdown from the pressure and had to resign when she was the editor of the News of the World.
There was an element of the bully in this: Rupert ranted at Kelvin and others because he knew he could get away with it - they were prepared to put up with it.
There is a Jekyll and Hide quality to Rupert Murdoch.
I grew to resent that one man could have so much effect on me. (AN)
For Rupert everything in life is competition.
For a Sun King, his immediate entourage is very small. There is no kitchen cabinet that follows him around the world: he travels alone; but then he is a loner.
He does not allow himself to become intimate with anybody else for he never knows when he will have to turn on them: it is always more painful to sack your best friend, whereas courtiers are disposable.
He has built his empire by using people then discarding them when they have passed their sell by date. It is not the sort of management style, which lends itself to lasting friendships.
"The management style of News Corporation is one of extreme devolution punctuated by periods of episodic autocracy. Most company boards meet to take decisions. Ours meets to ratify Rupert's. For much of the time, you don't hear from Rupert. Then, all of a sudden, he descends like a thunderbolt from hell to slash and burn all before him. Since nobody is ever sure when the next autocratic intervention will take place (or on what subject), they live in fear of it and try to second guess what he would want, even in the most un-important of matters. It is a clever way of keeping his executives off balance: they live in perpetual state of insecurity. Everybody in the company is obsessed with him, he is the main topic of conversation, even among executives who have not heard from him for months; everybody is desperate for any titbit of information about him, especially if it sheds light on what his latest thoughts and movements are."
(Richard Searby - Murdoch's Australian chairman)
"Calculated Terror" is how one of his most senior associates best describes Rupert's management style.
But it also has its drawbacks: senior managers are easily demoralised and undermined by Rupert's cavalier behaviour, which encourages sometimes irrational and unpredictable decisions.
Nobody in the company other than Rupert knows the whole picture.
He relishes keeping even his most senior executives in the dark: a divide and rule approach, which leaves them all feeling vulnerable. This makes for weak management - but then Rupert is surrounded by weak managers. Those who behave otherwise do not last long.
One of my duller chores as editor was to attend the monthly Wapping management meeting. This was supposed to be a gathering of top Murdoch executives where problems would be resolved and policies agreed. But the meetings were a complete waste of time: no decision of any importance was ever taken unless Rupert was present.
It is not just managers Rupert regards as second class citizens. He has little time for shareholders or board directors. Shareholders are a potential threat to his control of a global company that he has built from scratch. He recognises their interests only with reluctance. His view is that News Corporation shareholders should have no interest in current earning or dividends; they should leave it to him to build long term capital values - and anybody that buys the company's shares should realise this. His boards are full of placemen who will do his bidding; he rarely consults them and only nominally seeks their approval. Gus Fischer told me of the time Rupert called to say he had just spent $550 million dollars for 64% of the Asian Star satellite system. "Could you call a couple of the directors and tell them?" asked Rupert. "He had not bothered to seek board approval," says Gus, amazed to this day.
The Murdoch family holding in News Corporation is down to only 30%; he once told me he would be nervous if it fell below 40%; but he still runs it as his personal fiefdom. As long as he delivers, non-family shareholders, which now include important financial institutions, will remain quiet.
Those who survive longest at the court of the Sun King are a group of unthreatening Australians who have been with him for years. They are the consummate "yes" men. They are regularly supplemented by more talented folk whom Rupert hires temporarily for specific jobs he needs done. They might not last long and Rupert invariably falls out with them at some stage; but they serve their purpose at the time.
If there is a structure at all it is a circle of courtiers, with the Sun King sitting at the centre. This allows him to intervene anywhere at will, facilitating his over-weening presence. Though he cannot be everywhere all the time, he is in a mysterious way ubiquitous.
His restless energy makes him prone to micro-management. When I (AN) once complained about the food in the Wapping canteen he spent part of a week sorting it out; another time he wanted to be involved in the deployment of various secretaries on the executive floor. The flaw in all this is that Rupert is actually not a very good manager; he does not have the patience for it.
It suits his short attention span. It makes him one of the worlds greatest business predators. But these very qualities make him an erratic manager. "In fact, Rupert is a lousy manager", says Gus Fischer. "He terrorises them under him when he makes one of his flying visits he takes to restore their morale. He provides no leadership to inspire. He wants to take all the decisions himself - so he won't delegate power. He wouldn't even agree who should report to me. He prefers the tension between executives which his episodic intervention creates."
John Dux agrees. "Rupert is the world's worst manager."
Wapping
He was brutal with them (Rupert's managers); so they were brutal in turn with their underlings. This method of management filtered all the way down to a group of middle managers who made life miserable for the shop floor.
"I realised then," says Bruce Matthews, "that Rupert was going to renege on the arrangement"
"The whole place was a shambles," says Gus Fischer
There were continuing production problems and Wapping could hardly be described as a happy place.
Rubert realised it would be expedient to create a better working environment before a Labour government more sympathetic to the demands for union recognition came into power.
One reason why Wapping was soured was that Rupert never trusted anybody else to run it: nobody ever met his expectations, and if they looked liked doing so, his expectations changed.
Rupert does not allow past favours to accumulate in his favour bank.
"I think he is happiest," says Gus Fischer ruefully, "when he has someone in London who will call him on everything, even if it is just to go to the bathroom."
News Corp
