Rupert Murdoch, CEO of News Corp., says no to U.S. government newspaper bailout but pretends that his company is free of government assistance:
“Nothing that News owns will ever take money from the government and I don’t believe even the New York Times would. I don’t think the government would even do it. They’d realize this would be the end of it.”
This is true but deeply, and no doubt deliberately, misleading. The reality is that his company has received all kinds of special favors from the government over the years, favors that translated into cash.
An obvious one, among many, is the gift News Corp.’s broadcasting properties have received in the form of free use of the airwaves. The estimates vary widely on what that’s been worth, but certainly it’s in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
As noted in a prior posting, the US government has a long history of supporting the press, as do state and local governments. There’s no serious likelihood of a direct bailout now, as Murdoch well knows, so it’s easy for him to say he wouldn’t take it.
Will he give back what he’s already gotten from government — from taxpayers? We won’t hold our collective breath on this one.