It’s a Murdoch-heavy day at the New York Times. In addition to their report on the rumored terms of his deal to buy out the Wall Street Journal, today’s edition also features a very long piece on Rupert Murdoch—the first piece, I suspect, in the “major news investigation” that the Observer reported the other day. The thrust of the piece is that Murdoch has influenced Washington to bend media ownership rules his way, pushing for looser rules that would allow increased consolidation. The story seems to try to paint this as something ominous, but, as Ramesh Ponnuru pointed out in 2005 after an FCC decision to deregulate media ownership, it’s nothing to be afraid of.
The story also notes the political contributions of Murdoch and his company don’t quite match their reputations:
An analysis of campaign finance records shows that since 1997, Republicans have received only a slight majority — 56 percent — of the $4.76 million in campaign donations from the Murdoch family and the News Corporation’s political action committees and employees. Since Democrats won control of Congress in the 2006 elections, the company and its employees have given more than twice as much to Democrats as to Republicans, the records show.