Krugman on Koch and Murdoch

Jillian Bandes
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Posted: Aug 30, 2010 8:36 AM
Paul Krugman's attack on Rupert Murdoch and the Koch Foundation uses no new information to degrade a well-meaning and transparent philanthropist and a completely out-in-the-open political newsmaker. Charles Koch's funding of Americans for Prosperity is Krugman's major charge against the the conservative kingpin, failing to recognize that funding an ideological organization does not mean he's a "sugar daddy bankrolling a populist uprising." Koch does provide a platform under which tea partiers can organize, but he's far from the only venue they've used to rally for their cause. Take a look at Americans for Prosperity's get-together this weekend (2,400 people) and compare it to Beck's get-together (500,000 people). It's clear that giving money to support speakers and hotel rooms is not an indicator of success or popularity.

Krugman's main point against Murdoch is the fact that 9/11 mosque supporter Walid bin Talal "is not only the biggest non-Murdoch shareholder in Fox News’s parent company (he owns 7 percent of News Corporation)" but "the recipient of Murdoch mammoth investments in Saudi Arabia." If anything, that just goes to show that FOX is clearly not a public relations machine for their major supporter, as Krugman would undoubtedly want you to believe. Is it ironic that bin Talal owns that share of Newscorp? Sure. But it proves that Murdoch is not the "self-interested potentate" who is using his news business to provide cover for vast numbers of tea partying Americans.