'Rupert Murdoch Is Becoming a Liberal'

Mogul held secret meeting with Obama to negotiate a truce: Wolff
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 2, 2008 9:00 AM CDT
News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch gestures during the launch of Dow Jones India Titans 30 in Mumbai, India, Monday, Aug. 4, 2008.    (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)
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(Newser) – Rupert Murdoch isn't what you've been told, Michael Wolff writes in Vanity Fair. He's not a destroyer of journalism—he is perhaps the last great lover of newspapers. And he’s actually turning liberal. Yes, he’s still a free-marketeer, but Murdoch has been seduced by his second wife’s liberal social circle, and "the angry outsider, the anti-elitist" is becoming one of them. Which explains why he overpaid for the Wall Street Journal and fantasizes obsessively about buying the New York Times.

Murdoch hosted a secret meeting with Barack Obama this summer, including a face-to-face with Fox chief Roger Ailes, which started acrimoniously but ended in a “tentative truce," writes Wolff.  After spending 9 months interviewing the mogul for an upcoming book, Wolff finds him the opposite of the corporate man—"maybe the last troublemaker in the holier-than-thou, ethically straitjacketed news business." But he thinks Murdoch is actually becoming embarrassed by Fox, his former alter ego.