Andrew Knight's experience underlines a fundamental weakness of News Corporation. Outside of Rupert, there is no real management. During the eleven years I was editor, (AN) Rupert fired or eased out every chief executive of real talent or independent mind set. As a result, there is no historic memory at the top, and the organisation has poor mechanisms from promoting within. There are no serious annual reviews of staff performance, no process whereby talented people can move around from one part of the media empire to another - unless it is on Rupert's whim - and little thought given to providing people with a career within the organisation. The talented either leave of their own violation or are fired.
When Rupert dies, there will be no management team in place ready to fill the breach and few managers with any real experience of taking important decisions.
"You don't understand, he's battling on too many fronts these days. Expanding his television interests in America and Asia. Trying to break into satellite TV in the US. Spending massively on expensive Hollywood movies. Fighting a costly newspaper war in England. And still acquiring new assets. The markets are nervous about the insatiable demand for capital these projects will require of his company - and his never ending expansionism is making him lots of enemies. Your book came at a highly sensitive time. It confirmed investors fears about how News Corporation is a one man band - and explained how that one man can't help acquiring and accumulating, whatever the cost." (AN's source at the court of the Sun King)
"Monopolies are a terrible thing - unless you have one"
Rupert Murdoch
I do not believe that there was an explicit deal between Murdoch and Blair in which the Sun gave its support in return for promises that a Labour government would leave Rupert's British media empire alone. But there was an implicit understanding, never openly talked about between the two men but an understanding nethertheless. Blair once said to me "how we treat Rupert Murdoch's media interests when in power will depend on how his newspapers treat the Labour party in the run up to the election."
(AN)
In Australia he has a track record of embracing politicians who can further his business interests - then dumping them when circumstances change or they have served his purpose.
When Sky emerged as one the most profitable TV ventures in the world.
His vision is to make and own every form of television - news, sport, films, entertainment, children's TV - and then to beam them to Britain, America and Asia via distribution systems he also owns and controls.
News Corp today looks a little like the Roman Empire circa AD350 - Still imperial but fraying at the edges, full of intrigue and perhaps in danger of decline.
Former Murdoch insider
Nor has Rupert succeeded in transferring the big audiences he won by buying the expensive rights to Sunday afternoon American football to his Sunday evening schedules.
Everything else Rupert tried bombed: costly game shows, sitcoms and action adventure movies.
The fourth Fox president to bite the dust in seven years. One more Murdoch flavour of the month had bitten the dust.
He recently tried to sell a News Corp debt offering securitised BskyB shares.
When Rupert dies, News Corporation as we have known it almost certainly dies too. Some of its biggest investors are already beginning to think that way.
In 1990 the debt he had accumulated almost brought the company crashing down.
In recent years investors have had neither decent dividends or capital growth. Some are beginning to think that they will only ever realise News Corp's true value by unbundling - selling off - its constituent parts. But News Corp will never be unbundled while ever Rupert is alive. There must be something strangely disconcerting about knowing that those who have invested in you are waiting for you to die to make real money out of you. But perhaps it does not bother him: Rupert after all, has never been sentimental about business.
Rupert is also a man often guided by gut instinct: logic may have told him it was foolhardy to make Andrew Neil the editor of his most prestigious broadsheet, but the gambler in him said it was a risk worth taking.
Despite his ruthless reputation, Rupert has little stomach for the sacking of senior executives.
I knew he was an interventionist proprietor who expected to get his way.
Like everybody else in Fleet Street I had heard numerous "Dirty Digger" stories about the ruthless Australian proprietor who hired his editors to his bidding, fired them when they didn't (and sometimes when they did!), who could be charming and supportive one minute and tyrannical the next.
Rupert Murdoch is an impatient man: when he has decided on a course of action he wants it to happen yesterday, or the day before.
The Post was a ruse: it was never meant to happen.
The Post was a cover story.
Bruce Matthews watched the emergence of Murdoch the Militant with apprehension. Bruce was all for driving the toughest of bargains but Rupert did not want a bargain at all - short of outright union surrender. "Our master is becoming uncontrollable," said Bruce to me one day in November. We started referring to Rupert as Rambo.
My worry was different: I had become concerned that print-union tyranny was being replaced by macho-management. A gung-ho attitude was taking root.
We talked about the first election: he wanted to be assured that Thatcher would win, which I was able to do. But when we turned to Sky Channel it was clear he had no great plans for its expansion and therefore not much need for our services. He had taken a stake in it to keep his options open, something I was to discover was a typically Murdoch technique: nothing might come of it, or it might be the basis one day of a huge TV empire. But he did not want to pour much new investment into it for the moment. "I've already developed a reputation for taking too many risks," he confided, "I don't want to build on that for the moment."
On many matters Rupert was well to the right of me politically. He was a monetarist: I was not. Nor did I share his conservative social outlook.
He talked about how his Fox TV network had concluded a multi-million deal to secure the rights to live games in the National Football league (NFL) on a Sunday. Many folk thought he had paid too much to steal the NFL from CBS, which had broadcast games for years, but he regarded the Sunday afternoon rights to American football, the country's most popular spectator sport, as an essential part of his ambition to turn Fox into a fully fledged network.
Sir Matt will be turning in his grave knowing that the club was being sold in this manner. To a buyer who does not, and has no intention of wanting to know, the beautiful history of our great club, the passion of its loyal and devoted supporters and the meaning of Manchester United to this community.
The man must be stopped !!
Keep fighting the cause !!


