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.]


  1. It is so amusing to read these comments, as it is clear that almost none of you actually read (or understood) what Jobs said here.

    Let me quote again:

    …”‘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.”

    He specifically defined the “axis” as constructive-destructive, and NOT conservative-liberal (or republican-democrat). Nobody here has captured the difference. The essence of his statement is that if Murdock wants a conservative media, that’s fine, but he must be careful that his media does not become destructive, and Jobs believes that is today the case with the Fox empire. There doesn’t necessarily need to be the link between conservative-republican-destructive (or liberal-deomocrat-constructive). Jobs made it very clear that these are NOT automatically linked.

    Apparently, the destructive effects of some of the media today has prevented commenters here (many of whom are quite intelligent) to notice the difference.

    1. +100. I was going to post that but was late to the party, glad someone else picked up on this.

      Jobs shows his genius yet again, refusing to be pigeon-holed into traditional thinking. And once again, the entrenched misunderstand and flame him for it.

    2. Yep. I missed you post before I typed mine below. You hit the nail on the head here, I’m afraid. I’m a conservative who would rather watch liberal (but non-destructive) media than Fox News, where I more often appreciate the content but can’t stomach the delivery method.

  2. FoxNews is only destructive to the liberal agenda which is why liberals react to strongly to it. Fox does not allow personal hit jobs like the liberal media allows.

    Most of the nastiness in our national political discourse comes from the left. The media tried to cover the alleged used of the “n” word once at a Tea Party rally yet they have barely covered the violence, drugs, sex, and other problems by the Occupy silliness.

    At least when Glen Beck held his rally, the Tea Partiers cleaned up their garbage and left the place almost spotless. When Jon Stewart held his rally, there was a huge mess to clean up.

    Now tell me who is really more destructive? The law abiding citizens who watch FoxNews or the mobs-that-are-getting-out-of-control liberals in the Occupy movement so loved by the left?

    1. Then I guess you missed the news story that when Mayor Bloomberg tried to evict the Occupy Wall Street protestors to let cleaning crews in, the immediate response from the protestors was “We’ll clean it up ourselves!”

    2. Well put, theLedger. It’s ironic that the left claims no media biased, when the coverage of the Tea Party vs Occupy groups is so clearly different.

      In fairness, Fox spins the Tea Party in a positive light while pointing out flaws in OWS. But, MSNBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, NYT, ETC, do the opposite. Both are biased.

    1. No Jobs, the axis of today is not constructive and destructive. Rather it is what bilge the other networks are putting forth versus what Fox is spewing. So Fox is the 1% ‘ers going against the 99 % of Liberal media and the way they shape the stories they feed mind numb government educated morons.

      Think Different Steve? Wasn’t that what you stressed?!!!

      Also, as a good Liberal, will your wife Lorraine be donating to the US government, which is cash strapped, all but $999,999.00 (don’t want to make it a million dollars otherwise she’ll be lumped in with the greedy millionaires and billionaires Obama talks about) that you left her and the family?

  3. The distinction between destructive and constructive is a good one and can apply to both liberals and conservatives under some conditions. I felt George Bush was assailed in way destructive to a healthy dialog and I see even worse in regards to President Obama. It is the approach taken to disagreeing and the lack of any attempt at a middle ground in the narrative that is so destructive, not a particular political position.

  4. I’m of a very conservative background, and have to agree with Jobs here.

    Most of the comments here are right, too – on both sides of the argument. If you look at what Jobs said, it is that the division of conservative vs. liberal isn’t the problem. But the folks on Fox News turn me off not with their message but the way they deliver it. It is downright hateful at times, and so it has no place in my home.

    Rush? Don’t get me started. Okay, I’m started – I liked him for a while. The message was usually dead on. But as his popularity grew alongside that of Fox News, he took on the same “damn the liberals” approach that isn’t helpful in any way.

    So in this particular argument, save the few of my fellow conservatives who see the argument for what it really is, I have to side with the liberals, just because they are anti-Fox News.

  5. As someone from outside the US, and reading the comments – in most comments it is one Idiot calling another Idiot an Idiot … can’t you guys simply agree that you’re ALL Idiots?

    There. Problem solved.


  6. Funny thing about Fox news…. This station is the ONLY station on TV where a conservative can hear opinion pieces with a conservative’s point of view. THE ONLY STATION. Liberals can turn to ANY other TV news/opinion station to hear their point of view. NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN and of course the state sponsored PBS. Plus Hollywood. And yet liberals still harp about that one lone station that has a conservative bent.

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