The British phone hacking saga has brought to light the Machiavellian machinations of Rupert Murdoch and his News Corporation like never before. Ted Hope reminds us on his blog today that the BBC’s amazing Adam Curtis (The Power of Nightmares) wrote very revealingly about Murdoch earlier this year (using great video clips — go to the source to view them):
Rupert Murdoch doesn’t like the BBC.
And sometimes the BBC doesn’t seem to like Rupert Murdoch either.
Following the principle that you should know your enemy, the BBC has assiduously recorded the relentless rise of Rupert Murdoch and his assault on the old “decadent” elites of Britain.
And I thought it would be interesting to put up some of the high points.
It is also a good way to examine how far his populist rhetoric is genuine, and how far its is a smokescreen to disguise the interests of another elite.
As a balanced member of the BBC — I leave it to you to decide.
Murdoch first appears in the BBC archive in a short fragment without commentary shot in 1968. It shows him ambling into the City of London on his way to see Sir Humphrey Mynors who was head of the City Takeover Panel.
Murdoch was going to ask Sir Humphrey for permission to take over the News of the World. Then he is interviewed afterwards.
The News of the World was a salacious rag, but it was run by Sir William Carr who was a member of an old establishment family. He had already received a hostile bid from the publisher Robert Maxwell. Carr hated Maxwell because he was not British (he was Czech).
Then Murdoch arrived. He wasn’t British either, but he told Sir William he would buy the paper but they would run it jointly together.
Maxwell warned Sir William not to trust Murdoch. He told him: “You will be out before your feet touch the ground”.
Sir William replied: “Bob, Rupert is a gentleman”
But Lady Carr began to worry. She took Rupert Murdoch out to lunch in Mayfair. She reported that he had little small talk, no sense of humour and that he had lit up a cigar before the first course…
[continues at the BBC]