Rupert Murdoch opens New York Forum, declares love for iPad

Posted by: Helen Walters on June 22, 2010

murdoch.jpgRupert Murdoch was on fine, ornery form at the opening plenary session of the New York Forum, an event aimed at bringing together CEOs, policy makers and thought leaders in a bid “to reinvigorate the economy”. Organized by Richard Attias, who produced the World Economic Forum in Davos for some 15 years, the main event kicks off tomorrow at the Hyatt Hotel, near Grand Central station. Tonight saw a panel discussion featuring Hearst Magazines president Cathy Black, Philippe Camus, chairman of Alcatel-Lucent and Tishman Speyer CEO, Jerry Speyer.

Murdoch was frank about the disarray within the media industry, though he declared himself optimistic at the pace of innovation that’s occurring in response to the disruption. He was also somewhat effusive in his love for Apple’s iPad. “This is a fantastic invention,” he said. “It combines the ability to present all forms of media to all people, from three year old children to 100 year old men.” He added: “I believe that within five years, you’ll have many hundreds of millions of iPad or iPad-like devices in the world. This is a huge new market.”

Along with reiterating his widely-stated belief that publishers made a huge mistake in making digital content free of charge, Murdoch also took a swipe at President Obama, describing him as “too aloof” and criticizing his politics as a lot more “left of center” than those who voted him in had perhaps realized. So what, asked moderator Maria Bartiromo, should Obama be doing to get the U.S. back on track? “I think he should be going in the reverse direction,” said Murdoch. “You won’t get this country right until you have less government and less taxes.” Unless Obama changes direction, he said, the United States should brace itself for another two and a half years of “at best no growth”.

Other policies also came in for some Murdoch opprobrium, including his disdain for the healthcare bill, and his call for better support of entrepreneurs and small businesses, which will, he said, provide the only way out of the recession. As for immigration, he said, current policy is “an absolute scandal”.

“We educate people and then we give them a ticket home,” he said, echoing the likes of Y Combinator co-founder Paul Graham, who proposed the Founders Visa program to promote startup investors in the U.S. “The best brains, who’d love to settle here and start businesses, go through our great universities, and then we say ‘sorry, you can’t have a green card’,” said Murdoch. He shook his head before launching into another tirade, this one about the state of the education system. “Our inner city education is a disgrace,” he said. “In Los Angeles, people talk about ‘dual language education.’ They’re turning out illiterate people in both English and Spanish.”

Final jab of the night went to the “greenies”, as Murdoch declared himself a skeptic on climate change before outlining his support for running natural gas pipelines through Alaska. The strategy could save the United States $150 billion a year, he mused. And anyway, “We didn’t buy Alaska to look after the moose.” One final politically incorrect opinion that nonetheless got a big laugh from the audience.

(Image (c) Diane Bondareff)

Reader Comments

Craig Goddard

June 25, 2010 10:28 AM

Rupert Murdoch is totally incorrect in his views;

We need to reach a level of stability first before we launch into a free wheeling hands off govenment approach.

That is what got us into this mess under the Bush administration.

Business has no sense of responsibitlity and accountability; only profits; business needs to reverse this approach; this thinking and action will only lead us down a path of no return.

Remember Madoff; I do not think anyone was watching him.

I am sorry but the President is doing an excellent job and is only trying to bring some stability back into our nation.

Charles

June 25, 2010 10:40 AM

I love the Ipad too! One question I have: What new markets can spring from this device?

WP Themes

June 25, 2010 10:18 PM

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Andy

June 26, 2010 11:04 AM

Who cares about what Rupert and other Murdochs think about president Obama?
If he thinks he knows better,he should just run for president himself, instead of delivering some cheap comments from the sidelines, in his own news channel.

CNA Salary

June 29, 2010 8:50 AM

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wilson

July 2, 2010 4:10 PM

Barack have been on wrong track and won't reverse his policy because he firmly believed in the correctness of his policy. He loves to pamper the terrorists with human rights more than he loves the country and that's why he banned the word WAR against them. He loves to tax the rich and even those with income enough to live in order to subsidize those who don't earn enough, not realizing that the country was founded on foundation of personal of hard work and freedom from government yoke.

Ipad have revolutionized the publishing business by having a flexible user friendly alternative to lugging heavy books for students and other professionals after we have been tethered to printed materials for so long.

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