Rupert Murdoch Semi-Retires
It’s hard to overstate the impact the media mogul had on breaking up the Leftmedia’s monopoly.
At age 92, media mogul Rupert Murdoch is almost ready to call it a career. He announced Thursday that he has “decided to transition to the role of Chairman Emeritus at Fox and News [Corp.]” come November. To put it mildly, Murdoch has greatly shaped the media landscape for decades, and passing the torch is a big deal.
“For my entire professional life,” he wrote in a letter to colleagues, “I have been engaged daily with news and ideas, and that will not change. But the time is right for me to take on different roles, knowing that we have truly talented teams and a passionate, principled leader in [my son] Lachlan who will become sole Chairman of both companies. Neither excessive pride nor false humility are admirable qualities. But I am truly proud of what we have achieved collectively through the decades, and I owe much to my colleagues, whose contributions to our success have sometimes been unseen outside the company but are deeply appreciated by me.”
To make that clear, he continued: “Whether the truck drivers distributing our papers, the cleaners who toil when we have left the office, the assistants who support us or the skilled operators behind the cameras or the computer code, we would be less successful and have less positive impact on society without your day-after-day dedication.”
The world-wide corporate mergers and acquisitions over Murdoch’s length career are numerous, and Fox News has those details for anyone interested. It almost goes without saying that Murdoch’s media companies have sometimes endured controversy and made head-scratching decisions, and that conservatives are not uniformly happy with his products.
But when are conservatives uniform about anything?
More to our interest is what The Wall Street Journal editorial board said in an editorial saluting Murdoch. For one thing, he saved the paper through shrewd business management, including investing in digital news at a time when print was in steep decline. “Above all,” however, “Mr. Murdoch invested in journalism.”
That last point does indeed rise. Murdoch played an enormous role in upending the monopoly on public opinion held by the Leftmedia for decades. Ironically but also predictably, Leftmedia critics treat him and his employees like they do any other person — especially minorities and journalists — who thinks for himself and deviates from the leftist hive mind.
“In our personal experience over 16 years,” the Journal’s editors write, “the coverage by our media competitors of Mr. Murdoch as a Machiavelli telling his journalists what to write couldn’t be further from reality. He wants his journalists to be curious and energetic, but also to think for themselves.”
That’s such a foreign concept to Leftmedia talkingheads and scribes that, in their small minds, the only possible explanation for conservatism is that some sinister power broker is telling people what to think, say, and do.
Murdoch understood this, of course, telling employees on Thursday: “Self-serving bureaucracies are seeking to silence those who would question their provenance and purpose. Elites have open contempt for those who are not members of their rarefied class. Most of the media is in cahoots with those elites, peddling political narratives rather than pursuing the truth.”
Even in what we routinely describe as our humble shop, we feel a certain kinship with giants like Murdoch and the late great Rush Limbaugh. Both men revolutionized the media (Murdoch via newspapers and television, Limbaugh via radio), much as we were at the forefront of the conservative revolution on the web.
Back in 1996 when Mark Alexander took a gamble in launching this publication, the Left’s stranglehold on the media and public opinion was still largely in tact. 1996 happened to be the same year Fox News went on the air, following Limbaugh’s radio debut in 1988. Success was far from guaranteed.
Today, the political climate is certainly rancorous and media division is no doubt partly to blame, particularly because the Leftmedia doubled down on leftism in response to being challenged. But at least there are independent voices, and Murdoch did more than most to help them speak.
Murdoch assured everyone that he remains in good health, and that he will continue to be “involved every day in the contest of ideas.” Indeed, some of us just can’t help ourselves.
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