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Steve Jobs Spent Final Birthday With Rupert Murdoch


Many people thought of Steve Jobs as a Liberal, and I can’t say that I’d blame them.  Al Gore is on his board of directors, he had offered to help Barack Obama create a campaign ad, and he was into all sorts of “hippie” stuff in his free time.  He even professed a love for the New York Times.  So imagine my surprise when I found out he was good friends with Rupert Murdoch.  How good of friends?  He joked that he would hide the knives in his house to protect Murdoch from his (admittedly) Liberal wife.  Upon learning this, I was fascinated.

Walter Isaacson’s biography of Jobs details the relationships that the gifted C.E.O. had with many titans of American business; from Silicon Valley to even the publishing world, Jobs was connected.  Steve was convinced that his iPad could do for news papers what the iPod had done for music, and as such, he had set about trying to convince publishers to create content for the iPad.  In particular, he was very worried about the New York Times.  He felt that they were declining, and that it was “important to the country” for them to figure out how to be successful in the 21st century.  He went so far as to make helping the New York Times “his personal project, whether they wanted it or not”.  Amazingly, the Times didn’t appreciate Jobs’s help, but do you know who did?  Rupert Murdoch.

Murdoch was open to the idea of making a newspaper that caters to the “USA Today crowd” that is only available on Apple’s iPad.  Many critics have panned the newspaper (called “The Daily”), but in working on that venture, Steve and Rupert formed a friendship that many would not have expected.

Admittedly, Jobs was not a fan of Glenn Beck or Sean Hannity, but he felt like their shows didn’t represent the Rupert Murdoch that he knew, and as such he ended up developing an admiration for the owner of Fox News.  Steve found a kindred spirit in Rupert.  They both believed each other to be men who had created and grown large companies that had managed to retain their “culture”.  They lamented how companies like Sony had stumbled and failed in that regard.  They also shared a desire to change the school text book industry.  They saw that the future was in digitizing text books, and with Apple’s iPad, Jobs had a keen interest in seeing that happen.

I found this chapter in Steve’s biography to be very interesting, and if you read the book, I strongly suggest that you don’t skip past it.  One of my favorite lines is when Jobs discusses inviting Murdoch to spend his final birthday with him.  He tells of how he had to “make sure that Laurene (his wife) didn’t veto the plan”…

“It was my birthday, so she had to let me have Rupert over.”   -Steve Jobs

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Rich Mitchell

Rich Mitchell is the editor-in-chief of Conservative Daily News and the president of Bald Eagle Media, LLC. His posts may contain opinions that are his own and are not necessarily shared by Bald Eagle Media, CDN, staff or .. much of anyone else. Find him on twitter, facebook and

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One Comment

  1. Okay if you wrote this article you are the problem. Absolutely no doubt. You fancy yourself someone who does research do you? Take a look at all of Rupert Murdoch holdings. Curious to hear your reply after you do. Rupert Murdoch is a “LIFELONG LIBERAL”. So much so that his holdings in Australia were severely reduced after he attempted to meddle with politics with his holdings. Australia gave him the boot and when they did; (he still has holdings there but is nothing compared to what he once had) Rupert started his vast network here in America where my hero, Ronald Reagan, screwed up and changed the laws we had in place to protect us from such tierney. Now who is the second largest shareholder for fox news? How many publications did Murdoch personally demand support Obama’s candidacy? What did Murdoch personally say about Obama? If you don’t know these then you don’t know what the heck you are talking about. Fox news isn’t conservative. It isn’t fair and balanced. It’s Taqia! It’s a fort hood psychiatrist. Fox news is designed to capture the American Conservative and gently and slowly turn them moderate where they can be easily neutered. Murdoch isn’t conservative and anyone who thinks he is…you lost and he won. That was the whole idea!

    1. Thank you Robert. Your post was a breath of fresh air. These are “facts” that not many seem to know.

      I don’t personally believe in you assertion that Murdoch has the agenda of “turning” conservtives, so much as I just think he was genius at developing the market, and making it try to “appear” balanced.

      Look what happened to Glenn Beck. He destroyed himself, because he just didn’t get the Murdoch technique. But notice that Murdoch had given him free rein, and protected him, to a degree.

      People like Alan Colmes, Bob Beckel, Geraldo Rivera, and Juan Williams make me want to PUKE. I turn the TV off when I see their sorry faces. But I understand the business model that gives them a job, and forces the “conservatives” to play nice with them.

  2. Thank you Ai for a wonderful look into Steve Jobs having Rupert Murdoch over for his last B-day. I love the humor Mr. Jobs put into this scenario about hiding the knives from his Liberal wife! Good stuff.

  3. Interesting post Robert, really I have often pondered that about Murdoch/FOX at times. I am not sure if Murdoch is that maniacal, or even that smart to accomplish a Trojan-Horse conversion. I do agree though, that his commentary and actions over the years indicate that he more a Liberal then certainly a Christian Conservative, which in my narrow-minded world is the only True Conservative. His visit with Job’s is just one unorthodox Liberal meeting another–both super successful because they refused to tow the party line.

    My guess is what brought FOX to our living rooms is the money potential Murdoch saw in the massive untapped market for Conservative viewers was not being served by the other networks–easy to see now, but a daring and brilliant move really. (Like Jobs, whoda thunk you coulda shrunk a massive room-size computer into a little box for the common folk–yea right!) So Ruppert stepped into a realm of the unheard of–and won big.

    FOX has some good Conservative pieces in it…Sean Hannity. But so much else, even Bill O ( Who I enjoy), try to soften the Christian world-view as a “bit over-the -top”, they lose some traction with me and others, I am sure. Does this mean Murdoch has a hidden covert psych-ops converter plan, doubt it. He is just “balancing” as the Fox ‘pontificators’ love to say, and that no doubt comes right out of Rupert’s mouth.

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