Friday, October 17, 2008

Murdoch Uses Brits For Obama Campaign

The once respected Times has the audacity and arrogance to presume to speak with the voice of the "British people", using UK readers to sway American presidential voters, as Murdoch urges the US to do it his way.

Murdoch's Times has called it for Obama with the boss clearly deciding to put profits before reasoned argument and use those 'British people' as part of his campaign. 

Murdoch has made no secret of putting his backing where it will sell more papers and now it's a case of 'follow my leader'. 

With Obama riding high in the polls it was to be expected. Murdoch thinks he's on a roll with this one. 

But instead of coming out with a deep and thoughtful analysis, The Times leader reads more like a free puff for its favourite brand of soap powder and its leading article, which has not been written for UK readers, is clearly aimed at an American audience. 

It is a blatant attempt to try to use its UK readership base to influence people on both sides of the Atlantic. 

"Some Americans wish to know how their election appears to many British people," it begins. "The Times, reflecting upon an American choice, hopes that the outcome will be an Obama victory." 

Murdoch's media tentacles stretch far and wide on both sides of the Atlantic and no one should underestimate his influence either in the media or politics. 

He's a global player but at heart, he's a newspaper man, driven by advertising and profits and what sells newspapers. And Obama is flavour of the month. He'll now use any means to manipulate public opinion for his man.

Murdoch has made no secret of calling it for Blair before the 1997 general election because it would sell more papers, nor of his support for Obama for the same reason. 

At one time the nation held its breath as The Times pronounced on an important issue of the day. The Times leader thundered with authority. It was the voice of the establishment and could bring down governments. Not any more - it just takes its place with the other tabloids on the news stand. 

But in the US, some people still think The Times counts for something. 

Murdoch's influence is everywhere in the media. But there are many more respected newspapers and TV news stations out there which are not part of his global empire. There too, the political blogsphere, which cannot be controlled, is independent, sophisticated and influential. 

The Times lost its authority when it switched from a broadsheet and was forced to elbow for space on the news stand with the other tabloids. It lost its respect when it started coming out with free puffs like this one, for one of the presidential candidates and trying to use the "British people" as part of its campaign.

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