Commentary From the Sidelines of history
John Smith
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Joined: Oct 08, 2001
Posts: 2937

Keep fighting the cause !!

Which cause?
Paul McKenna
Ugly Redneck
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Joined: Jul 08, 2000
Posts: 1006
Originally posted by Eugene Kononov:

Which cause?

The cause to stop Rupert Murdoch!
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Murdoch's FOX News is currently the highest rated cable news channel in the US. Here's a news article on it if you are interested.
I've been watching some BBC News as well and have been astounded at what utterly biased rubbish they have been putting out lately. I used to respect them as a relatively unbiased and objective source of the news, but I see that is no longer even remotely the case with that organization, and their reputation is probably permanently tarnished now.
So the point is, no matter what you watch or read for your news, you are going to get some kind of slant. You may as well at least go with the slant you prefer, be it Rupert Murdoch's or somebody else's. Current ratings would seem to indicate that most Americans prefer Fox News' slant compared with other news agencies, for whatever reason.
Paul Stevens
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Sriraj Rajaram
In the future just post a link.
John Smith
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Posts: 2937

The cause to stop Rupert Murdoch!

My cause is to stop the people whose cause is to stop Murdoch! I like Fox News, and especially "The Factor" by Bill O'Reilly. He and other journalists at Fox always engage and challenge their guests and are not afraid to express their opinion. No wonder they are number one on cable.
Eugene.
Michael Morris
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Joined: Jan 30, 2002
Posts: 3451

My cause is to stop the people whose cause is to stop Murdoch! I like Fox News...

Second that. We finally have an alternative to the Communist News Network and left-biased reporting from the dying ABC, NBC and CBS. They just can't understand the Fair and Balanced philosophy at Fox. To them Fair and Balanced means my view is the only possible correct view because I'm smarter and wiser than anyone in the audience.
Michael Morris


Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage - to move in the opposite direction. - Ernst F. Schumacher
Paul McKenna
Ugly Redneck
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Joined: Jul 08, 2000
Posts: 1006
Originally posted by Michael Morris:

Second that. We finally have an alternative to the Communist News Network and left-biased reporting from the dying ABC, NBC and CBS. They just can't understand the Fair and Balanced philosophy at Fox. To them Fair and Balanced means my view is the only possible correct view because I'm smarter and wiser than anyone in the audience.
Michael Morris

