A number of times over recent months I’ve noted the importance of the ‘Murdoch Primary’, the battle for the support of the far-flung News Corp/Murdoch media-political empire. The most visible face of it today is Fox News, the dominating national conservative cable news outlet. But that’s only one tentacle. There’s also the New York Post, an important news vector and particularly significant in the New York media world where a big chunk of the political media lives. Then there’s the higher-brow and deeply influential Wall Street Journal editorial page, owned by Murdoch as of about four years ago. And don’t forget all the British Murdoch papers that help seed political stories into the US press while only having nominal levels of US audience in themselves.
Taken together the Murdoch media is a huge, huge voice in the US political conversation. But it’s an overpowering voice in intra-Republican questions. So who gets the Murdoch, Ailes and company nod, is a big big deal in a GOP primary race. Thus, the Murdoch primary.
So who won? It sort of slipped by in all the Newt craziness. But looking back over the last month we can see pretty clearly what happened. In late November the Fox at folks pretty clearly said WTF in response to the Newt surge, called it for Romney and got to work big time.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.