How significant is Murdoch’s near endorsment of Obama?

May 30, 2008

Will it be ‘Murdoch wot won it’?

The shock victory of the Conservatives in the 1992 election was put down to the famous, or infamous, barrage of negative coverage against the then Labour leader, Neil Kinnock, in the popular British tabloid The Sun. The proprieter of the paper at that was none other than one Rupert Murdoch. Now, in 2008 Murdoch has announced that he was behind the New York Post’s endorsement of Barack Obama. Although Murdoch did not make a explicit endorsement he stated that Obama was a ‘rock star’ and ‘calling McCain, ‘unpredictable’ and claiming that ‘[He] doesn’t know much about the economy and – I say this sympathetically – I think he has a lot of problems’. The big question is whether this means anything, and whether this is going to affect the election. My take is that one shouldn’t read too much into it as Murdoch is the original Vicar of Bray, changing his political allegiances to suit him. Indeed, anyone who can switch back and forth between Labour and the Conservatives and cosy up to the Communist leadership in China is no man of principle.

I also don’t think that we’ll be seeing Fox News endorsing Obama any time soon. Sure Murdoch may have his own personal preferences but he knows what sells and he’ll also probably value the importance of hedging his bets. If McCain maintains his poll lead over Obama we’ll definitely see Murdoch start to wiggle back from his position. It must be remembered that in 1992 the Scottish edition of The Sun endorsed the Scottish National Party rather than the Conservatives. Also, few people can reasonably claim that the Sun’s support for Labour in 1997 was the reason for their landslide victory. In any case, it is not like the mainstream media is particularly sympathetic towards the GOP.


One comment

  1. The man has made a career out of tabloid journalism and right-wing propaganda. Nobody should trust a single word that comes out of his mouth.

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