Thursday, December 23, 2010

Calling In A Favour

A consequence of Cable-gate, as the media inevitably tagged it, or Cable v. Satellite, as one wag tweeted, was the transferral of government policy on media takeovers from the Business department to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The minister who will now decide on whether Murdoch should be allowed to proceed with majority ownership of BSkyB is Jeremy Hunt, he of the moneyed background & rhyming slang moniker (courtesy, James Naughtie).
Hunt's decision can be predicted on two grounds. Firstly, it should be recalled that Hunt repeated the libel about Hillsborough last summer ( ), a lie which originally surfaced in Murdoch's rag, the Sun. Secondly, Murdoch's business practices elicited this paean of praise from Hunt on this blogpost earlier this year ( ):
" Rather than worry about Rupert Murdoch owning another TV channel, what we should recognise is that he has probably done more to create variety and choice in British TV than any other single person because of his huge investment in setting up Sky TV which, at one point, was losing several million pounds a day.
"We would be the poorer and wouldn't be saying that British TV is the envy of the world if it hadn't been for him being prepared to take that commercial risk. We need to encourage that kind of investment."
Given that Murdoch told his editors to ditch Brown & support Cameron in October last year, government approval for Murdoch's majority stake is a safer bet than icy roads on Christmas Day.

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