The New York Forum, a conference focused on the "continuing economic crises," started yesterday! And good ol' Rupert Murdoch, President and CEO of Fox News' parent company News Corp, kicked things off by calling President Obama "irresponsible." Sounds fun, right?
Obviously, I am kidding: There is nothing that sounds less fun than "The New York Forum"—actual mission: "A call for action by the business community to reinvigorate the economy"—except having a seizure.
And yet, it exists! And it provides a platform for Rupert Murdoch to discuss President Obama, whom he has previously called "racist." I'm not exactly sure how letting Rupe ramble about the health care debate being "a fiction" will help The New York Forum deal with its main task of "pursuing a new economic paradigm." But what do I know! I am not a member of "the business community"!
Murdoch was on a panel with real estate mogul Jerry Speyer, Hearst Magazines' Cathleen Black, and Philippe Camus of telecom giant Alcatel-Lucent. Some of the pearls of wisdom he dropped, as paraphrased by Forbes' Keren Blankfeld:
- The U.S. "needs less government and less taxes. The U.S. is about to have higher taxes than anywhere else in the world."
- "At the moment there's a committee discussing regulations in Washington and its thinking of punishing businesses in a way that has absolutely nothing to do with the financial crisis."
- "It's irresponsible of President Obama ('I shouldn't say corrupt') to seemingly stand aloof on various important issues while focusing only on a select few."
- "The health debate is 'a fiction,' will cost a fortune and will not improve the health industry."
- "I'm a skeptic on climate change."
Hahaha, what? A special business punishment committee? Where does Rupert Murdoch get his news, from emails my uncle forwards to him? (Actually, he probably gets his news from any one of the shockingly irresponsible news organizations that he owns.)
But, wait, why are we supposed to care about the idiot, ill-informed opinions of some ancient Australian schmuck? Oh, right: Because he's rich! And, obviously, it's his well-considered ideas about the marginal tax rate that gave him his success. Except, if you wanted, we could go outside right now and find some jerk who has the same facile concept of government and fiscal policy as Murdoch, and yet has no money at all. In fact, we could find lots of jerks like that! Which makes you think that, um, it's not really Rupert Murdoch's policy insight that made him a zillion dollars, and probably more some combination of good luck, hard work, and a willingness to exploit the basest fears of a resentful, xenophobic population for a cheap, consistent buck.
Not to mention:
Someone from the audience asked the group what they'd trim in government spending and where they'd get the money to pay off the U.S. deficit if taxes were lower. No one gave a direct answer.
You mean to say Rupert Murdoch hasn't really though through his "I want more money" position? Shocking.
[Forbes; pic via Getty]