May 1, 2007, - 5:57 pm

If Murdoch/NewsCorp Acquire Wall St. Journal, Will Saudi Prince AlWaleed Call the Shots?

Sorry, but I’m not among those many conservatives celebrating a false victory–Rupert Murdoch’s seemingly unbeatable bid to buy the Wall Street Journal, announced today.
First of all, the Journal is not so liberal that it needed to be acquired by News Corp. It’s reporting is fairly balanced, though not always. And it’s op-ed page is the same. The only thing that’s very ideological is the editorial page, which is quite conservative (but for its absurd open borders stance on immigration). And so there’s no reason I see a need for Murdoch & Company to acquire what is already a fine operation. If he were acquiring the New York Times or Washington Post, that would be a different story.

Then, there’s the nagging problem of billionaire . He already (his original ownership was 5.46% of NewsCorp stock, but he has reportedly since acquired far more of an ownership stake). And he’s bragged that he used his part ownership to change FOX News Channel coverage to be more favorable to Muslim terrorists. During the ever regenerated Muslim riots in France, FOX News at first referred to them as what they were “Muslim riots.” But AlWaleed got mad and made a single phone call. Immediately the description was changed to “civil riots.”
As reported in The Guardian of the UK, he told Campaign Middle East magazine:

I picked up the phone and called Murdoch and said that I was speaking not as a shareholder, but as a viewer of Fox. I said that these are not Muslim riots, they are riots. He investigated the matter and called Fox and within half an hour it was changed from “Muslim riots” to “civil riots”.

I don’t know about you, but as a viewer of FOX News (and sometimes on-air interviewee), I can’t get Rupert Murdoch on the phone, much less get him to change network editorial policy within a half hour. And they were Muslim riots. They weren’t Catholic or Jewish riots (though, those two groups comprised a great deal of the victims.) There was nothing “civil” about them.
What will happen in the likelihood that Murdoch, through NewsCorp, acquires the Wall Street Journal–the editorial pages of which have been spot-on about Islam, terrorism, Israel, and the Mid-East? When Prince AlWaleed doesn’t like something–and that’s a certainty, given the Journal’s accurate views on these issues–will a phone call from him lead to a swift change? Based on the FOX News Channel example, that’s a big YES. And a big no-no for those who are cheering on this acquisition.

With Rupert Murdoch Ownership, Comes Saudi Prince Alwaleed Ownership & Editorial “Suggestions”

But, as we know, Prince AlWaleed likes to throw money around to change policy. He tried that–unsuccessfully–when, after 9/11, (translation: shunning Israel in favor of Islamists like the ones who just flew into the Towers). Giuliani told him where to go . . . and it wasn’t for lunch at Jean George.
But Rudy has principles and courage, not a bottom line. And, unfortunately, though he is a billionaire, Rupert Murdoch does have a bottom line and key investors. And one of his most key investors, these days, is Prince AlWaleed. And, unfortunately, Murdoch will never have the urge to tell him where to key a la Rudy Giuliani.
Pray that the Prince doesn’t bring editorial changes for the Wall Street Journal. But don’t bet against him.
“Fair and Balanced” is not a part of the Saudi Prince’s investment portfolio . . . or his ideological demands.

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6 Responses

Three or four years ago the WSJ had an absolutely absurd editorial calling on Israel to stop building or destroy its security fence (which has saved thousands of Jewish lives). I called James Taranto of the and left a voice message for him asking if a summer intern troll from The New York Times wrote that imbecillic editorial.

Ripper on May 1, 2007 at 9:03 pm

Color me naÔve, butÖ Are there any American investors who own stock in the Arab News or Saudi Gazette? I doubt it very, very much. I know Americanís are not allowed to buy property in Saudi [and why the heck they would if they could is beyond me]. Iíd be willing to venture a guess that Americanís canít invest in Saudi, either. Why, then, do we allow Saudiís to invest in American corporations?

BT in SA on May 1, 2007 at 9:22 pm

Debbie makes good sense to me on this. It is an outrage that Murdoch would allow this Saudi Prince to influence the news of Fox. What a sad thought.

BB on May 1, 2007 at 9:40 pm

People from other countries can buy stock in US companies because “we” sometimes embrace that free market thingy. I’m very fond of the WSJ editorial page and this is a sad development indeed.

Mongo on May 2, 2007 at 6:58 am

Debbie, you’re absolutely correct. Bret Stephens, editorial writer at the WSJ, has been chronicling the rise of Islamism week after week. I doubt his work would see the light of day with the Prince around.
Couple other points: rumored that Soros, GE, Burkle or Bloomberg would be bidders. Any of these would turn the WSJ into the NY Times. Hope that the founding family hangs on.
Bin Talal has given lots of money to families of terrorists who blew themselves up to kill Israelis. Also, he cuts big, and I mean big, checks to CAIR. Also, he funded the new Georgetown institue of Islamofaccism, Esposito’s joint, the goal of which is to convince America’s thought leaders that a Caliphate would be cool and that Jews deserve to be slaughtered.

sonomaca on May 2, 2007 at 12:07 pm

OMG! you guys are actually funnier than the real fox news. I am no fan of the Shaikh, but be honest with your remarks. As far as I understand it, the shaikh did not say here is the money but the condition is become Muslim lobbiests. 2ndly, did none of you read the shaikh’s remarks about moving the so called “ground zero mosque”… He actually asked the people involved in the project to move the mosque. I just wish everyone would just calm down and be more open. My God, MUSLIM agenda… Most “Muslim” countries can’t even operate by themselves, how are they going to take america over? Hey, just be more open, if you want American’s who are muslims to leave, if that is what you want, just tell them. But stop trying to make yourselves famous and earn cash by misinforming people.

Ray on November 4, 2010 at 10:01 pm

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