Defenders of the Murdoch empire claim he only backs political parties for business interests, rather than political motives. This explains why News Corporation allies itself to the expected winners of an election and has changed its allegiance from Blair to Cameron and now, in the US, is heavily behind the Republicans in the mid term elections.
We do not dispute this, but let us be very clear that the “business interests” are Mr Murdoch’s business interests. The government he backs will be expected to return favours and further those interests. What could be more corrosive or corrupt?
Yesterday, we Tweeted a little lament about the fact that Mad Men, one of the finest ever US TV dramas, will in future be lost to the BBC, who were outbid by BSkyB. This means that, from next season, we can only watch the show if we pay – and many cannot afford to or will simply not subscribe to a Murdoch company.
The BBC, and its viewers, lost out because it has had its financial wings clipped by the coalition as part of the austerity programme. As with all the cuts, there are profound questions about ideology being the true motive. In the case of the government’s attitude to diminishing the BBC, the real motive may be more worrying still, i.e. self interested currying of favour. Watch out for the Fox!