WHATTAYAKNOW ! According to a new book about NewsCorp owner Rupert Murdoch, the real King of All Media (or the owner of most media), is not a big fan of the “no spin zone” Bill O’ Reilly. As a matter of fact in Murdoch’s most favorite list, O Reilly is near the bottom, right below root canal without anesthesia and above loosing advertising revenue. The Network head, Roger Ailes agrees with his boss. The only thing keeping the Zone spinning is the fact that the show is the highest rated show on Cable News. Read the full report below:
Wolff: Murdoch ‘absolutely despises’ O’Reilly by Michael Calderone
In Michael Wolff’s forthcoming biography of Rupert Murdoch, “The Man Who Owns The News,” the author writes that the media mogul has seemed to turn away lately from his cable news network, and isn’t fond its top-rated personality, Bill O’Reilly.
“It is not just Murdoch (and everybody else at News Corp.’s highest levels) who absolutely despises Bill O’Reilly, the bullying, mean-spirited, and hugely successful evening commentator,” Wolff wrote, “but [Fox News chief executive] Roger Ailes himself who loathes him. Success, however, has cemented everyone to each other.”
“The embarrassment can no longer be missed,” Wolff wrote, in another section of the book. “He mumbles even more than usual when called on to justify it. He barely pretends to hide the way he feels about Bill O’Reilly. And while it is not that he would give Fox up—because the money is the money; success trumps all—in the larger sense of who he is, he seems to want to hedge his bets.”
Wolff describes Murdoch as not wanting News Corp. to be defined by Fox News. And so last year’s purchase of the Wall Street Journal, he wrote, “was in no small way about wanting to trade the illiberal—the belligerent, the vulgar, the loud, the menacing the unsubtle—for the better-heeled, the more magnanimous, the further nuanced.”
Politico obtained a copy of Wolff’s book, to be released Tuesday, under an agreement not to publish its contents before today. Two excerpts ran in Vanity Fair, and Murdoch already raised objections to the characterization of his relationship with Fox News, according to the NY Times. (Murdoch’s son-in-law, the London PR executive Matthew Freud, obtained a copy and passed it along to him).
Murdoch has never strayed from his free-market beliefs, but his exact political views have always been difficult to pin down. Among those politicians he’s backed through the years: Thatcher, Reagan, Blair, Koch, and McCain.
Political circumstances, and how Murdoch can wield the most power, typically determine where his papers’ allegiances fall. While Murdoch is best described as conservative, he’s never been a true believer who’s willing to forsake business interests for ideology.
Wolff also ponders if Murdoch is becoming more liberal, perhaps as a result of his wife, Wendi, who attended Obama fundraisers, and his daughter Elisabeth, who threw one in London. Generally, Wolff describes the Murdoch children, and heirs to the empire, as “limousine liberals.”
It’s for that reason that some thought Murdoch’s New York Post might endorse Obama in the general election.
Indeed, the Post endorsed Obama over Hillary Clinton in the New York primary, and Murdoch wanted the President-elect to know it. Gary Ginsberg, News Corp’s executive VP of Global Marketing and Corporate Affairs, “knew Caroline Kennedy was riding in a car with Obama and begged her to show Obama the New York Post’s endorsement,” according to the book.
In the months after the primary endorsement, Murdoch went on to call Obama a “rock star” and publicly spoke of being open to endorsing him. The two men finally met in early summer 2008, at the Waldorf-Astoria. Without telling Obama, Murdoch brought Ailes along, too.
Obama lit into Ailes. He said he didn’t want to waste his time talking to Ailes if Fox was just going to continue to abuse him and his wife, that Fox had relentlessly portrayed him as suspicious, foreign-fearsome—just short of a terrorist.
Ailes, unruffled, said it might not have been this way if Obama had come on the air instead of giving Fox the back of his hand.
A tentative truce, which may or may not have historical significance, was thereupon agreed.
Despite the truce, Fox and the Obama campaign still battled it out, especially in the campaign’s final weeks. That said, Obama did sit down with O’Reilly, Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday,” and “Fox & Friends.”
And that Obama endorsement?
Ginsberg — one of the liberals in Murdoch’s inner circle, along with News Corp. number two Peter Chernin — thought the Post might endorse Obama. “He’s going to do it,” Ginsberg told the author.
But then he didn’t. Murdoch, who’s kept the media world off balance for a half century, wouldn’t break with the Republican Party after all. Never mind, the public praise or his family’s support of the Democratic nominee.
The Post even jumped out in front of every other major newspaper, enthusiastically endorsing McCain in early September.
Toward the end of the book, Wolff addresses Murdoch’s response to the Vanity Fair excerpts, which indicated he might be moving left.
“Indeed, Murdoch was responding to suggestions about his nascent liberalism — in September I discussed his Obama leanings in Vanity Fair — with grumpiness and contrariness. He wasn’t a liberal! Who said that? He was, stubbornly, what he wanted to be, what he decided he would be.”
Even with Wolff’s unprecedented access to the family, and 50 hours of interviews, it’s still not easy to pin down Murdoch. But for Murdoch-watchers, the book is a very revealing look at the man and his empire.
Maybe this is all just part of Fox’s desire to make nicey nice with the President-elect. Pamela at Atlas Shrugs has more about this disturbing trend HERE