March 19, 2004

...the presence of Ms Rice underlines the importance of Rupert Murdoch's news operations to the Bush administration, which may face growing criticism that it led the country into war on false pretences ahead of November's presidential election

It's the Media, Stupid.

Lisa O'Carrol, Guardian (UK): Although she is not there in person, the presence of Ms Rice underlines the importance of Rupert Murdoch's news operations to the Bush administration, which may face growing criticism that it led the country into war on false pretences ahead of November's presidential election.

Break the Bush Cabal's Stranglehold on the "US
Mainstream News Media," Show Up for Democracy in 2004:
Defeat Bush (again!)

http://media.guardian.co.uk/site/story/0,14173,1172627,00.html

Murdoch brings in Bush adviser

G'Day from Cancun: a special commemorative postcard

Lisa O'Carroll
Friday March 19, 2004


Rice: one of President Bush's key advisers

The US national security adviser Condoleezza Rice is
to address the News Corporation thinktank involving
Rupert Murdoch's most senior newspaper executives from
the UK, US and Australia.
Ms Rice joins Conservative leader Michael Howard and
Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair's former director of
communcations - both of whom are flying to Cancun,
Mexico for the four-day event, which started last
night.

The identity of the special guests has not been
publicised and News International in London refused to
comment, but a spokeswoman for Ms Rice confirmed she
would be speaking at 12pm US Eastern Standard Time
today.

She will will deliver her speech by satellite at the
invitation of Mr Murdoch's Fox operation, which
includes Fox News, which has been hugely supportive of
President George Bush and achieved notoriety in the UK
during the Iraq war for its ultra-patriotic reporting.

Although she is not there in person, the presence of
Ms Rice underlines the importance of Rupert Murdoch's
news operations to the Bush administration, which
may face growing criticism that it led the country
into war on false pretences ahead of November's
presidential election.

Earlier this year Ms Rice admitted to intelligence
failures over weapons of mass destruction after former
US weapons hunter David Kay said no evidence of
weapons had been found.

Several hundred News Corporation executives are
believed to be attending the conference at the Mexican
resort, including the News International executive
chairman Les Hinton, Mr Murdoch's right hand man in
London, and the editors of his four national
newspapers - Rebekah Wade of the Sun, Robert Thomson
of the Times, Andy Coulson of the News of the World
and John Witherow of the Sunday Times.

Other executives attending include Trevor Kavanagh,
the political editor of the Sun, and his deputy.
George Pascoe-Watson, Sun columnists Richard
Littlejohn, Victoria Newton and Dominic Mohan, and
William Lewis, the business editor of the Sunday
Times.

The conference, hosted by Mr Murdoch's eldest son
Lachlan, has two central themes - politics and
showbusiness - and will be attended by other news
operations including the New York Post and his
Australian papers including the Telegraph.

Mr Murdoch's News Corp summits are seen as key
opportunities to influence the political bias of his
news outfits.

Tony Blair made headlines in 1995, when the now prime
minister was star guest at the triennial News Corp
conference in the Hayman Islands.

At the time it was seen as a significant move, since
the Labour party had boycotted the Murdoch media
because of the tycoon's treatment of the print unions
in the 1980s.

In recent years Mr Murdoch's UK newspapers, including
the Sun and the Times, have increasingly differed with
the government, particularly over the proposed EU
constitution, which they have painted as a threat to
British sovereignty.

Guy Black, the Tories' new press secretary and the
former director of the Press Complaints Commission, is
a close friend of the Sun editor, Rebekah Wade, who
will be attending.


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editor@mediaguardian.co.uk or phone 020 7239 9857

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Posted by richard at March 19, 2004 09:51 AM