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You can’t have a free democracy if you don’t have a free media that can provide vital and independent information to the people. – Rupert Murdoch As Murdoch’s empire grew larger, and his influence on the public-eye stronger, many political leaders saw his media domain as a new medium through which they could promote their political campaigns. Most of these leaders usually fell on the right-winged spectrum and targeted the type of profile that Murdoch’s papers attracted. The favors that Murdoch administered to these leaders didn’t come without a price and as he shifted from smut to propaganda he increasingly gained dominance of the political realm himself, which according to Ted Turner made him The most dangerous man in the world. His most scandalous and controversial political alliances were the ones involving Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and Donald Trump. All these politicians have two main things in common, each one had a significant amount of power whether by being President or Prime Minister, and Rupert Murdoch’s backing.
Which brings forth the following question: Does Rupert Murdoch suppose a threat to our democracy? Murdoch and Thatcher While his empire expanded in another frontier across the Atlantic, Murdoch focused his attention back to England more specifically, its politics. With The Sun’s increasing anti-establishment success, it’s clear neutrality in politics, and the election campaign of 1979 just around the corner, Thatcher and Murdoch found each other. With Murdoch’s help, the relationship between Thatcher and the readers of The Sun was instant. Murdoch then launched a propagandistic campaign to promote his favored candidate. In general terms the media is responsible for four key things when involved in politics, the first one is emphasizing the responsibility of government leaders towards the people, consolidation their mediums with the people to give them a sense of unity (We want what you want), prioritizing certain information that is could be considered relevant for the election and finally, educating the public so they can make the best decision possible (Mintz, 2016 ). Murdoch instead of informing his readers, it seems like he was almost instructing them to vote for Thatcher. When London Times was released into the market in 1980, Murdoch bid on it, keeping in mind that prior to this he was the current owner of two of the most dominant tabloids in Britain. This alone should have been enough to file a Monopoly & managers Commission review but was never the case.
Why? Many suspected that Murdoch was let off the hook because of his alliance with then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and their “a favor for a favor” private deal, to this day no one can definitely prove the speculations, but they can’t deny them either. However, in 2012 there were confirmations that both Thatcher and Murdoch met in secret during the ongoing negotiations regarding The Times and Sunday Times. In 2015 The Guardian published an article accusing Thatcher of supporting Murdoch’s bid on The Times and Sunday Times in exchange for a media boost in his newspapers (Manhattan Buzz, 2016).
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