Steve Jobs to Rupert Murdoch: Fox News ‘an incredibly destructive force in our society’

“In his new biography of Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson describes some of the behind-the-scenes dealings between the Apple CEO and publishers after the iPad was launched in 2010,” Steve Myers reports for Poynter. “According to Isaacson, Jobs was particularly interested in helping The New York Times because it hadn’t yet figured out how to charge for digital content: ‘One of my personal projects this year, I’ve decided, is to try to help — whether they want it or not — the Times,’ he told me early in 2010. ‘I think it’s important for the country for them to figure it out.'”

“Isaacson describes publishers’ frustration over being unable to access subscribers’ data and credit card information. A New York Times circulation executive pushed back against Jobs, as did Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes. But Rupert Murdoch relented, recalling later that he knew Jobs wouldn’t bend, and he wouldn’t have either if he were in Jobs’ position,” Myers reports. “Jobs and Murdoch’s work on The Daily created a bond between the two, with Jobs having Murdoch over to his house twice for dinner. ‘Jobs joked that he had to hide the dinner knives on such occasions,’ Isaacson writes, ‘because he was afraid that his liberal wife was going to eviscerate Murdoch when he walked in.'”

Myers reports, “Jobs pressed Murdoch on Fox News, arguing that the network was destructive to the nation and harmful to Murdoch’s reputation: ”You’re blowing it with Fox News,’ Jobs told him over dinner. ‘The axis today is not liberal and conservative, the axis is constructive-destructive, and you’ve cast your lot with the destructive people. Fox has become an incredibly destructive force in our society. You can be better, and this is going to be your legacy if you’re not careful.’ Jobs said he thought Murdoch did not really like how far Fox had gone. ‘Rupert’s a builder, not a tearer-downer,’ he said. ‘I’ve had some meetings with James, and I think he agrees with me. I can just tell.’ Murdoch later said he was used to people like Jobs complaining about Fox. ‘He’s got sort of a left-wing view on this,’ he said.”

“Murdoch agreed to have his staff create a highlight reel of a week of Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck’s shows, and Jobs later told Isaacson that he was going to ask Jon Stewart’s staff to put together a similar highlight reel,” Myers reports. “He apparently never sent it to Murdoch, who says in the book he would have been happy to have seen it.”

Much more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]

128 Comments

    1. Jobs is way off base here. The destructive force in the US are labor unions and liberals. They are going all out to communize the US, take away private property, rights, destroy the constitution, and brain wash our kids. No way. Jobs wife is a huge liberal. Figures. Thank God for Fox News and the internet. Screw the garbage “Lame Stream Media”. Those days are over. We’re on to them. They don’t control the message-propaganda any more.

        1. I think its astounding that people like you can be so snide, as if the soviet union had never happened.. as if north korea weren’t happening now.

          You’re profoundly ignorant of economics, and incapable of basic argument, yet you’re snide?

          you disgust me.

      1. why don’t you pay some taxes in the US
        you could probably afford to have a working health and education system.

        in the developed world the US has the lowest tax rate
        and the lowest literacy rate
        well done!

            1. Thus, the idea that these taxes are going to educate people is absurd.

              Taxes just go to make politicians wealthy, they’re nothing more than theft.

              Thus, the literacy rate, etc are not correlated with tax rates… but with how free the education system is.

              Finland has high tax rates but a more free education system. Our education system is locked down, and so nobody learns anything.

              Of course, this works for the politicians benefit because ignorant people will believe that Fox news is a destructive force.

            2. @Engineer No disagreement there. Simply raising taxes is not going to fix our very broken education system.

              Unfortunately the knee jerk reaction for government (on both sides of the fictional fence) is often that throwing money at a problem will help solve it (Dems throw money at things they want to, Repubs at things they want to, and both think the other’s spending is pointless). It almost always turns out that they haven’t planned properly what to do with the money, and the majority of it is wasted (or absconded away though sweetheart deals).

              We need some fundamental education reforms and making efficient use of the money that is currently allocated.

          1. Not to mention that conservatives are so proud of themselves when they manage to keep cutting taxes, they don’t notice that their insurance premiums are going up, because, “Hey, we cut taxes, and we cut government spending! Go us!”

            1. Insurance premiums are going up because Obama nationalized the insurance industry, and they are raising premiums to try and survive against the ratcheting up of control by the state as the program takes effect.

              Pretty soon, private insurance will be completely illegal, and the only way you’ll be able to have it, is if your plan raised premiums enough to survive.

