Wall Street Journal: News Corp. sweetens bid for Hughes, agrees to a reduced share. Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch appears to have jump-started his effort to gain control of Hughes Electronics Corp.
One of the world’s most prominent robber barons is bidding for control of a key information pipeline. This is a bit scary, even in today’s world where governments give the rich and powerful pretty much whatever they want.
News Corp., Murdoch’s company, straddles the globe today with a variety of media properties. Some of what the company produces rises to the level of quality, but Murdoch made his fortune by playing to the worst, not best, impulses of his customers. Under Murdoch, for example, the Times of London has lost its glory. Under Murdoch, the Fox TV network has become the place where sleaze and sex and violence are what make money, so they’re what goes on the air.
His empire is relentlessly political. Murdoch is the so-called conservative who uses his media properties empire accordingly, at least in democracies. Fox News is a mouthpiece for the Republican Party’s right wing.
But when money is at stake, Murdoch’s politics fade. He buddies up to the brutal regime in Beijing so he can beam his company’s satellite programming to the Chinese. Conservative values are for someone else when business is on the agenda.
Now this man wants to control one of the most valuable pipelines of news and entertainment in America, the DirecTV satellite system. He’ll probably get it. A shame.