Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Murdoch's Tory Minions

I've only just read Jonathan Freedland's piece in the Guardian about the BBC Strategy Review, but it admirably, and far more eloquently, captures my own view of the criticism being levelled against the Beeb by the Tories:

So why has Mark Thompson done it? Because he feared that if he didn't jump from the second storey window, an incoming Conservative government would push him off the roof. He is right to be anxious. The Tories have indeed signalled a hostility to the BBC that is rare, if not unprecedented, in an opposition. Why might that be? Two words: Rupert Murdoch.
People often speak of the unique influence of the media magnate, with his combination of economic and political muscle, but "influence" doesn't quite capture it. Instead David Cameron has simply allowed News Corp to write the Conservative party's media policy.


Start with the BBC. Murdoch, with son James, can't stand it – regarding it, a senior figure in broadcasting tells me, as "like the Ebola virus: they can't destroy it, so they try to contain it". They dress up their opposition in pseudo-intellectual free market blather, but the reality is much earthier than that: the BBC is a rival, and therefore an obstacle to their commercial ambitions. The smaller and weaker the BBC becomes, the more money News Corp can make.

No comments: