Rupert Murdoch: Feds Should Stay Out Of News Business, Except, Of Course To Smack Down Google For Sending Me Traffic
from the really? dept
Rupert Murdoch stopped by at an FTC workshop on the future of journalism to say that the federal government should “stay out” of regulating the journalism business. Except, in the same speech he said exactly the opposite. What he meant was that he didn’t want the government to get in the business of funding journalism. Yet, in the very same speech he did say that the government shouldn’t allow Google to link to his news stories, calling it “theft” yet again. Again, he didn’t explain why he hasn’t blocked Google if it’s actually “theft.” Not surprisingly, compounding these contradictions, he failed to mention (or perhaps recognize?) that the sites he owns do plenty of aggregating themselves. I’ve been told, however, that Arianna Huffington is making that point, though I wonder if Rupert stuck around to hear it. Update: Huffington has published her speech, which does a very nice job making the point.
Other points made by Murdoch include the bizarre claim that “advertising is dead” as a model to support journalism. You would think that someone who has lived through a bunch of ad market cycles wouldn’t extrapolate from just a short period, but that appears to be what Murdoch is doing. About the only other explanation for all of this is that he’s simply trying to confuse and throw off both the competition and the federal government — but at some point someone should directly call him on his various contradictions and confusion.