Last updated: February 21, 2008 - 10:15am
IN DEFENSE OF RUPERT MURDOCH
[SOURCE: Slate, AUTHOR: Jack Shafer]
[Commentary] As bad as Murdoch is, he's not as bad as some people make him out to be -- people like Federal Communications Commission member Michael J. Copps. But Commissioner Copps neglects to acknowledge Murdoch's never-ending role in increasing media competition and media diversity. For example, the main reason there are four big broadcast networks for Copps to complain about is somebody staked billions to establish and build the fourth network, Fox. That somebody would be Rupert Murdoch. You might not like what Fox offers but you can't accuse Murdoch of reducing viewer choice. Murdoch's Fox network so rattled the power of the traditional Big Three networks that a fifth (the WB) and a sixth (UPN) entered the TV fray after Fox. When the WB and UPN merged into the CW in 2006, Murdoch started yet another network to expand choice, the oddly named (and awful) MyNetworkTV. Murdoch also owns the New York Post -- but at an annual loss of $15 million to $30 million. If Copps were a true fan of diversity, he'd be handing Murdoch a plaque thanking him for increasing media diversity by subsidizing a conservative tabloid in the New York market, which has voted consistently over the last 30 years that it really doesn't want to support such a sheet.
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