Lovable media mogul Rupert Murdoch, owner of News Corp, has been going around predicting a landslide victory for the Democrats this November and also big-upping Senator Barack Obama—he called Obama a "superstar" and a "complete phenomenon" at a conference yesterday. He apparently nudged his pet tabloid the New York Post toward an Obama endorsement in the New York primaries (despite his early attempts at making friendly with the Clintons). And as the Post goes, so goes, well, other News Corp holdings. So maybe Fox News will let up on Barry a bit? They've never been terribly friendly to McCain anyhow. But why would this noted conservative tyrant endorse Mr. Liberal Hope? He's done it before—with a friendly little weasel named Tony Blair.
As the Thatcher era drew to a close in England, Murdoch switched his allegiance from John Major's Tories to the Labour party. Specifically to its rising star Tony Blair, a Clintonian centrist liberal who promised to remake and modernize (or modernise) his stagnant party. Murdoch's papers endorsed Blair in 1997, because Murdoch generally prefers backing winners to ideological purity. This tends to help with things like encouraging the government to let one crazy Australian own as many forms of media as possible. Of course, Blair spent some time courting Murdoch's support personally, surely flattering for the would-be kingmaker.
Murdoch even rewarded the former Prime Minister with a job offer! It was the least he could do for the despised Blair, who dragged his nation into Bush's war against everyone's will and consulted with Murdoch multiple times a year (often in secret) on government policy. Murdoch won important victories, getting Blair to reverse his opinion on the Euro and more. Though the BBC was not, sadly, destroyed.
In other words, Obama should watch out for Australians bearing gifts. Though Murdoch isn't yet as powerful in the US as he'd like to be, a couple years worth of regulatory changes could fix that. And maybe Rupe will finally get his long-overdue invitation to the White House.
(Also, Murdoch on Keith Olbermann, virilant critic of Fox: "I fired him 5 years ago," when he was on FoxSports. "He was crazy.")