              But of course, liars like Obama and his followers will claim that premiums are high, not because they distorted the market, but because of “Greed”.

              Stupid gullible people will believe them.

            2. @Engineer

              Insurance rates were already going up. They’ve been going up for decades. Saying Obama is to blame is silly. But I guess I’m biased because I was rejected for a pre-existing condition (asthma).

              Also, I pose this question to all the so-called conservatives in this forum: Can you name a single prosperous economy that doesn’t also have an effective government?

        1. Radio: They’re right and your info is way off. The US now has the ignominious distinction of having higher tax rates than the EU overall. This is a sea change from previous decades when the US could rightly brag that it had low tax rates. This unfortunate reality is one reason the Tea Party came into existence.

          BTW, while US literacy and education shows poorly overall, we’re nowhere near the bottom ranks in the developed world. Look it up.

          Facts and data please.

      2. Such a pitiful Yankee binary stance. The world is not just black and white. Not only are there greys but there are a multitude of colours in the spectrum of human opinion.

        By definition, conservatives strive to conserve or keep things the same. There can be no progress if we keep things the same. On the other hand, liberalism strives to explore all avenues of possibilities without any morality to guide them. There is no such thing as “Its all good”. There are some things that are harmful and we can wisely choose the right path.

        1. I see… So conservatism, bad and liberalism, good. Gee, I hope you didn’t strain yourself arriving at your highly in-depth grade school understanding (which isn’t even accurate, by the way)! Thanks for boiling it all down for us, though.

          1. … starting with this, for MDN: “[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]” – if that’s what it takes to get a “liberal” slant in here.
            And this, for ecrabb: “The axis today is not liberal and conservative, the axis is constructive-destructive”. While I hate to cast the Conservative as the Destructive, that seems to be how it’s working with today’s NoPublicans. I’m equally bothered casting the Liberals as Constructive, though – again – that seems to be the role they are playing. Today. I’d like to see some real Progressives get into politics at the national level, but they seem to be frozen out. Perhaps because so few are in the Top 1%? Perhaps because they can’t stomach the those in national politics need to wade through on a daily basis?

            1. Voting “No” against bad legislation that will only worsen problems rather than solve them is not destructive. Endorsing and pushing forward bad legislation that will cost the country and people billions of dollars without improving things IS destructive (Obamacare).

              And anyone who thinks government can run something better than a private company is insane. It has never happened, nor will it ever happen.

              And perhaps your “Progressives” are “frozen out” because they want change just for change’s sake. That’s wrong, too. Change should only be made when it improves a situation, not so that a representative can toot his own horn about how many bills he sponsored and passed.

            2. … things, not on others. And, even when we agree, we may not actually “agree”.
              For example, we agree that voting “no” on bad legislation is not destructive. How about debating legislation and getting all your talking points included – THEN voting “no”? I could certainly understand if a) the original bill was not a Republican proposal or b) the President balked at a NoPublican (note the different usages, there) talking point, but simply wasting time to make a point? Destructive.
              “Obamacare” is essentially similar to the “Romneycare” we enjoy in Massachusetts, except watered down by the NoPublicans. The money spent on it should be paid for by the people who are covered but who no longer have to pay for their own health care. It would be sad if the NoPublicans had to give up their privs to be lumped in with the general population, yeah?
              My home state is running health care better than the private firms that preceded it. Same with Canada, Germany, England, and Japan. To name just a few.
              Since the Tea Baggers want change for the sake of change (for the top 1% only), perhaps we should freeze them out as well. If nothing else, we could go back to calling many on the Right “Republicans”, a much more honorable (and honest) term. We could also find it easier to follow the teachings of Christ – as put forth in the four gospels of the New Testament – instead of the Old Testament ravings of the Radical Religious Right who wouldn’t recognize the teachings of Christ if they sat on His jury. Despite their deluded claims to be His disciples.

        2. +100

          From a country that had 4 national parties (Canada), it is so understandable why national debates are not every nuanced in the States. You guys think black and white, and can’t handle a world with varying shades of gray.

          1. This is a big problem here. Binary thinking. It’s the result of an education system that doesn’t foster critical thinking, instead just memorization and doing things by rote.

            Also the media that caters to the least common denominator and celebrates stupidity (see: Jersey Shore, Jerry Springer).

        3. Actually, in the U.S., the proper labels that more accurately describe the extreme wings of each party is not Liberal and Conservative. The proper terms should be Left Biased narrow-minded and Right biased narrow-minded.

