Assess how Murdoch's conglomerate has gained poilitical help in Baker's "Murdoch's Mean Machine."

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Baker's analysis is quite provocative and really powerful in assessing how Murdoch's conglomerate approach to business has curried political favor for the executive.  Baker suggests that one instance where Murdoch's conglomeration of media platforms reaped political benefits resided in his relationship to the Thatcher and Major administrations:

During the regimes of Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher and John Major in Britain, Murdoch ventures -- especially his purchase of newspapers and the launch of his BSkyB service -- were repeatedly favored with easing of regulations and with government failure to invoke monopoly oversight. Murdoch's papers, in turn, played a central role in bolstering Thatcher's career and virulently attacked her opponents.

This is an instance where Murdoch's conglomeration pivoted into a collusion between business and government.  Murdoch benefited from easing of government regulations and, in turn, ended up targeting Thatcherite opponents, enabling her own power to become consolidated.  At the same time, Baker points to how Murdoch was able to pay huge advances to both Thatcher and her successor, John Major, for their memoirs.  This helps to explain how the Murdoch conglomeration continued to profit politically as well as economically from key commercial alliances with civic leaders.


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