Rupert Murdoch’s Son: BBC ‘Land Grab’ is ‘Chilling’

August 30, 2009

(ChattahBox)—Recent comments made by James Murdoch, the son of Rupert Murdoch, global media mogul, billionaire and head of the far-reaching News Corporation and Fox News, are making headlines in the British press today. James Murdoch, who runs News Corp’s operations in Europe and Asia, hilariously said that the British Broadcasting Corporation, or BBC had “chilling” future ambitions.

Rupert Murdoch’s media operations control about 176 newspapers, including the Times of London, the New York Post, The Sun, the supermarket tabloid, the Star and the Wall Street Journal. His television empire controls satellite TV in Britain, Italy, Asia and the Middle East, with a strong presence in the U.S., including BSkyB, Fox Network, Fox News Channel, Twentieth Century Fox Studio and dozens of smaller TV stations in the U.S.

Rupert Murdoch is known for using his media empire to espouse his right-wing conservative and neo-conservative views, particularly on the Fox News Channel.

James Murdoch made his “pot calling the kettle black” remarks at the Edinburgh television festival on Friday. In a debate with Robert Peston, the BBC’s business editor, Murdoch lambasted the notion of a publicly funded TV station, calling for less regulation so that Murdoch’s empire could rake in more millions. A “radical reorientation” of regulation is necessary to secure “dynamism and innovation” in the UK broadcasting sector, said Murdoch.

Without a trace of irony, Murdoch spoke of something he called a BBC “land grab.” “The land grab is spear-headed by the BBC. The scale and scope of its current activities and future ambitions is chilling,” said Murdoch.

He also said that the BBC’s majority stake in the Lonely Planet travel guides were evidence of “overt recklessness” of the public trust and were responsible for the BBC’s “abysmal record”

Murdoch compared the regulated media industry in the UK to that of “creationism,” and a belief in a process managed by a single omniscient authority.” He said, “creationism,” produces “unaccountable institutions,” like the BBC Trust, Channel 4 and Ofcom.

Murdoch wants a world free of regulations so his father’s media empire can dominate, free from any government intervention. Rupert Murdoch greatly benefited from the loosening of U.S. regulations during the Bush administration.

“Thanks to Darwin we understand that the evolution of a successful species is an unmanaged process,” added Murdoch.

Murdoch’s comments were made in the wake of UK broadcasting regulations requiring that the Murdoch owned Sky Television be forced to share some its premium content with rivals, such as Ofcom.

The debate became heated at times. The Telegraph reported that Preston blasted Murdoch and “returned fire” saying, “Hang on a ––––ing minute, James.”


One Response to “Rupert Murdoch’s Son: BBC ‘Land Grab’ is ‘Chilling’”

  1. Paul Kilgarriff on August 30th, 2009 5:26 pm

    I agree with your article and love the way you point out that he said it all without a hint of irony but just a small point, Ofcom is the regulator and is not a competitor of sky

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