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Thursday, September 22, 2005 

Terror-supporting Saudi prince buys stock of NewsCorp

Quite displeasing news. As Debbie Schlussel finds out, Saudi prince Al-Waleed has bought stock in News Corporation, the company owned by Rupert Murdoch that owns FOX News, among other companies. The very same Al-Waleed who, after the terrorist attack on 9-11-2001, when offering a check to mayor Giuliani with which to help repair Manhattan, went and stooped to blaming America and Israel. And thus, what may have seemed like an act of kindness and charity was instead revealed as attempted bribery and a cynical ploy. As Schlussel points out here:
Prince Alwaleed, nephew of the late Saudi King Fahd, is the cretin who--just after 9/11--visited the World Trade Center remains. He offered then-New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani a $10 million check for relief efforts, but then released a statement full of moral equivocations--rationalizing the murder of 3,000 innocent Americans and blaming U.S. foreign policy and "suggesting" it be changed.

Giuliani promptly returned the check with a statement: "There is no moral equivalent for this attack. The people who did it lost any right to ask for justification when they slaughtered . . . innocent people ... Not only are those statements wrong, they're part of the problem."

Shortly thereafter, the Napoleonic Prince, who is affected by a strange tick, was also featured on a post-9/11 "60 Minutes" report that was even more offensive--filled with attacks on Giuliani, the U.S., and Israel.
The New York Sun/Bloomberg news provides something else to ponder too:
Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the world's fifth-richest man, converted his 5.46% stake in News Corporation to voting shares and said he may buy more, a decision that may help cement Rupert Murdoch's control of the company.
Pardon? Since when was Murdoch having any problems in managing NewsCorp, or in danger of losing control? Sure, of course 20th Century's also had its own share of movie flops, but in any case, I can't understand how exactly Murdoch was ever in danger of losing ownership.

But what's really galling is how, if Murdoch really is having problems, that he should be welcoming a lowlife like Al-Waleed to buy stock in his company. And with this paragraph, it appears that the prince managed to buy stock in part because NewsCorp enabled him to:
Prince Alwaleed in an interview yesterday reiterated support for Mr. Murdoch, who last month extended News Corporation's poison-pill takeover defense to keep John Malone's Liberty Media from increasing its 18% voting stake.
This, you might say, seems typical of some business magnates to pull a trick like this. And that's the real poison-pill here, if you ask me.

Whether or not this could cause any damage to FOX News or other NewsCorp ownerships, it should be noted that they've never really been all that clean: Kingdom of Heaven, if I'm not mistaken, was a product of 20th Century Fox studios, and that was an awful excercise in PC-guilt, meant as an attack on the war on terror today by director Ridley Scott. And even Sky News over in the UK can often be pretty bad too, so it's not as if NewsCorp's truly taken a turnabout. They've always had their share of badness.

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  • I'm Avi Green
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