            1. Well, there is a left party – it’s called the Green Party. There are also a few leftward politicians like Kucinich and Grayson who are trying to pull the Democratic Party back to the left. The left in this country just needs to be stronger to counter the evils of conservativism.

      3. You are exactly what Jobs is talking about. We used to be all Americans who differed on certain issues. Now Murdoch has helped create a cultural civil war, marking sharp contrasts where there once were shades of difference, then stimulating hatred at those who don’t fit his resentful vision.

        1. Baloney. The truth is we have become more civilized about how we debate politics. Go do some research on how newspaper editors used to skewer candidates for office, how stories were often nothing more than rumors trumped up against a newspaper’s candidate’s opponent, and how people like JFK received death threats because he was a Catholic running for president.

          It’s nice to have the warm fuzzies when remembering “the good old days,” but in fact, they weren’t that good. A lot of it just wasn’t as reported as the minutia are today because we have 24/7 multiple news outlets who need something to do.

      4. “The destructive force in the US are labor unions and liberals.”

        Then I guess you missed another article in which Jobs states clearly that teacher unions are one of the biggest problems with the country. Not wanting to live in a highly stratified society where 1% have 33% and rule everything isn’t the same as being a communist.

        But then again, judging by the rest of your comment, I am probably talking to the walls here.

        1. No puke skymac, the fact is its labor unions and liberals destroying the US. Yes Jobs said that he didn’t like unions but he’s completely wrong about Fox. You freaking brain dead, liberal, zombies can’t stand that there is one major network that is actually centered (Fox) and not way off in the kook liberal fringe like all of the old guard networks. And you foreign trolls with your pathetic, condescending posts trying to enlighten us “Yanks” that the world is more than just black and white. Give me a freaking break. Most of your countries are so screwed up it’s scary. You idiots are the model that Maobama and friends want to follow. Sorry fools, we aren’t anything like you. We are strong Americans that enjoy small government, individual rights, private property, our constitution, capitalism, individual responsibility, and we hate liberal trolls. Up yours.

            1. Liberals like to think they are intelligent. One look at that joke of a movement Flea Party AKA OWS, and you can see how pathetic they all are and ignorant and just plain dumb.

            2. @Kelly

              Um, you may not know this yet, but Karl Denninger, one of the original founders of the glorious Tea Party, actually is in SUPPORT of Occupy Wall Street. Maybe you only get your news at rallies?

              So, is the founder of the great neo-conservative Tea Party movement also now ignorant and dumb for supporting the joke of a movement that is OWS?

              It amazes me how disconnected from what’s actually happening in the country most Tea Party “conservatives” actually are.

              Politics doesn’t have to be a team sport. How about some critical thinking?

          1. God bless you Yori. Socialism is where a few have luxuries and control the poor masses. When the wall fell in East Germany they found in the upper party members houses all the modern conveniences like a dishwasher and big tv’s. Steve Jobs is not always right.

          2. Is that as calm, rational and precise as your arguments get? Or do you always content yourself with a series of insults and shouting corny slogans like someone trying to encourage a mob?

      5. You liberals and conservatives are all off base here. Steve said:

        ‘The axis today is not liberal and conservative, the axis is constructive-destructive, and you’ve cast your lot with the destructive people.

        I think maybe Fox can be seen as destructive in the same way that MSNBC can be seen as destructive. They pit the right and left against one another in an ongoing “FIGHT” in which neither side is willing to give and take. That deviciveness, and the resultant gridlock that prevents constructive progress is what is destructive. What has been constructive in the past is both sides respecting one another and working together. It would be very hard to argue that either Fox or MSNBC spends much time encouraging cooperation and working together.

        In my opinion, Steve was referring to Fox as one of many destructive forces that encourages people to be intolerant of other peoples point of view, and encourages them to refuse to get along with and work with people “different” than themselves.

      6. Unionized workers represent about 11% of the workforce in the US, a number that has been declining for a long time. Even though public service unionization is much higher, 35%ish, it does not support your baseless accusation that unions are a destructive force. In Germany, the unionized proportion of the work force (25%ish) is much higher though still declining over the years though their manufacturing base is still robust. Please look it up for yourself.
        Good news for you, Yori, is that there is likely a spot on Perry’s campaign for you as he seems to specialize in nonsense statements.

      7. A friend of mine who grew up in a communist country said that FOX news during the Bush administration was like state controlled media in his home country – spewing bizzare untruths 24/7.

