Beware the lurking media mogul
No one puts Rupert Murdoch in a corner. Except Donald Trump and Michael Gove, that is.
The FT has revealed that Gove’s January interview with the president — the first for a UK publication — took place under the not-so-benign gaze of the media mogul. But strangely, that wasn’t something the Murdoch-owned Times felt the need to disclose in its extensive publicity.
Jim Pickard and Matthew Garrahan write:
“The chairman of News Corp did not feature in photographs of the encounter last month at the top of Trump Tower in Manhattan but two people have confirmed he was in the room. The interview was conducted by Michael Gove, a former British cabinet minister and proponent of the UK’s exit from the EU.
Mr Murdoch’s presence is a sign of the mogul’s interest in Mr Trump and his close relationship with the new president and his family.”
At the time, Adam Barnett wrote for Left Foot Forward that Gove’s fawning interview shredded any claim he had to be a journalist of substance, given the obvious but undeclared — albeit obvious — conflicts of interest.
But there can be no greater show of journalistic spinelessness than conducting any important interview with your paymaster sitting in the corner. Let alone an interview with the most powerful man in the world, who happens to be a close friend of said paymaster.
This revelation dispels any doubt about Gove’s integrity, but it also raises serious questions about the Times, which was happy to trumpet its exclusive without admitting the very significant strings attached.
No further proof is needed: the ‘interview’ was a Trump-Murdoch PR exercise, with Gove as willing lackey.
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