Saturday night, Rupert Murdoch tweeted:
Why Is Jewish owned press so consistently anti-Israel in every crisis?
—Rupert Murdoch(@rupertmurdoch) November 18, 2012
Peter Beinart quickly reacted:
The implication is that Jewish media owners do indeed let their Jewishness define their Israel coverage. That’s why the coverage is “consistently” anti-Israel in “in every crisis.” It’s just that journalistically, their Jewishness expresses itself as hostility to Israel.
Why? Murdoch doesn’t say but given that he has publicly equated hostility to Israel with anti-Semitism, the best guess is that he’s implying that these “anti-Israel” media owners are Jewish anti-Semites. In other words, self-hating Jews.
Today, Murdoch biographer Michael Wolff offers us a window into Murdoch’s soul, as it were:
Gary Ginsberg, his long-time aide—part chief-of-staff; part PR consigliere—was often hurt and confounded by Murdoch’s jibes, insensitivities, and humor (there was the Christmas every executive desk got a crèche by order of the boss). Once, with me, Murdoch got into a riff about Jewish groups and money: how they were good at tricking him out of his dough.
And yet, as soon as he focused his business attentions on the US and New York in the mid-seventies, he started to hire Jews as his closest advisers. His support for Israel has been absolute. Arguably, it is his support for Israel, and for neoconism in general (for many years, he owned and funded the losses of the Weekly Standard), that helped solidify right-wing support for Israel. (I was once at an Anti-Defamation League dinner where Rupert Murdoch presented Silvio Berlusconi an aware [sic] for meritorious conduct with respect to the Jews.)
I think that Murdoch, a man not so much paranoid as he is realistic about his enemies, is parsing what he sees as “good Jews” from “bad Jews.” Jews are just another subset of the people who are for him or against him, who he either has to manage or isolate. Along with his open dislike of Muslims—once, he explained to me his theory about how Muslims often married close cousins, therefore depressing their general IQ—and his geopolitical views about world domination, supporting Israel, I believe, is a way to win the support of what he perceives as the good Jews. (That is, if you support him, you are a good Jew.)