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.

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Comments on “Rupert Murdoch: Feds Should Stay Out Of News Business, Except, Of Course To Smack Down Google For Sending Me Traffic”

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Dave says:

He is trying to be controversial and yet show his true feelings at the same time. What this causes is a state of not know WTF you want to say and many times leads to contradicting statements. It sounds like he is trying to push the idea of Google being theft just to raise eyebrows while at the same time embracing that Google is where most of his traffic comes from. It’s a classic move that will blow up in his face.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Come on

But that’s the beauty of the whole situation. Google. Does. Not. Care.

Murdoch and his news empire literally mean nothing to Google. The only reason they even appear on Google is because they exist on the internet. That’s it. Otherwise, those websites are just a spec of storage space that happen to be relevant to a small percentage of search terms.

Anonymous Coward says:

It is theft, Trent Reznor said so. Now some might make the argument that Trent Reznor is not a lawyer or a judge or even a bailiff but he said that copyright infringement is stealing and we should all listen to him.

We should also listen to Rupert Murdoch. We are raising a generation of thieves. Society should pay for everything.

“Even the free things?”


sehlat (profile) says:

What Rupert Murdoch *really* wants

Like just about every major business in the world, he wants the government to guarantee he makes money, even if it means he’s using the government to perform armed robbery on his customers(us).

The democracies of the world are plunging more and more into what has been called “reverse socialism,” where the means of production own the people.

Steve (profile) says:

Yes people do pay for high quality content. The number of people that will pay does not appear to be 80% of the online world. It is much less than 80%. How many high quality content venues will the market support? What are the vertical markets that have the most opportunity? In the IP tech transfer market there are many many catalogs that are not covering their costs. Only a few of us in the emerging technology market appear to have the right mix of high quality content and paying customers.

Anonymous Coward says:

Rupert's Struggle

I read something that CNN, New York Times were working on a few days ago. It was very smart and involved CNN, NYT and almost Twitter working together, focused on immediacy of news and stories.

It was interesting because it seemed to allude to information and even reporter sharing between different mastheads. Rupert’s struggle is that people somewhat know, and it’s recently been proven that that his stories are somewhat altered to sell a preconceived narrative.

Fox News, and potentially other NewsCorp outfits unfortunately won’t be able to partake in such an information-sharing, virtual newsroom because it would more than likely break the preconceived narrative.

Peer review and peer collaboration is the mortal enemy of the preconceived narrative.

Derek Reed (profile) says:

I get it!

I think I finally get what that senile old coot is ranting about. He’s upset that Google has become a starting point for news, that his newspapers aren’t in control from the start. So Google has “stolen” that starting position. What Rupert wants is to destroy Google’s starting position, and he thinks it’s feasible for a large amount of newspapers to block Google AND that this will allow him to get to be the spring board again. He doesn’t want to lose on the traffic he has now from Google because he does see the short term revenue from that. I think that’s hilarious that its more short term thinking that’s causing him to not move forward with his insanely idiotic plan.

He doesn’t want to take risk for long term gains, he doesn’t understand that other search engines will take Google’s place even if he did kill it, and he doesn’t see that every newspaper removed from the conversation is just another opportunity for someone else (newspaper or otherwise) to step in and fill the gap. In his world, there is only Google and him and these one way viewer eyeballs and no one else currently exists or ever will exist.

I think I finally follow his misguided logic.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I swear, that if you surround yourself with enough people with warped perceptions of reality, you’ll get some on you. It’s contagious!

Truth is, I write jokes for a living. This current joke is 25 pages long has a title page labeled “Deployment Document”, but it’s really a warped version of “The Aristocrats”. It’s real great stuff, and makes me laugh uncontrollably.

I need an “out” for the daily fiction I am paid to come up with. I’ve often thought the people I work with take their brains out of their heads and play with them, as if that’s all they’re good for.

Sorry if I got any on ya.

Niall (profile) says:

Huffington FTW

I really love Arianna Huffington’s way with words from her article:

“So it’s a false metaphor. And if you start from a false premise, you will inevitably be led to a false conclusion. Or, to put it another way, if you chug-a-lug too many of old media’s metaphoric beers, you will end up staggering down the street of illogical thinking and banging into the lamp post of wrong revenue models.”


“The information superhighway is a busy thoroughfare and there’s going to be some road kill along the way. But only among those who insist on merging into traffic riding a horse and buggy.”

Prince Manjee (profile) says:

"advertising is dead"

Ummm has Rupert ever been to 90% of the content is ad space or synergistic links to his other companies. Why isn’t some one asking how a man this stupid and uninformed is in control of one of the most powerful and influential media organizations in the world. Reminds me of all those geniuses with Masters in Business Administration Degrees from Ivy institutions. All those smarts and expensive college educations propped them up to be the authority on our financial institutions and our economic policies. Yet some how will all those smart people our economy is nearly bankrupt. Not one of them had the common sense or the foresight for how to bridge the gap between new strategies/technologies and practical application. The fact is Google probably generates half his traffic and if he relies on Bing, which only has a 10% market share at this point, he will successfully kill his traffic. How on earth is that responsible management and fulfilling his fiduciary duty to his share holders. All he will do is single handedly open the doors for more aggressive competition from other struggling news agencies and worse yet all those little bloggers with their opinions that he hates so much.

Prince Manjee (profile) says:

Re: "advertising is dead"

Or maybe someone should just explain to him what a “series of tubes” is… I think thats how you talk to that generation.

It occurred to me all these authority figures above the age of 40 just get more and more out of touch with reality everyday.

Ironic considering how many “reality shows” are actually broadcast from his network.

KGWagner (profile) says:

I'm not a psychiatrist, but...

I hate to make ad hominem attacks, and I’m not a psychiatrist, but the more I hear/read of what Mr. Murdoch says, the more convinced I become that the poor man is losing his grip.

Doesn’t he have boards of directors or advisors or somebody to sorta guide him along? If nothing else, get him out of the spotlight. Regardless of what people may think of the various media organizations he owns/controls, he’s making them lose credibility by association.

mv says:

wants free money

Media has to change it’s business model.
Before internet, they were charging huge amounts to place ad in their papers.
Nobody dared to say, it was stealing.
Internet changed how many/all businesses are doing their business online and offline (brickAndMortar).

BUT not print media, they refused to embrace it.

Now they are paying the price for it.
What will be the best model?
I think it will be trial and error, like dot com boom.
“The bravest and smartest will succeed.”
The problem is ‘they’ are putting too much importance on ‘creating news’.
Nowadays everybody:
– can listen to police scanner,
– have camera and you tube account,
– tweeter for ever,
– post blogs,
– and everyone is ‘so called’ reporter now days.

spelling errors are everywhere…….

Greedy bastard……

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