News Corp. chief executive Rupert Murdoch used Twitter on Sunday to share some advice with presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney: Drop the “old friends” from your campaign and hire “some real pros.”
Murdoch’s global media empire includes such prominent US news organizations as The Wall Street Journal and Fox News Channel, Romney’s preferred network for television interviews.
Murdoch’s journalistic integrity has been questioned in recent years in the wake of a wiretapping scandal at his British newspapers, but there was nothing improper about his Twitter message, according to Northeastern University journalism professor Dan Kennedy.
“Even by ethical standards that Murdoch has not often troubled himself with over the years, he has done nothing wrong in expressing his political views,” said Kennedy, a press critic who writes the blog Media Nation .
“For instance, at news organizations that follow a strict separation of church and state, it is not at all unusual for publishers and business-side broadcasting executives to make political donations — something their news-side employees are generally forbidden to do. I see Murdoch’s comments in that spirit,” Kennedy said.
Murdoch’s advice to Romney appeared to be aimed at the candidate’s reputation for relying heavily on a small circle long-time advisers, some of whom have little experience in presidential politics.
Romney’s confidants include family members and others whom he has known for many years, such as communications specialist Eric Fehrnstrom, fund-raiser Spencer Zwick, campaign manager Matt Rhoades, and adviser Beth Myers, who is leading the vice presidential search.
In the spring, as his nomination became increasingly likely, Romney began to expand his team by adding veteran outsiders, such as Ed Gillespie, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee and a strategist for President George W. Bush.
The Romney campaign did not respond immediately Sunday to a request for comment.