Michael, Fair and Balanced at FOX is an oxymoron. Bill Oreilly being fair and unbalanced?? That's a joke. He was a registered Republican who withdrew his voter registration prior to his deal with FOX so that he could appear independent. FOX news appointed John Ellis as incharge of their 2000 Presidential Election coverage, who is John Ellis? He is the FIRST COUSIN of George W. Bush. So what is this got to do with FOX's bias? On election night after the polls closed there was much confusion about the counting of votes in Florida. Finally a decision was made by John Ellis, the man in charge of FOX Election Coverage to go on the air and declare George W. as the winner. REGARDLESS of the fact that the official results hadn't been declared yet. Other networks under the pressure of appearing ignorant of developments also went on the air and followed suit. CNN mind you was the last to do so. End result.. Al Gore accepted defeat even before it was official.
In the article posted earlier you would have read about the way Rupert Murdoch tried to manipulate Australian and British media but was kicked out of both nations. He tried the same in US and was very successful.
Here is another example of Bill Oreilly's nonsense talk show that I noticed. On one particular show he started off his show with a memo on Ted Turner's comment that Israel was a terrorist state. Bill called for all Israelis to boycott CNN because of Ted's comment. And in the very same show he interviewed the representative of Islamic American Council who had called for a boycott of Pepsi because the owner of Pepsi, who was jewish and had lambasted Palestine for their acts of violence against Israel. Bill Oreilly argued that the Islamic American Council's call for boycott of Pepsi was foolish because sometimes people make stupid comments and that one person's comment should be no reason for a boycott. Strange that he couldnt extend the same courtesy to Ted Turner. Lets not get lost with the problem between Israel and Palestine but lets examine the hypocrisy demonstrated by Bill Oreilly's conflicting comments.
Rupert Murdoch is an Australian who was kicked out of his own country because he tried to meddle with politics there.. how can you trust such a man for reliable media? Secondly he owns TBN and FOX, with that in mind how can he provide fair and balanced coverage??
Bottom line, FOX News is undiluted right wing nonsense.. if you like it great! If you are like me and hate both CNN and FOX then here is a tip! Read more discussion boards and articles and make up your opinion from there.
Paul McKenna
Ugly Redneck
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Joined: Jul 08, 2000
Posts: 1006
Originally posted by Jason Menard:
Murdoch's FOX News is currently the highest rated cable news channel in the US. Here's a news article on it if you are interested.
I've been watching some BBC News as well and have been astounded at what utterly biased rubbish they have been putting out lately

Jason, its an irony that you had to get your information from The Daily Telegraph. The Daily Telegraph is owned by the London-based Hollinger Coporation that owns over 100 papers in US. They are rabidly conservative and for their track record they deployed the Sunday Telegraph's self-described MI6 stringer, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, from 1993 to 1997 to Washington, where he played a pivotal role in soliciting Paula Jones's lawsuit against the President; published articles blaming President Clinton for the Oklahoma City bombing--while trumpeting the militias as legitimate secessionists; and penned a constant stream of other libels against the First Family and the President's key advisers
Let me also state that because of the above it should in no way detract from the fact that BBC has acted in a biased way as far as reporting on the war is concerned. BBC is at fault now and it has been caught red-handed but every media enterprise comes with some inherent bias, be it left or right. Let us make a distinction between an institutional bias and an individual bias here, in my humble opinion BBC probably suffers from an individual bias i.e. a relatively minor number of people provide the tilt to the left in that News organization and for the major part they are neutral. In the case of FOX they have an institutional bias i.e the news corporation aligns itself to promoting right wing / conservative propoganda. I didnt say this, Bill Oreilly the pundit himself commented on one of his talk shows that FOX "leans" to the right..
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
I guess, "fair and balanced" label is assigned to whoever is saying what we want to hear. Which brings us to the next question: what in the final account determines what we prefer to hear (for example, "liberal" or "conservative" POV)? There is an interesting approach to this question, one example can be found in this book:
Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think. Amazon reviews should give pretty good summary...


Uncontrolled vocabularies
"I try my best to make *all* my posts nice, even when I feel upset" -- Philippe Maquet
John Smith
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Posts: 2937

End result.. Al Gore accepted defeat even before it was official.

