The Reach of Rupert Murdoch

Lance Price, who worked as a media adviser to British Prime Minister Tony Blair between 1998 and 2001, writes that Rupert Murdoch "seemed like the 24th member of the cabinet. His voice was rarely heard ... but his presence was always felt." Discussions between Blair's office, Murdoch and his right-hand man Irwin Stelzer "were handled at the very highest level ... The Sun and the Times, in particular, received innumerable 'scoops' and favours. In return, New Labour got very sympathetic coverage from newspapers that are bought and read by classic swing voters - on the face of it, too good a deal to pass up." Price was required to submit the manuscript for his recently-released book, The Spin Doctor's Diary, to the Cabinet Office for vetting. He was surprised to discover that a third of the objections related to Murdoch.