Rupert Murdoch on Obama and moose

June 23, 2010

Ever wonder what News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch thinks about the direction this country is going and how Rupert MurdochPresident Obama is handling his job?  If you were on hand during the opening panel at The New York Forum last night in mid-town Manhattan,  you got an earful.

Some background: The New York Forum is newly formed meeting of business, economic and other luminary minds to address challenges facing the global economy. The Forum plans to present the ideas developed during the conference to the G-20 Summit taking place this Saturday.

Murdoch spoke on a panel made up of a grab-bag of high level executives — Cathie Black, president of Hearst Magazines, real estate magnate Jerry Speyer and Philippe Camus, chairman of Alcatel-Lucent. CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo was on hand to moderate.

Surprisingly, very little was said about the state of media. Oh sure, Murdoch said he believes that in 5 years, hundreds of millions will own iPad-like devices yet physical newspapers will be with us for “decades to come.”

After those brief remarks though, the direction of the discussion turned surreal. Maybe it had to do with  Bartiromo, who pitched  unrelated questions to her panel about the economy, the BP oil spill and immigration. Or maybe it was just the overall mission of Forum.

Whatever the reason, if you were curious about, say, Murdoch’s thoughts regarding his attempt to purchase outright BSkyB , you would be out luck. We didn’t even get boasting about The Wall Street Journal.

Instead we learned Murdoch thinks that upstate New York is night to New York City’s day. Specifically: “West of the Hudson, it’s like a third-world country.”

If Murdoch were in President Obama’s position (yes, it was a question Bartiromo asked) Murdoch would establish more authority and actively seek to influence Congress. The people of this country, Murdoch contends, “didn’t realize they were electing someone so left of center.”

On oil,  Murdoch said we should drill for more of it. Especially in Alaska because really what else is it there for, he suggested with this remark: “We didn’t buy Alaska to look at the moose.”

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