New York Times Goes Soft On New York Post

In a New York Times column today by Richard Perez-Pena, the case is made that the New York Post’s owner, Rupert Murdoch, has gone soft on Barack Obama and liberals in general. The evidence cited for this ideological tectonic shift is a shallow observation that the Post has not published its usual brand of slander in the few days that have passed since the election. The Times writes…

“Starting the day before the voting, the paper’s coverage of Mr. Obama turned positive, even admiring, sprinkled with gauzy bits about his family life, even urging him at one point to adopt a particular puppy for his daughters. A few days after the election, The Post published a 12-page special section about Mr. Obama, wrapped in that two-page photo of him.”

Anyone who regards this as anything but a convenient post-election holiday from their customary hostility has thoroughly lost perspective. Murdoch is a businessman and the Post is a money-losing rag in the heart of the Democratic haven of New York City. What was the Post supposed to do in the wake of this historic election, publish pictures of Obama in Hip-Hop gear with his arm around Osama Bin Laden? (That’s for next month’s issue).

For the Times to project from that that Murdoch is a secret Obama fan suggests they are taking their own holiday from sanity. Fox News is as vitriolic as ever. As a national network, they are not confined to a single market that is in disaccord with their views. So folks like Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, and Neil Cavuto, are still free to brutally disparage Obama and all Democrats and other liberals. Gary Ginsberg, a Fox News spokesman, made an effort to disguise Murdoch’s prejudice against Obama by saying that…

“Rupert met him, spent a good deal of time with him, and I think he’s been very taken by his intellect, by his ability to inspire and by the opportunity that he has to truly take America in a positive direction on education issues, social issues and others.”

That, of course, flies in the face of Murdoch’s own words. The Post endorsed John McCain and Murdoch admitted publicly that he “had something to do with it.” It is extremely unlikely that he has changed his anti-Obama positions from those expressed just last month, and hardly represent an endorsement of Obama’s inspirational abilities:

Murdoch: [Obama’s] policy is really very, very naive, old fashioned, 1960’s socialist.”

In the same commentary, Murdoch also said that an Obama administration would worsen inflation, ruin America’s relationships with other nations, and drive companies to leave the country. That’s funny, I thought that George W. Bush had already done all of that. Perhaps that’s what Murdoch means when he talks about “tak[ing] America in a positive direction.”

The Times went on to mention a meeting held with Murdoch, Obama, and Fox News CEO Roger Ailes. It is characterized as “a bid to moderate Fox’s coverage of Mr. Obama,” but that’s just more PR manure. In truth, it was a transparent bid to persuade Obama to appear on their network. For most of the campaign Obama had snubbed Fox News. They were was missing out on the most exciting political story of the year because of their overt bias. Obama reportedly let Ailes have it during the meeting:

“Obama lit into Ailes. He said that he didn’t want to waste his time talking to Ailes if Fox was just going to continue to abuse him and his wife, that Fox had relentlessly portrayed him as suspicious, foreign, fearsome – just short of a terrorist.”

This is the real Murdoch, and the one who will endure over time. The notion that he has grown fond of Obama is naive in the extreme. And the fact that the Times would suggest such nonsense ought to bring them much embarrassment. It is not just poor analysis and shoddy journalism, it is delusional. Yet somehow it is in sync with the media conclusion that despite Obama’s overwhelming victory we are still a center-right country. That’s our liberal media talking.