Ah, I was wondering what your grief was all about. There are actually 2 reasons why Al Gore lost. First, he chickened to appear on "The Factor" as a presidential candidate, and second, there are still enough reasonable people in America not to vote for redistribution of wealth.
Unfortunately, we are still in the "no war, no politics" period here at JavaRanch, so I see an imminent death of this thread on the horizon. But as soon as the "Wild West, No Sheriffs" forum opens here, I would be very happy to engage in the "The Mindset of American Voter And Root Causes Of Al Gore Defeat" discussion with you.
Eugene.
[ March 30, 2003: Message edited by: Eugene Kononov ]
Paul McKenna
Ugly Redneck
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Joined: Jul 08, 2000
Posts: 1006
Originally posted by Eugene Kononov:

Ah, I was wondering what your grief was all about. There are actually 2 reasons why Al Gore lost. First, he chickened to appear on "The Factor" as a presidential candidate, and second, there are still enough reasonable people in America not to vote for redistribution of wealth.
[ March 30, 2003: Message edited by: Eugene Kononov ]

Eugene, you have looked at the wrong end of the argument. I would rather say that you were wishing for a bias in my argument. Let me tell you this, if I were to choose a party to support it would be the LIBERTARIANS. So I dont really care much for the fact George W. won but I do care about the role that FOX News had to play in his victory. If FOX News had not jumped the gun and made that announcement I would not be writing this thread, because be it republican or democrat I dont really care.
Secondly when did a presidential candidate lose an election because of failing to appear on a talk show? Oreilly's audience in 2002 was 5 million viewers(out of a possible mandate of 154 million), it was much lesser in 1999 - 2000 during the presidential race. So to claim the Factor influenced the outcome of the race is totally absurd.
Lets not forget the fact that Al Gore did win the popular mandate, so THERE were enough people who believed in the redistribution of wealth.
Look frankly, I dont care about elections and their outcomes but I do have a gripe with Rupert Murdoch and his meddlesome behaviour in politics.
John Smith
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Joined: Oct 08, 2001
Posts: 2937

Eugene, you have looked at the wrong end of the argument. I would rather say that you were wishing for a bias in my argument. Let me tell you this, if I were to choose a party to support it would be the LIBERTARIANS.

Hey, me too! Looks like we are on the same page here. Then I don't understand what your beef with Murdoch is. I mean, what is really your cause? Get enough people to pressure him to change his way of running the business? That would be anti-libertarian, I would think.
Eugene.
Michael Morris
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Joined: Jan 30, 2002
Posts: 3451

Originally posted by Sriraj Rajaram
Michael, Fair and Balanced at FOX is an oxymoron. Bill Oreilly being fair and unbalanced?? That's a joke.

The Oreilly Factor is a news analysis show and not a news cast show. As a commentator Bill does interject his views, no different from the editorial page of the New York Times, with vastly different views I might add. The Oreilly Factor is 1/24 of Fox's fare. Why do Fox opponents obsess so much over this one offering? The news cast shows on Fox report the news as is, without emphasizing one opinion or another. What liberal guests hate about these shows is that they may be challenged on their rhetoric. That's why most are too cowardly to even accept an interview at Fox. Though I personally disagree with the views of Charlie Rangle, Al Sharpton and very few others, I admire their courage and resolve to present their ideas on Fox. As Eugene pointed out, if Al Gore had had the least bit of cajones and appeared on the Factor, he probably would have won the election hands down. It was his fear of having to show his true beliefs, and being challenged on those beliefs, that did him in. Main stream Americans do not want a coward at the helm.

Originally posted by Sriraj Rajaram
Other networks under the pressure of appearing ignorant of developments also went on the air and followed suit. CNN mind you was the last to do so. End result.. Al Gore accepted defeat even before it was official.

So what does that tell you about those networks and more importantly about Al Gore? Do you really want someone like that running the most powerful nation ever to exist in human history? Would he not be willing to accept defeat to insignificant little piss-ants like Usama Bin Laden without even so much as a challenge?

Originally posted by Sriraj Rajaram
On one particular show he started off his show with a memo on Ted Turner's comment that Israel was a terrorist state. Bill called for all Israelis to boycott CNN because of Ted's comment. And in the very same show he interviewed the representative of Islamic American Council who had called for a boycott of Pepsi because the owner of Pepsi, who was jewish and had lambasted Palestine for their acts of violence against Israel. Bill Oreilly argued that the Islamic American Council's call for boycott of Pepsi was foolish because sometimes people make stupid comments and that one person's comment should be no reason for a boycott. Strange that he couldnt extend the same courtesy to Ted Turner. Lets not get lost with the problem between Israel and Palestine but lets examine the hypocrisy demonstrated by Bill Oreilly's conflicting comments.

