Murdoch strikes again, this time in Esquire
Esquire magazine is running a Q&A with News Corp chief Rupert Murdoch, in which in the international media tycoon talks about his upbringing, what makes Murdoch Murdoch, his new crown jewel The Wall Street Journal, Fox News and a host of other subjects. Without further ado (warning: look out for some inappropriate language):
Murdoch on his political ideology and the crisis blowing through multiple financial institutions:
I’m not a knee-jerk conservative. I passionately believe in free markets and less government, but not to the point of being a libertarian. After this financial crisis, there are going to be some restrictions. I’m frightened they’ll go too far, but certainly there should be something.
On News Corp’s MySpace social network and competitor Facebook:
When we bought MySpace, we thought it had great possibilities. We didn’t realize it would grow as fast as it has, and of course it has given birth to imitators, which I guess they’re calling Web 3.0, or whatever, and given rise to what you’d call social networking.
We got a big wake-up call from Facebook last year. We put a lot of new things in this year. You can’t write off MySpace. It is a genuine social network where people go to look for friends, to make friends, to look for people with common interests. Facebook — I don’t want to put it down. It does interesting things and has some very able people there, but it is fundamentally a sort of directory. It’s opened up recently to let people bring in new applications. A huge number have tried to do this, but not that many have succeeded.
On The Wall Street Journal:
It’s bullshit to say we’re going to dumb down The Wall Street Journal. We didn’t dumb down the London Times — we made the London Times.The Sunday Times, too. Are they a little more popular than they were? Yes. They are populist papers. You’ve got to listen to readers.
On the Fox Network’s first big TV success:
The first successful program, the one you could see registering with audiences, was Married with Children. At first I used to blanch at it. But in the end, I realized that it was a genuinely funny, satirical program.
On immigration into the United States and speaking English:
I’m totally pro-immigration, though it would be nice if you could pick and choose your immigrants. I haven’t made up my mind about this, but I rather like the idea that you don’t get citizenship until you can speak English. You still want to have a homogeneous society. People who don’t speak English, now and for a long time to come, are going to be at a disadvantage.
On his public reputation:
People demonize me and think I’m more important than I am. You know, I’m a fairly normal person. I don’t lead a wild life or anything. My excitement is day-to-day work.