        “communize the US”
        Well, then you would have to say the US has been a communism during the past 100 years. Taxes are about as low as they have ever been. If you seriously count the difference in tax rate now vs the Bush era as the difference between righteous capitalism and communism, you are so incredibly stupid that you should seriously consider committing yourself to a mental hospital.

      8. Oh, shut up. Labour unions and liberals? I can’t believe the country that’s capable of producing a Steve Jobs is populated by such binary thinking shit heads. Fox News is a propaganda network with the clear intent of promoting and condoning the pillaging of the US by billionaires and millions, who are so patriotic that they don’t think they should have to foot the bill for the services that allows them to live in luxury. Pathetic.

      9. Yori, I think younger confusing “totalitarianism” with “Communism.” Neither Communism or Democracy for that matter, exist in practice, only in theory. I always wonders how folks like Thomas Jefferson, a hero BTW, could fight for freedom and keep slaves. I also wonder about your kind that see things like “Obama-Care” as evil socialism while happily collecting their Social Security benefits, or getting their $12,000 carts when they can no longer walk FREE from “socialist” Medicare. You need to study these terms that come to quick to your uneducated tongue. No offense.

    2. Yes, and call themselves American! then sit on a Presidents Economic and Jobs council and had over key IP to China. This crap doesn’t happen anywhere else in the world. Greed has been our undoing.

      1. In fact, entanglements with conservativism is the absolute worst thing that could happen to Jesus’ legacy. Jesus would be ashamed and Satan would be proud of how far Christian theology has been warped into a conservative agenda.

  1. Steve Jobs wasn’t always right (see: treating a neuroendocrine islet tumor with fruits and nuts while it spread for nine months).

    Without Fox News in 2008, for example, the U.S. would have had no major news outlet that wasn’t an Obama cheerleader. Not that it helped wise up enough people.

      1. You’re sarcastic response is worthless. First 2010 simply stated a fact: Fox was the only media voice not acting as a cheerleader for Obama in 2008. You may not like this fact. This may be a fact often repeated by conservatives. But, it’s still a fact.

        You liberals seem to get so upset when we defend Fox News with facts. So, you resort to blaming, name calling, and insults. Prove his fact wrong. You cannot. Case closed.

  2. The more I listen to some of Steve Jobs comments on politics, the clearer it becomes that the did not understand the real game of it. It sounds like he still thought that Liberal vs. Conservative or Republican vs. Democrat is actually how the government operates and governs.

    Nothing is further from the truth. Maybe he was too busy to see game or just didn’t pay attention, or just accepted the media talking points.

    The real truth is that the government is a puppet for the elites and corporations run by said elites. Not just the US government, just about ALL governments across the globe. The deeper you look, the more connections you begin to see between governments, businesses, religion and education. The people at the top of those pyramids, and it is NOT the so-called leaders that we see everyday, run the world.

    Steve was probably too focused on his inventions to see the bigger picture.

    Murdoch knows and is involved the manipulation of humanity all over the planet. The media is in total bed with the Elite. That include the NY Times.

    I wish Steve hadn’t wasted a single thought on them.

    1. “The more I listen to some of Steve Jobs comments on politics, the clearer it becomes that the did not understand the real game of it. It sounds like he still thought that Liberal vs. Conservative or Republican vs. Democrat is actually how the government operates and governs.”

      Then you got it all wrong, because that’s precisely what he’s not saying. He seemed to have labeled the conservatives as “destructive”, but he wasn’t talking about things like a neo-liberal approach to economy. He was about about pure politics, because the party itself has mutated over the years into… this. Murdoch helped the Tea Party be born, and if that’s not a destructive agent I don’t know what is.

      1. Uh, Sherlock… As a TEA Party participant, I can tell you it was the Democrats in control of Congress along with Obama and their idiotic spending and their shoving healthcare legislation down the throats of the majority of Americans who voiced that they did not want it. THAT was what helped the Tea Party be born!

        Try not to revise history. It doesn’t flatter you!

        1. Factually speaking, Republicans are more likely to raise taxes and increase the deficit than are their liberal counterparts. And fwiw, if you Tea Party sycophants had been alive during the time of the original tea party, your politics would have aligned with the British monarchy rather than those of the founding fathers.

          Fwiw, if you really want to see where the tea party was born you can catch a glimpse of its founder, Dale Robertson here:

          1. Forget “more likely.” Factually speaking, Obama *did* raise the deficit more in 2 1/2 years than Bush did in 8, and the Dems were in control for the last 2 of that 8, where much of his happened.

