Aside from President Bush, one of the left's favorite boogeymen is Rupert Murdoch, CEO of News Corporation, owner of the Fox television networks and myriad newspapers around the globe. Murdoch, as the story goes, is deliberately foisting a far-right ideology upon the world, intent upon making it to support his personal political agenda.
In order for that to be true, however, paranoid lefties have to ignore a lot of evidence that Murdoch's words and deeds are hardly those of a consistently conservative person. The media exec demonstrated that once again today by heaping praise upon "rock star" Barack Obama while heavily criticizing his Republican rival John McCain as ignorant about economics, "unpredicable," and having "a lot of problems."
"I want to meet Obama. I want to know is he going to walk the walk. Have you read his education policy, what it is? It's just great. [...] I just hope that he's as good as he promises."
Below is the full transcript of Murdoch's interview at the Wall Street Journal's "D" conference with his left-leaning Journal employees Kara Swisher and Walter Mossberg (watch video here):
KARA SWISHER: How do you look at the political scene right now? And not so much the Fox impact because I think that's sort of [unintelligible].
RUPERT MURDOCH: Well the Fox impact is--people laugh when I say it's fair and balanced. Well it does, it gives both sides which the others haven't done in the past.
SWISHER: Both sides?
WALT MOSSBERG: You really believe that? You really believe that it's totally neutral? [Audience laughter]
MURDOCH: Yes. [Cut]
MOSSBERG: We're going to have for the first time in a long time somebody who isn't a Bush or a Clinton, probably, as president. What's your assessment of the situation? You know--
MURDOCH: --I think you have two candidates, Obama and McCain [cut] I think you've got probably the making of a complete phenomenon in this country. Politicians and Washington are at an all-time low. They are despised by 80 percent of the public [audience applause], they're just sick to death.
And you've got a candidate who's putting himself--trying to put himself above it all and saying he's not the average politician. And he's become a rock star, it's fantastic. [Cut]
He has other problems. He may not carry Florida because Jewish people are suspicious of him and so are the Hispanics. So he's got problems there. But he'll probably win Ohio and who knows. If it's a close election, you can start adding different states and so on. And--he'll probably win. [Cut]
MOSSBERG: I mean assuming he doesn't screw up somehow, the tide is against the Republicans because they've been out of power [Democrats].
MURDOCH: Oh, absolutely. You've got the Obama phenomenon. You have got, undoubtedly, a recession, everybody getting hurt. The average American is really getting hurt financially and that all bodes well for him. [Cut]
SWISHER: What is the McCain issue from your perspective?
MURDOCH: He's been in Congress a long time and you've got to make a lot of--you've gotta make too many compromises. So what's he really stand for? He's a patriot, he's a friend of mine, he's a very decent guy but he's unpredictable. He's--
SWISHER: Yeah, we met him here last year.
MURDOCH: --He doesn't know very much about the economy. I think he has, and I say this sympathetically, I think he has a lot of problems.
SWISHER: Who are you backing?
MURDOCH: I'm not backing anyone. Personally?
MURDOCH: I don't know, I want to meet Obama. I want to know is he going to walk the walk. Have you read his education policy, what it is? It's just great. He's got to revolutionize--the education system in this country is a total disgrace. [Audience applause]
If we're going to compete with the rest of the world, we've got the rising China, India, Brazil--
MOSSBERG: Does he have to smash the teachers' unions to do that or does he just have to take them on?
MURDOCH: Look, he can pay them all he likes, double their salary, but they've got to do different things. He's got to take control of the curriculum, everything. There's a lot that's got to happen. [Cut]
MOSSBERG: Why is she [Hillary Clinton] still in it, in your opinion?
MURDOCH: Everybody, every one of her friends is saying 'for God's sake, get out.' Her husband is saying 'stay in there,' [unintelligible] is saying 'stay in there,' and she's not listening to anybody else. [Cut]
I think Obama would never, ever give her the number two spot. He doesn't want the Clintons around. He wants a break with the past.
MOSSBERG: You like that idea, that his notion of getting past--
MURDOCH: I'd like a complete break with the past. I do know that he's a highly intelligent man with a great record at Harvard as head of the--
MOSSBERG: Law review.
MURDOCH: Law review and so on. I just hope that he's as good as he promises.
MOSSBERG: Did you have anything to do with the New York Post endorsing him in the Democratic primary in New York state?
MOSSBERG: Okay! [Mossberg and audience laugh]