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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Filed Under: aggregators, copyright, fair use, journalism, rupert murdoch, search engines


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  1. identicon
    Prince Manjee, 1 Dec 2009 @ 7:20pm

    "advertising is dead"

    Ummm has Rupert ever been to myspace.com? 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.

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