            Some links for you:
            Obama’s current plan to raise taxes: http://moneywatch.bnet.com/economic-news/blog/financial-decoder/obama-deficit-plan-raise-taxes-cut-spending/5095/
            The deficit with graphs for what Bush vs. Obama did:
            http://blog.heritage.org/2011/07/28/the-truth-about-obamas-budget-deficits-in-pictures/
            A look at the Debt over a year ago, where Obama was already at 2/3 of Bush’s increase:
            http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20019931-503544.html

            Not that any of this is relevant to the story on this page.

      2. No, I’m saying that the people who run the world are not actually the governments that we see everyday.

        The Republican vs. Democrat one playing good cop to the bad cop and vice versa for years all the while promising that they’re going to make a better world for everybody, while raping and and robbing along with banks and corps behind the scenes destroying the world slowly in the process while they get theirs.

        I’m saying that the entire governments, the corporations, the religions, and even education are bitches of the elites and has been for hundreds of years.

        It looks like Steve never figured that out.

  3. Some would argue that Apple is a destructive force in our society. Destruction is not necessarily a bad thing. It allows for renewal and growth.

    I read Fox News. I also read the New Your Times. I consider myself smart enough to digest and dissect information to establish my own opinions.

    1. You are obviously in the minority. I’ve always found fascinating how supposedly “enlightened” conservatives spit out almost verbatim what they see on Fox News, hear on Rush Limbaugh or similar, or read on Red State or other such blogs. That doesn’t seem like independent thinking to me…

      BTW, given that Fox News dominates (currently) the political dialog in America and are proud of it, it seems a little weird for “conservatives” to continuously harp on about the “mainstream media” and it’s liberal bias, when in fact the liberal bias in the media disappeared about 20 years ago.

      1. I’ve also found it fascinating how supposedly “enlightened” liberals spit out almost verbatim what they see on MSNBC, hear on Rachel Maddow or similar, or read on Huffington Post, Daily Kos or other such blogs. That doesn’t seem like independent thinking to me…

        That you think liberal bias in the mainstream media disappeared 20 years ago is very telling. Any half-objective media consumer can see that there is obvious bias – in both directions – all over the mainstream media.

      2. It’s funny how you criticize “independent” thinking, while regurgitating liberal mantra. And your comment about liberal bias shows you either:
        1. are completely aware of the ridiculousness of that statement, but propagandize anyway
        2. or just emerged after 21 years in a media-deprived bomb shelter

      3. I admit that I am in the minority, for both sides of the isle. Conservative or Liberal, there is a dearth of intelligent people who can think critically or who choose not to think critically. Politics today consists of a small minority of individuals controlling a very large mass of sheeple. It is a sad commentary of our society.

  4. The biggest destruction artists are totalitarian, authoritarian governments who gain that position because they ALWAYS grow until they consume the society they rule over, rather than govern.

    Government entities that fail are almost Never shut down, but instead given more of your money to fix themselves. The Dept. of Education from the early 70s has presided over the destruction of the education system in the use & trippling of per student costs. That is not a success.

    There is no society on earth which can give up 60-70% of its total productive output to government entities every year and not have a revolution.

    The U.S. is already over 50%.

    It is easy to blame corporations and individuals with high net worth, when in fact to protect their assets they do what they can to try to protect and grow them. That has been the way since Summarian merchant times and is no different today.

  5. Sounds like Jobs’ wife has a problem. You’re never going to hear or read a story about a man having to hide knives from a (true/real) conservative woman. Oh, I know this was hyperbole on Jobs’ part, but seriously, recall the vitriol and foaming at the mouth that woman Sarah Spitz with Journolist came out with about wanting to watch Rush Limbaugh die.

    Why are liberals nuts?

    1. Sarah Palin threatens to call forth a crusade and spouts other nonsense.
      Jobs kids about her wife distrusting conservatives who for for people like Palin.

      Thus, liberals are nuts. Your logic is brilliant, good sir.

  6. I came back to MDN just to see if they would put this story up. They did, good for them.
    That’s fair and balanced.

    The comments are the usual cesspool of trite mud slinging and name calling. That’s why I am out of here!!!!!

    (MDN this one isn’t your fault. But the fact that your blog is now little more than this, means you DID loose your first love!)

  7. Steve could do no wrong until he challenges Fox News. And of course, some try to reconcile this conflict of him being a genius and speaking ill of Fox News by castigating his wife. She has to be the liberal to blame. After all no intelligent person like Jobs could think such things about Fox. Ideologs! SMH.

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