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D6: Rupert Murdoch for Obama? Not Quite…. But

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Today at the D6:Conference, the corporate doyens and business leaders were out in full force, both on and off stage. Those who were grilled on stage showed were true to their form – Amazon’s Jeff Bezos charmed everyone with optimism for Kindle, Yahoo’s Jerry Yang was all emotion and patience, and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook showed that he is still a young fella brimming with big dreams.

But it was the wily old Fox, News Corp founder Rupert Murdoch who proved to the most charming, candid, amusing, honest and informative at the same time. Candid enough to admit that there isn’t anyone to really compete with him. Honest enough to point out what a mess both Microsoft and Yahoo made out of their deal, and Google is still a great partner. About Yahoo and Microsoft he said: I’m mystified. I can’t understand the whole thing? Neither can we Mr. Murdoch. He talked at length about the future of media, both on and offline. His responses to a barrage of questions was lucid and refreshingly without corporate speak. He talked about online video, Hulu and future of movie distribution.

Murdoch told the audience he didn’t sue YouTube because it provided promotion for shows like the Simpsons. And Hulu, said Murdoch, was a way for News Corp to control its copyrights. Murdoch expressed interested in online alternatives to broadcast television and traditional film releases, but said he still expects television to be “central.” Releasing movies only online? — he said that’s possible, but hasn’t been tried yet (well, not by Murdoch’s crowd). He’d like to see movies released on all screens at the same time but vested interests in the distribution chain oppose it.

When the conversation turned to politics things got really interesting. Mr. Murdoch can hardly be acused of being a democrat or a liberal, but he viewed Barack Obama positively and wanted to meet Obama. “I want to know if he’s going to walk the walk,” comparing him to rock star. He didn’t quite endorse Barack, but he said Senator John McCain, the Republican candidate for US president has problems and challenges.

Read full transcript on All Things D, and watch the video. Photo and video courtesy of the D6 conference. Photo by Asa Mathat.

12 Responses to “D6: Rupert Murdoch for Obama? Not Quite…. But”

  1. Jacque Denise Yap

    well guys have you heard that oe Biden has now been officially introduced as Barack Obama’s Vice Presidential selection.well i hope this team will work out this coming election ..well you can see the video in htp://

  2. Jim Nasium

    Liberals are so misinformed and are always looking for someone to hate

    Murdoch is a significant backer of liberal Democrats. He backed Gore for crying out loud. Do a little research instead of buying the lies that fanatics sell you. Murdoch is not cemented into any party and that why Foxnews is the leading news source for americans

    A MSNBC report showed 9 out of 10 reporters donated to the democrats. If you dont recognize you have been spoon fed opinions from a liberal media your entire life your clueless. Fox only seems weird to you because there isnt only ONE republican out of every 10 you see on screen

  3. Murdoch has long supported politicians who guarantee a chance at a future. I’m not surprised to see his move towards Obama and “anyone but the thugs in power”. After all, he’s already thrown a few fundraisers for Hillary at his NYC penthouse.

    Geeks really should stay connected with politics, too.

  4. Despite being in his late seventies (!!!), Rupert has proven himself nimble when it comes to getting his organisation online. He runs rings around most corporate executives – media or otherwise – and has done so for decades.

    I have always found his bluntness quite refreshing compared to the sanitised pr rubbish most execs spout.

  5. @ Ben,

    I have to tell you the old man is still better than rest of his media counterparts any day anywhere. everyone else is just a poser. I was quite impressed. Seriously impressed.

  6. Good for Murdoch!

    He seems to have all his ducks in a row:

    * Open video sharing (even when not legal) promotes a networks shows and should not be sued.
    * Mccain is a long time senator.
    * We shouldn’t just jump behind Obama because he is suave… let’s see where he really stands.