Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Some Historical Notes on Rupert Murdoch, our modern Hearst, Part II
Unauthorized reproductions of "A Secret Country" by John Pilger, Australia's Chomsky, Vintage Press, 1992 On why no one should trust Rupert Murdoch, especially not a politician.
In July 1980 the New York State Democratic primary was crucial for Jimmy Carter. His main opponent, Senator Edward Kennedy, was an acknowledged supporter of the Israeli cause, while Carter's quest for de'tente between Israel and Egypt cast him in many Jewish eyes as pro-Arab. Murdoch's New York Post had found a woman who agreed to speak about an affair with Kennedy. At the same time, with the aid of public relations men retained by Murdoch, a meeting with President Carter at the White House was arranged for February 19, 1980. The same morning Murdoch met the Chairman of the Export-Import Bank (Eximbank), John Moore, an old friend and political supporter of Carter. The subject was the sale of Boeing aircraft to Ansett, the Australian airline owned by Murdoch and Sir Peter Abeles. Murdoch demanded a loan of 656 million $US at 8 per cent interest. On February 22 Murdoch's Post published an editorial headed, THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARIES: THE POST ENDORSES CARTER. An Eximbank loan of such size usually took three weeks to develop; and the bank's current interest rate was well above 8 per cent, rising to 13 per cent in March. Murdoch reduced the loan figure to $US290 million and announced that the deal had been settled at 8 per cent. US Treasury officials expressed their concern; the New York Times published a story about the low interest rate, the lunch with Carter on the same day as the bank meeting, the Post's endorsement of Carter and Moore's political background. The US Senate committee on banking called for the documents and Murdoch testified before a hearing. The White House lunch, he said, was unconnected with the Boeing sale. The committee reported that the Ansett loan had been handled 'sloppily' and that lending rates several points below cost amounted to an extraordinary subsidy of Rupert Murdoch's business fortunes. But the loan went ahead. Later that year Murdoch switched allegiance to Ronald Reagan...

No comments: