No, this isn’t a post about the McCain Walnuts! cabin on the Death Star, but Rupe’s corner of the dark side of the force.
(Though, over the fold, you can see something of the cyber-savviness of McCain’s campaign wonks who haven’t apparently been told that YouTube will preview a vid exactly in the middle of the tape. Aside from that, it’s just the usual string of disconnected and pointless quotes from the elderly gentleman.)
Over at News Limited central (Australian subsidiary division), methinks Janet Albrechtsen is protesting too much:
Against that background, itâs not surprising that the conventional wisdom is that Murdoch has made up his mind on Rudd for PM. And so Iâm waiting for a directive from HQ to that effect. Lord knows Iâd be topping the Forbes Rich List if I had a dollar for every time someone accused me of writing a column in response to some memo from Murdoch telling me what to write. So now Iâm waiting for a memo telling me that WorkChoices is bad, unions should be back dictating wages and conditions and that we ought to decamp from Iraq. Alas, there has been no memo, no directive, not even a âhow you doinââ? from the Boss.
The shorter Janet – Murdoch was just being polite, News Ltd is distinguished by editorial independence, and anyway lefties are hypocrites if they get excited about Rupe possibly endorsing the Ruddster.
You could, of course, take the view that Janet is complaining that she’s under-appreciated, and suspects she’s been left off the email list and the cocktail party invite roll.
But what’s the reality? Murdoch isn’t super powerful.
He tends to only jump on to bandwagons that are going to roll across the finish line anyway (Whitlam in 72, Blair in 97). He thus preserves his reputation as a powerbroker, and his real power to influence media policy – in his own interests. I think he probably will endorse Rudd, or come close to it, if the polls maintain their consistent landslide position after the budget. But that won’t win Rudd the election. It might mean that Janet might be looking for another gig, as Piers, Christopher and her are probably totally incapable of having any credibility if they suddenly discover Rudd is teh good (Bolta could get away with it). Perhaps she could join a union? Her whole rant comes across as far more revealing than she intends. In truth, Murdoch’s influence is pernicious – but because he distorts policy and public discourse – not because he’s got some magic kingmaker powers.