Hillary Clinton Pinched on Murdoch Connex
Some alliances are strange, questionable. The one between Hillary Clinton and Rupert Murdoch is one of them. And that oddball alliance did not slip under the radar last weekend while Clinton stumped through Iowa. At one stop, a woman asked Clinton about Murdoch and whether his media conglomerate would put democracy at risk.
"Clinton played both sides in her answer," reports The New York Times. "Responding sympathetically to the woman's concern about media consolidation, but also making clear that she wasn't singling out "any company in particular."
As the woman asked the question Saturday night and criticized Mr. Murdoch by name, Mrs. Clinton nodded slowly - though, it should be noted, that is her standard habit when an ally or supporter is addressing her.
"There have been a lot of media consolidations in the last several years, and it is quite troubling," Mrs. Clinton began her reply. "The fact is, most people still get their news from television, from radio, even from newspapers. If they're all owned by a very small group of people -- and particularly if they all have a very similar point of view - it really stifles free speech."
Mrs. Clinton pledged that as president, she would appoint commissioners to the Federal Communications Commission who supported "competition in the media," and she hailed Theodore Roosevelt as a model for his trust-busting approach to monopolistic corporate impulse.
"It's bad for consumers because you limit choice," Mrs. Clinton said of media consolidations, and "it's bad for citizens because it limits the diversity we have."
Just as this reporter began to wonder if she would side-step Mr. Murdoch altogether, Mrs. Clinton then added: "I'm not saying anything against any company in particular. I just want to see more competition, especially in the same markets."
Only a few people in the audience applauded.
Illustration credit: The New York Observer