Saudi Prince al-Waleed bin Talal boasted in Dubai earlier this week about his ability to change the news content that viewers around the world see on television.
In early September 2005, Bin Talal bought 5.46% of voting shares in News Corp. This made the Fifth richest man on the Forbes World's Richest People, the fourth largest voting shareholder in News Corp., the parent of Fox News. News Corp. is the world's leading newspaper publisher in English. It operates more than 175 newspapers, in the UK, Australia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and the US, and distributes more than 40 million papers per week. In addition, News Corp. owns and operates an international collection of TV outlets, radio stations, magazines, book publishers and film studios.
After bin Talal purchased his voting shares in News Corp., on September 23, 2005, he stated in an advertising supplement to the New York Times, “When I invest in a group like CITICROUP, the Four Seasons, the News Corp. or Time Warner, my objective is not to manage those companies.” But this is not quite accurate, considering the Prince’s December 5, 2005 statement given to Middle East Online regarding his ability to change what viewers see on Fox News. Covering the riots in Paris last November, Fox ran a banner saying: "Muslim riots." Bin Talal was not happy. "I picked up the phone and called Murdoch... (and told him) these are not Muslim riots, these are riots out of poverty," he said. "Within 30 minutes, the title was changed from Muslim riots to civil riots."