Today is Fox media mogul Rupert Murdoch‘s 80th birthday–whoopee!–and in celebration The Hollywood Reporter compiled a rather obsequious collection of well-wishes from various members of the media and Hollywood elite. NASCAR prez Paul Brooks goes so far as to thank Murdoch’s parents for getting it on. That said, sandwiched in the middle of the dullery was this tale from Gregory Clark–Australia’s current ambassador to Japan, who worked as a young journalist for Murdoch’s The Australian in 1969–detailing Murdoch’s political shift to the right.
“The Australian was then the only progressive newspaper in the country, he’d appointed a liberal editor and reporters such as myself, who had opposed the Vietnam War. The paper was struggling to get itself out across Australia by plane and train, and it was crucial to meet the 8 p.m. deadline. The union knew this and started calling wildcat strikes at 6 p.m. Management then had to pull everyone in, the executives, typists, journalists and even Murdoch himself, to set out the type on the printing presses. I was standing near him in the print room as he muttered to himself, ‘So this is how the left wing treats the one newspaper owner who tries to put out a progressive newspaper.’ I think that was the beginning of his shift to the right. He began cutting back on liberal contributors and replaced the editor.”
So Aussie unions are responsible for Fox News. Who knew?