NPR is clearly relishing the Murdoch newspapers scandal in Britain. Its Weekend Edition headline on Saturday was "News Corp. Dynasty Crumbles From the Top Down." Anchor Scott Simon interviewed Financial Times columnist Clive Crook and asked if the scandal will cause sell-offs: "How big a dent that they represent in his holdings and his influence?...Can you foresee them having to make incisions in their holdings?" Just say it: What will happen to Fox News?
Crook said it was quite a "catalog of disasters" with closing down News of the World and now accepting resignations from top News Corp./NOTW executives like Les Hinton and Rebekah Brooks. But he also said the really tight relationship in Britain between politicians and the newspapers came about because...Britain has "largely succeeded in getting money out of politics." It dramatically increased media power. No wonder the liberal media favors it:
CROOK: Yeah, the political influence thing is very interesting. An important aspect of this story in Britain is the close relationship between the newspaper business, Rupert Murdoch's business, and leading politicians - not just the Tories though, the current prime minister is very embarrassed by this.
But Labour is just the same, all the parties are just the same. They have to get on with the newspapers. And why is that? I think it's interesting that they have to because Britain has largely succeeded in getting money out of politics, something many Americans would like to do here. The consequence of doing that is that the newspapers become incredibly important and you have to have them in your pocket if you're going to do well.