Ted Turner has a long history of spewing his dumbassed ideas at various venues. He made a comment to his own people at CNN, calling them Jesus freaks because they had just attended an Ash Wednesday Mass and still were proudly wearing the sign of the cross on their foreheads placed there by the priest with blessed ashes. To Catholics like me, that went well beyond being offensive and bordered on assault. I don't always agree with Bill and will grant you that he was probably wrong in the instance you mention. I don't accept any kind of intolerance from anyone. As I mentioned, I am Catholic living in what is known as the Bible Belt of Texas. Catholics are a small minority here and the county I live in for years, the Baptists fought hard to prevent any Catholic or Mormon churches from being built. In the glory days of the KKK, Cathoilcs were just as much a target as Blacks and Jews. The big problem that most Americans are having with the Islamic community is their reticence to speak out against terrorism and violence. When Americans see Palestinians celebrating the death of 3000 of our citizens and the destruction of an icon followed by the noticeable silence of Islmic leaders in the USA, they wonder where their allegience lies, especially the igorant and uneducated. That is a recipe for disaster and a medium for hate.

Originally posted by Sriraj Rajaram
Bottom line, FOX News is undiluted right wing nonsense.. if you like it great! If you are like me and hate both CNN and FOX then here is a tip! Read more discussion boards and articles and make up your opinion from there.

The first line of that quote is just not true and makes me wonder about your tolerance. I would ask that you watch some of the Fox news casts, forget Oreilly, and just listen with an open mind. Form your own opinion based on the facts and not your emotion. If you do that sincerely, you will begin to notice that they are reporting the facts without emphasis on politics. My problem with CNN, et. al. has always been their method of reporting. For example:
The facts:
A large dog and a small cat got into a fight resulting in the mauling and death of the cat. The cat however did manage to scratch and bite the dog in his rear before having his neck broke.
The dog was treated at the local vetiranary clinic for the minor wounds incurred and should be 100% soon.
The CNN report:
A cat and dog were involved in a skirmish today which resulted in the wounding of the dog. Initial reports indicate that the dog had to be rushed to the local animal emergency hospital for treatment. But with the proper care, should eventually recover. The cat, though putting up a valient effort, lost the battle.
That's the sort of reporting you get at CNN and the networks. Not so on Fox.


Originally posted by Mapraputa Is
I guess, "fair and balanced" label is assigned to whoever is saying what we want to hear. Which brings us to the next question: what in the final account determines what we prefer to hear (for example, "liberal" or "conservative" POV)?

I can't speak for liberals, nor for most conservatives and wouldn't dare attempt to speak for the so-called moderates who either don't have a point of view or are too scared to assert that point of view, but I want to hear all sides. I have been swayed to change my views on many topics over the years, when I hear a compelling argument. For instance, I no longer support capital punishment. That is one of the corner stones of most conservative thinkers. I finally came to the conclusion, with the help of excellant arguments by liberals, that even one mistake was too great a price to pay for all the guilty. No on the other hand, if I hear a specious argument filled with rhetoric and demagogary, then I immediately flip the Bozo bit of the speaker, liberal, moderate or conservative.
Michael Morris
Paul McKenna
Ugly Redneck
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Joined: Jul 08, 2000
Posts: 1006
Originally posted by Eugene Kononov:

Hey, me too! Looks like we are on the same page here. .

Hello Comrade! Glad to meet another free thinker.

Then I don't understand what your beef with Murdoch is. I mean, what is really your cause? Get enough people to pressure him to change his way of running the business? That would be anti-libertarian, I would think.

My beef is that Murdoch is manipulating the media and population by manipulating the media. Murdoch is becoming the institution that Libertarians are against. Every person in the world knows right from wrong and every act in life should be judged on its own merits. Murdoch on the other hand is trying to manipulate the judgement of people. I dislike that. Even that is allright if it was done occasionally but consistently presenting events with a conservative light is wrong in my humble opinion. Add to that the "Fair And Balanced" crap!
Paul McKenna
Ugly Redneck
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Joined: Jul 08, 2000
Posts: 1006
The Oreilly Factor is a news analysis show and not a news cast show. As a commentator Bill does interject his views, no different from the editorial page of the New York Times, with vastly different views I might add.

Very true Michael, that Oreilly is an opinion show. So yes Bill is entitled to his views and perfectly so. But to call himself an independent when his record of being a registered republican is well known.. well! He discarded his republican registration just prior to signing up with FOX.
The Oreilly Factor is 1/24 of Fox's fare. Why do Fox opponents obsess so much over this one offering? The news cast shows on Fox report the news as is, without emphasizing one opinion or another.

