Tomasky Nails It. In Rupert Redux How the media magnate continues to take advantage of “reasonable” Democrats. Michael Tomasky shows just one example of how “reasonable” Democrats paved the way for unreasonable right wingers to stomp them. In the 1990s Rupert Murdoch needed to obtain a waiver allowing him to own the New York Post along with a local television station.
And to get the waiver, he needed backing from Democrats and liberal institutions. He needed Sen. Ernest Hollings (D-S.C.), who chaired the relevant committee at the time. He needed Mario Cuomo, then New York’s Democratic governor, to help behind the scenes and to speak publicly about the importance of diverse viewpoints. And he needed major concessions from the paper’s unions. This was March. Phone lines were worked furiously; one thing led to another, and by July, Murdoch had the players right where he wanted them.
He got the waiver. Then a few years later many Democrats helped pass the 1996 Telecommunications Act which largely got rid of cross-ownership rules and helped build the Murdoch-Fox empire. And how did Murdoch repay those Democrats?
Back when Hillary Clinton was running for Senate, a research assistant and I undertook a study. We looked at the unsigned editorials and the pieces by staff columnists (not those by guest op-ed columnists) of all three New York City dailies and asked, How have these papers and their writers assessed her candidacy?
Results? The Times ran 24 favorable pieces, 25 neutral and 26 negative. The Daily News ran 19 positive, nine neutral and 23 negative. And the Post?
Seven positive, 17 neutral. . .and 212 negative. And believe me, we were being generous with that seven.
There’s a lesson in this, and in the whole tale, for our side.
But I’ll make you go read what that lesson is.