Rupert Murdoch still doesn’t get it. At a National Press Club event, he laid into Google for “stealing” content, without conceding that much of his own papers’ stories come off the PA wire with precious little added value – or they are lifted from local or regional papers and reheated. Or taken from the Web – in other words, stolen just as much as the copy he so rigorously defends.
But, as the Huffington Post has also noted, Rupe, although readily accusing cable rivals CNN and MSNBC of being close to the Democrats, has said that Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse) is not Republican leaning, despite its list of hosts including Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck. He also tried to show to his audience that there were more liberal presenters on the channel, but the only name he could pitch was that of Greta van Susteren.
Van Susteren “close” to the Dems? Don’t make me laugh. Just because she’s not as rabid as Hannity and Beck doesn’t mean she isn’t just as GOP as they are. And this difficulty that Murdoch had in confronting the fact of the matter was not lost on his audience, many of whom ended up sniggering at him. I say again: he doesn’t get the new media. The Web, with its immediacy and lack of centralised control, seems to be a technology too far for him.
Nobody, not even Rupert Murdoch, controls the Web. End of.