The Oreilly factor is under attack the most because it gets the maximum viewership. Mind you not all 5 million people watching his show agree with him. Anyway for the record, I like Bill Oreilly sometimes, but for most of the part I dont. He never gives a chance to the opposing side, he keeps cutting them off. Bill believes in the 60 second principal. His father used to give him 60 seconds to make his point and if he couldnt he would be dismissed. Bill does the same to his guests. Now keep in mind that Bill is probably one of the most eloquent voices in the Conservative world but most of his guests are probably not eloquent on any side. Finally without being offensive to anyone on this board how can you accept Bill to be an independent thinker when his close friend is Jerry Falwell?
What liberal guests hate about these shows is that they may be challenged on their rhetoric. That's why most are too cowardly to even accept an interview at Fox. Though I personally disagree with the views of Charlie Rangle, Al Sharpton and very few others, I admire their courage and resolve to present their ideas on Fox. As Eugene pointed out, if Al Gore had had the least bit of cajones and appeared on the Factor, he probably would have won the election hands down. It was his fear of having to show his true beliefs, and being challenged on those beliefs, that did him in. Main stream Americans do not want a coward at the helm.

Again I am not a liberal, I support the death penalty, I support gun ownership, I support reduced taxation but I also support the environment, I support limited immigration, I support seperation of church and state. Like I have mentioned before, a talk show host does not(should not??) influence the outcome of a national election (atleast I hope not..) When that starts happening there is something very wrong in the nation, people have lost their ability to form their own opinions and rely on columnists and talk show hosts to do the same. Wont be long before Jerry Springer starts controlling his fan following on political debates.
So what does that tell you about those networks and more importantly about Al Gore? Do you really want someone like that running the most powerful nation ever to exist in human history? Would he not be willing to accept defeat to insignificant little piss-ants like Usama Bin Laden without even so much as a challenge?

Lets not derail the actual discussion, I dont care for the slightest whether Bush or Gore won. Hey I dont care if Pat Buchanan wins the next election. Secondly lets not concentrate on the fact that CNN, ABC, CBS and NBC all followed suit in FOX's footsteps. Granted that these networks crumbled under pressure of ratings and should not have done so. But lets focus on the fact that FOX meddled with the elections in the first place. Isnt that dangerous enough? I think that is frightening. Rupert Murdoch prevented Chris Patten from becoming the Prime Minister of England through similar media meddling.
The big problem that most Americans are having with the Islamic community is their reticence to speak out against terrorism and violence. When Americans see Palestinians celebrating the death of 3000 of our citizens and the destruction of an icon followed by the noticeable silence of Islmic leaders in the USA, they wonder where their allegience lies, especially the igorant and uneducated. That is a recipe for disaster and a medium for hate.

I really dont care for the Islamic community anywhere, I grew up in that part of India where less that 1% of the population is comprised of muslims. Furthermore I dont have any muslim friends/colleagues and hence dont really care about what happens to them. But the statement I was trying to make is that Bill showed his bias very openly inspite of advertising himself as an independent thinker. That is a lie! A blatant lie! On another note, come to think of it I should actually be rooting for Bill because his record for supporting Indian Americans is extremely well known but I dont because its not about what I like or dislike, its about what the truth is!
I would ask that you watch some of the Fox news casts, forget Oreilly, and just listen with an open mind. Form your own opinion based on the facts and not your emotion. If you do that sincerely, you will begin to notice that they are reporting the facts without emphasis on politics

