Twitter Gives Glimpse Into Rupert Murdoch’s Mind – NYTimes.com
It is more obvious to anyone who has covered Mr. Murdoch that he is indeed the one putting his thumbs to an iPad and posting to the world. His posts are devoid of nuance, partisan in the extreme and prone to crankiness, all consistent with the Rupert Murdoch we have come to know.In the middle of January, when it became clear that the ill-conceived legislation to prevent piracy was going nowhere, his anguish and anger squirted out in 140-character bursts, day after day, leaving little doubt about whose ox was being gored.He took on the president: “So Obama has thrown in his lot with Silicon Valley paymasters who threaten all software creators with piracy, plain thievery.”He took on Google: “Piracy leader is Google who streams movies free, sells advts around them. No wonder pouring millions into lobbying.”And he took on movie stars: “On SOPA, where are all big film stars with many millions to lose?”He even responded to pushback from users who suggested that people who run companies that hack phones should not give lectures about piracy:“No excuses for phone hacking. No argument. No excuses either for copyright stealing, but plenty of ignorant argument!”And just in case we still weren’t sure these posts were the unadorned handiwork of somebody not used to typing or computing, there was this gem:“Seems like universal anger with Optus from all sorts of normal supporters. Maybe backing pirates a rare miscalculation by friend Axelrod.”He meant “Potus” — for president of the United States — and blamed the autocorrect function on his iPad for the goof, but the rest of the message was vintage Murdoch. That post and its siblings have ignored the huge wave of protests from consumers, reductively defined the debate as being about the morality of theft, and have tried to intimidate both enemies and timid allies.He has other pet causes, and in that vein, he recently did a drive-by on Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York. On the day of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s state of the city address, Mr. Murdoch praised the mayor’s “bold teacher proposals” then asked, “How will chicken Cuomo respond?” Chicken-baiting politicians is not what you’d expect from a man who runs a company with a market capitalization of almost $50 billion, but it is in line with the run-and-gun spirit of Twitter.Mr. Murdoch is enormously successful, has a compliant board and runs a company with the kind of profits that allow him to live a life beyond consequence. Who is going to tell him that expressing his views on Twitter is not a good idea? Besides, it is a fine opportunity for the rest of us to hear what’s on the mind of a man who controls vast swaths of the global conversation.