Michael, here is a short list of people and their background who work at FOX. From this you can understand why I claim FOX has a tilt and no small one at that.
1. Fox daytime anchor David Asman is formerly of the right-wing Wall Street Journal editorial page and the conservative Manhattan Institute.
2. The host of Fox News Sunday is Tony Snow, a conservative columnist and former chief speechwriter for the first Bush administration
3. Eric Breindel, previously the editorial-page editor of the right-wing New York Post, was senior vice president of Fox's parent company, News Corporation
4. Fox News Channel's senior vice president is John Moody, a long-time journalist known for his staunch conservative views
5. Fox's managing editor is Brit Hume, a veteran TV journalist and contributor to the conservative American Spectator and Weekly Standard magazines
6. Bill O'Reilly, writes for the conservative WorldNetDaily.com and is a registered Republican (that is, until a week before the Washington Post published an article revealing his party registration--12/13/00).
7. How can you trust a news channel that has opinion polls like the following :
"Who would be the most likely to cheat at cards-- Bill Clinton or Al Gore?"
--Fox News Channel/Opinion Dynamics poll (5/00)
8. Former CBS producer Don Dahler resigned from Fox after executive John Moody ordered him to change a story to play down statistics showing a lack of social progress among blacks
9. Jed Duvall, a former veteran ABC reporter who left Fox after a year, told New York (11/17/97): "I'll never forget the morning that one producer came up to me, and, rubbing her hands like Uriah Heep, said, 'Let's have something on Whitewater today.'
10. Finally, without sounding offensive once more.. how can you trust Rupert Murdoch who owns both TBN (The Christian Broadcasting Network) to give you a fair and balanced perspective on FOX. Let me underscore the fact that I support a Judaio-Christian society that America is and it should remain that way.. but to parade a news channel so biased as being neutral.. nah! I dont think so.
Paul Stevens
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Joined: May 17, 2001
Posts: 2823
You have the facts on the elction way wrong. The original call was for Al Gore. The call was made even before the polls were closed in the panhandle. It didn't get switched for Bush until very late at night after polls all across the country were closed. The Gore call was from the main networks first.
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Paul Stevens:
You have the facts on the elction way wrong. The original call was for Al Gore. The call was made even before the polls were closed in the panhandle. It didn't get switched for Bush until very late at night after polls all across the country were closed. The Gore call was from the main networks first.

And the result was that many Republicans didn't bother to vote, since they were informed that Gore had already won.
Michael Morris
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Posts: 3451
Thanks for bringing that point out Paul. I had totally forgotten that fact. Just remember finally giving in to sleep at about 3:00 AM with the naive belief that I would know the outcome when I awoke.
Michael Morris
Paul McKenna
Ugly Redneck
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Joined: Jul 08, 2000
Posts: 1006
Yes Paul, I was ignorant of that fact. I did some research and realized that the first call was for Al Gore at 7:50p.m, retracted at 10:00pm.
The projection that Gore had won Florida, based on VNS data, was made by NBC at 7:49:40 p.m., CBS at 7:50:11 p.m., Fox and VNS itself at 7:51 p.m. and ABC at 8:02 p.m.. Let me point out here that the initial call was made by all networks based on the standard data that they recieve not by some internal strategy as FOX did when they made the call at 2:51am for George W. Bush, When FOX made that call it was after a series of discussions between John Ellis, Jeb Bush and George W. Bush.
And the result was that many Republicans didn't bother to vote, since they were informed that Gore had already won

The polls in Florida's eastern time zone closed at 7:00 p.m.; at that point, only 5 percent of the voting-age population, according to a CBS report, had not voted. Moreover, the networks actually began calling the election for Gore at 7:50 p.m. in the east (6:50 central time), only 10 minutes before the polls closed there, so I dont think it would have influenced the outcome very much, Jason. I maybe wrong, there is no way of knowing now.
At 10 p.m., CBS, ABC and CNN all moved Florida into the undecided category. NBC followed 15 minutes later
Neverthless I stand corrected.. let me correct and restate that all media meddling is wrong. It should never be allowed. In addition let me state that for Rupert Murdoch this is not the first time, he has done this earlier in UK and Australia. Why do I point out this fact, because my beef is not with George W. Bush but with Rupert Murdoch and his strategies.
[ March 31, 2003: Message edited by: Sriraj Rajaram ]
John Smith
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Joined: Oct 08, 2001
Posts: 2937

Why do I point out this fact, because my beef is not with George W. Bush but with Rupert Murdoch and his strategies.

I am sorry Sriraj, but I still don't understand what idea you are trying to promote. As your fellow libertarian, I believe that the businessmen should be allowed to run their businesses as they see fit, as long as it is legal. If you don't like Murdoch, don't watch Fox, it's as simple as that. You cited a long list of assorted passages about Murdoch from the book, but the worst accusation that I saw was that he was a bad manager. Is that is all the dirt that one could find?
Eugene.
Mark Fletcher
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Joined: Dec 08, 2001
Posts: 897
A link discussing Fox News's fair and unbiased reporting
Michael Morris, Jason hit it on the head when he said that "no matter what you watch or read for your news, you are going to get some kind of slant". However as is evident in the case of Fox News, some apparently have a stronger slant than others.
[ April 01, 2003: Message edited by: Mark Fletcher ]

Mark Fletcher - http://www.markfletcher.org/blog
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subject: Interesting article on Rupert Murdoch